|Project by JerryinCreek||posted 10-16-2015 05:48 PM||3398 views||25 times favorited||18 comments|
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."