A New Sled for Winter!

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Project by JerryinCreek posted 10-16-2015 05:48 PM 3068 views 25 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

BABY BEAR: I made my first cross-cut sled following plans from Woodsmith Shop. In general, I liked the shape as the cut-out area made it easier to handle. However, for me, the design was too complicated and introduced some problems. The sliding base (to allow wide kerfs or even dado blades) produced some inaccuracy as did the Kreg Swing Stop which, because of it’s design, allows for some side-to-side movement. Finally, the sled’s design calls for an additional bolt-on fence extension for cuts over 20” long. This sled was too small!

PAPA BEAR: I then researched the Web for new ideas on building a good sled that was considerably bigger than my first. I found a design that looked really “beefy” from Fine Woodworking. It was 3/4” MDF with very solid fences and had the addition of a safety box. This sled was big, it was accurate, it was heavy. This design also lacked a built-in tape measure and stop block which was a convenience I missed. After using this sled for about a year I just got tired of lifting this beast onto my saw table. This sled was too heavy!

MAMA BEAR: Now knowing what didn’t work for me, I designed this sled with careful consideration for accuracy, ease of handling, sled weight and the length of material I generally use. I also wanted the convenience of a built-in tape measure with a stop block (that didn’t wiggle) and adjustable miter slot sliders (Kreg). I incorporated ideas from my previous sleds and some from other designs I found on the Web. I have used this one for a number of weeks now. This sled is just right!

10/23/2015 ADDENDUM: I acted on the suggestion that the safety box was larger than it needed to be and so I re-engineered it! I think the new size is more appropriate, makes the sled look better and saves a little weight. The photos show the re-engineered sled.

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

18 comments so far

View Don10's profile


25 posts in 825 days

#1 posted 10-16-2015 07:43 PM

Hey Jer,

As usual you have outdone the average bear (pun intended). Instead of Mama Bear, I would call it Goldilocks – just right. Pays to do your research – you nailed the criteria and your execution was flawless. I am going to copy it.

-- Don, Silver City New Mexico, parsimony, utility and elegance - blueprint for any project.

View fivecodys's profile


566 posts in 1057 days

#2 posted 10-16-2015 07:46 PM

Very nicely done sir!
I really like the handle. Nice touch!

-- Chem, Central California

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#3 posted 10-16-2015 07:58 PM

Jerry, that is a fine and fancy sled. It is a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View splintergroup's profile


724 posts in 643 days

#4 posted 10-16-2015 08:18 PM

I looked hard but don’t see a speck of saw dust in that wood working tool museum you have 8^)

(BTW, nice sled!)

View htl's profile


2019 posts in 580 days

#5 posted 10-16-2015 11:15 PM

That is one heavy duty sled, out standing!

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View MikeSpanky's profile


177 posts in 784 days

#6 posted 10-17-2015 04:20 AM

Good job and great ideas there. Mine is 3/4 plywood but most of the time I can use much smaller. What is the size of your sled if you don’t mind sharing?

-- There's no crying in woodworking. Just measure and cut again.

View NormG's profile


5424 posts in 2425 days

#7 posted 10-17-2015 04:49 AM

Nicely done sled,

-- Norman

View OldGuysRule's profile


130 posts in 394 days

#8 posted 10-17-2015 06:22 AM

Love it!! and will copy it!!!
I’ve been looking around for a design I liked also. I believe you have skinned that bear!!


-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

555 posts in 2477 days

#9 posted 10-17-2015 10:14 AM

Looks great. What method did you use to insure that it cuts at exactly 90 deg?

-- Glen

View KellyB's profile


77 posts in 603 days

#10 posted 10-17-2015 01:37 PM

That is one fine looking sled, sir.
I have a couple of questions just by way of revealing my ignorance:
1. there are what appear to be two vertical groves on the forward upright: Purpose?
2. what is the box structure on the back side for?



View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 597 days

#11 posted 10-17-2015 01:52 PM

Terry, many sleds have a box where the blade exits the sled as protection for the user’s fingers. I am not sure why the box is so big.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View JerryinCreek's profile


154 posts in 1262 days

#12 posted 10-17-2015 02:26 PM

Thanks for the questions, appreciate your interest!
-The sled measures 15 3/4” wide (+3” for the fences) and 38” long.
-To insure that it cuts a perfect 90º angle I watched a You Tube video (also available on Lumberjacks) 5 Cuts To A “Perfect” Cross Cut Sled, William Ng Woodworks.
-The Kreg miter sliders are adjustable from the top of the sled. There are three adjusters for each slide. The vertical cuts on the front fence allow me to access the front two adjusters.
-Yes, the box on the back is for safety (although I do have a SawStop). And yes, I could have made it 1 1/2” shorter than it is. With the blade fully extended, I only need about 4 1/2” of depth to the box. As far as the width; I didn’t want some dinky thing that would get knocked off. Thanks for the comment WoodNSawdust!, I will make that adjustment to the box depth!

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2088 days

#13 posted 10-17-2015 07:30 PM

Nice and practical looking sled that should do for many more then one winter .
As to the blade safety box yes it is a little big but so what I addressed the issue with stop blocks that limit the sled travel which I installed in the mitre grooves on the out feed table .


-- Kiefer

View KellyB's profile


77 posts in 603 days

#14 posted 10-17-2015 09:32 PM

Thanks for the explanations. I am definitely going to copy the sled as best I can.

View TTF's profile


144 posts in 2598 days

#15 posted 10-18-2015 04:43 AM

That’s great!

-- Troy | | The more I see nature, the more I am amazed at the Creator. - Louis Pasteur

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