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Crosscut Sled for Cheap Table Saw

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Project by OutPutter posted 01-13-2010 06:18 PM 18607 views 27 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started out with a cheap Craftsman table saw when I got the woodworking bug because my budget was very limited. Unfortunately, accuracy on one of these saws is elusive. I tried desperately to create runners for the bottom of the sled but to no avail. Craftsman cheapies don’t have standard width miter slots. They have little pieces jutting out to help track the cheap miter guage too. Did I mention cheap? Ironically, to create the runners, you nead an accurate way to rip the wood and the saw wouldn’t cooperate. I was about to give up when I got the idea that I could put the runners along the side of the sled instead of underneath. Because of the extension wings on my particular model, I was able to create two parallel paths for the runners by capturing them between the wings and the table saw. To my surprise, the blade and sides were very closely aligned when I bought the saw. The sled itself is made from MDF and two pieces of pallet wood. I’ve since upgraded to a Ridgid contractor’s saw but, I thought this design might be useful to others just starting out.

-- Jim





35 comments so far

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14134 posts in 2338 days


#1 posted 01-13-2010 06:34 PM

Great idea. It solves problem of non-parallel miter slots to each other and non-square to the blade like my cheap Ryobi ETS-1525. Thanks for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

536 posts in 2229 days


#2 posted 01-13-2010 06:50 PM

Great idea, I love the inginuity.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1399 posts in 2212 days


#3 posted 01-13-2010 07:03 PM

I use the same sort of design for my craftsman benchtop – the runners straddle the main table. It IS much better than trying to deal with those miter slots.

the 3/4” MDF also helps even out the waviness of the metal table – another must. I do all 90ยบ crosscuts using the sled.

View cam1297's profile

cam1297

64 posts in 1958 days


#4 posted 01-13-2010 09:37 PM

I have the same saw and had no idea on how to make sleds. Now I do.

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 2018 days


#5 posted 01-13-2010 09:42 PM

Excellent adaptation…and ingenuity….I like to read these posts as it gives me ideas for solving similar problems if I come across them….I love homemade jigs…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Michael Clark's profile

Michael Clark

28 posts in 2071 days


#6 posted 01-13-2010 10:21 PM

Great idea! I’m totally going to steal it.

That is the same(or near enough) saw that I have. After spending quality time with it, I have it as straight as I can get it. I think The problem I have now is just vibration and wobble on the thin kerf blade

I’ve been thinking about how to make a crosscut sled for it because after going their own on the miter slots Craftsman has decided to not release anything that will fit them.

-- Sometimes... At night... My router tells me to do things to wood. Bad Things.

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1217 posts in 2223 days


#7 posted 01-13-2010 11:03 PM

Same thing here… small Delta saw with non-standard miters and NO wings. It works fine when using it with jigs. Blade parallel with miter slots and fence lines up fine. You just got to fiddle with it and use jigs. Yeah, a little more difficult to make runners that work. But, I paid $80 over 15 years ago and have my money’s worth from it.

You also need the mass of wood in the jig to help cut down on vibration/noise from plastic housing. I made a small step forward and got a Ridgid 4516. It works fine—standard miter slots, bigger table surface, and a little more HP. Fits in my little shop and that is #1 problem for me.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

315 posts in 2294 days


#8 posted 01-13-2010 11:39 PM

nice solution to the problem.

-- Got Wood?

View yarydoc's profile

yarydoc

417 posts in 1892 days


#9 posted 01-13-2010 11:50 PM

Great idea

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View ghazard's profile

ghazard

380 posts in 2257 days


#10 posted 01-14-2010 12:11 AM

...It is good to see this work. I have a cheap Craftsman as well, though no telescoping sides. I was always afraid that the table is too short front to back to allow a sled to pass the blade and still be supported by the table.

Yours obviously works and I have to ask…how stable is it near the end of the cut when the majority of the sled is hanging off the back of the table?

Thanks for posting…you’re right…it is very helpfull for beginners like me to see stuff like this.

Greg

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

947 posts in 1855 days


#11 posted 01-14-2010 01:34 AM

great idea!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112883 posts in 2325 days


#12 posted 01-14-2010 02:31 AM

good job

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tom O'Brien's profile

Tom O'Brien

74 posts in 2692 days


#13 posted 01-14-2010 05:28 AM

Good idea.

Would somebody go slap Craftsman upside the head and tell them how dumb it is to put nonstandard miter slots on their dang saws?

-- Every project is a learning opportunity, every error a design opportunity

View OutPutter's profile

OutPutter

1198 posts in 2738 days


#14 posted 01-14-2010 05:45 AM

ghazard, interestingly if you push the sled about six inches further toward the back, blade is into the back rail and the cut is finished. The sled remains stable on the finish end of the cut. To get wider pieces in the sled and not in contact with the blade means you have to pull the sled almost off the front but it balances nicely and is not a problem. I think the balance is because the sled is the same size as the table. Much wider and it would be harder to balance I think.

Tom, I’ve been trying to find them so I could do that but they fled the country I think. lol

-- Jim

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2460 days


#15 posted 01-14-2010 06:00 AM

Great solution for use on a really awkward saw ( I also own one very similar to yours).

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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