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Combination 90/45-degree Crosscut Sled Conversion

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Project by Ron Stewart posted 07-13-2017 04:12 PM 2833 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This post describes a small project-within-a-project. For my Floating Serpentine Shelf project, I needed to bevel the ends of many thin plywood strips (1 3/4” wide) and panels (about 12” wide), some over 6 feet long.

In the past, I’ve tried to avoid bevel cuts and, when I couldn’t, used a table saw and miter gauge for short cuts and a circular saw and guide for longer ones. I didn’t think either approach would work for the shelf project, so I needed a better solution.

I built a crosscut sled for my table saw (Ridgid R4510) a few years ago (based on a William Ng video). It’s 36” wide and has a cutting capacity of 21”. It’s made of 1/2” MDF and Incra slides and has a stop block riding on a T-Track on the fence’s inside edge. This sled has been great, but I always regretted not building it with a replaceable insert (in case I wanted to use it with different blades, to replace it when the kerf got a little sloppy, etc.).

I considered building a new sled for bevel cuts, but I didn’t want to take the time, and I don’t have space for another sled. I decided that adding an insert to my current sled would eliminate my regrets while solving my bevel-cutting problem. With some trepidation, I took the plunge. I adjusted my circular saw’s cutting depth to 1/2” and used the sled’s slides and an MDF strip to guide the saw to cut an opening in the sled’s base.

With that done, all I had to do was cut a few 1/2” MDF inserts to fit the opening. One is a template for drilling mounting holes, another is for 90-degree cuts, and the last is for 45-degree cuts. I counterbored the holes and used pocket screws to attach the insert. (If the holes ever get stripped, I can always install metal inserts later.)

Cutting the kerf in the insert splits it in two, but it’s easy enough to replace the two halves when I change the blade angle.

The next-to-last photo above shows the new sled in action. The last photo shows my test results. In it, you’ll notice slight gaps in some corners, but that’s because I have the four sides sitting on the sled without tape or glue to press them together.

Here it is in action beveling the end of a long shelf panel.

Here’s a stack of beveled panels. (I used a router and chamfer bit to bevel the long edges.)

Finally, here’s the sled hanging on a French Cleat setup for storage.

(I’m sure someone will mention it, but I know I need to install a blade exit guard on the back of the fence. I used to have one there, but it fell off and I never replaced it. It’s on my future to-do list.)

The conversion worked out well for me, and now I won’t fear 45-degree cuts anymore.

-- Ron Stewart





7 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

28738 posts in 2679 days


#1 posted 07-13-2017 06:24 PM

Wow! This is a beautiful sled. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

203 posts in 1762 days


#2 posted 07-13-2017 08:55 PM

The insert is a great idea.

-- Petey

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5312 posts in 3475 days


#3 posted 07-13-2017 09:45 PM

Nice sled … and Thanks for the detailed write-up!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

23098 posts in 3663 days


#4 posted 07-14-2017 05:09 AM

Nice sled Ron & congratulation on the ‘Daily Top 3 Award’

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View joabraun's profile

joabraun

4 posts in 1169 days


#5 posted 07-14-2017 11:57 AM

Hi Ron,

Very Nice. I see that you have a job site style saw, I have the Bosch 4100 and need to build a similar sled. With the limited in-feed space do you rely on the INCRA slides and T-shaped mitre slots to provide support for the 21 inch crosscuts? Is it stable? Any tricks or suggestions would be appreciated.

Jim

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

103 posts in 2316 days


#6 posted 07-14-2017 12:51 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys—much appreciated.

Jim: for narrow stock (say 5” or 6” or less), the sled is stable on its own. When I cut wider stock, I place a portable roller stand (similar to this one) behind the saw. (If you look closely at the first photo above, you can see a part off it behind the sled.) The roller is wide enough so the inside edges of the slides rest on it. That’s enough to keep the sled from tipping, and it feels nice and safe. I can’t remember the last time I cut anything really wide to know if I had to use it, but I have another rolling stand I can put in front of the saw if necessary.

-- Ron Stewart

View AJ1104's profile

AJ1104

342 posts in 1472 days


#7 posted 07-16-2017 01:20 AM

Slick idea. I really like the conversion!

-- AJ, Long Island. New York

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