|Project by Rick||posted 08-20-2010 03:40 PM||4300 views||7 times favorited||10 comments|
The trick here is to use your existing mitre gauge to quickly make your sled square to the blade. This project is assuming you already have your table saw blade and mitre gauge properly aligned.
I made my sled with lumber I already had laying around.
With this sled I am able to produce precise square corners.
I have checked my results in the following 3 ways:
1.) with a 12 inch engineers square
2.) by measuring corner to corner of both opposing corners. The 2 measurements are equal, therefore my corners are square
3.) mark the 4 sides of a test piece 1,2,3,4. Cut side 1, then 2, then 3 then 4. Finally mark A on the top of side one and B on the bottom of side 1 then cut off a nice strip of side 1. Using your digital caliper measure the thickness of A and B. If they are the same then you are making perfectly square cuts.
I’m going to take you through the easy steps I took to make this sled.
Step #1 – plywood base
I set down a piece of 1/2 inch plywood. (would have preferred 3/4 but 1/2 is what I had) I butt up one end of it to my tablesaw mitre gauge. I also lowered the TS blade all the way down and placed the plywood just over top of that also.
From Crosscut SledStep #2 – mitre slot guide
I had purchased, for use with many other jigs, a long strip of 3/4inch plastic that fits perfectly in my mitre slot. Found here: http://www.ptreeusa.com/uhmwproducts.htm
I moved my mitre gauge as far back in the TS mitre slot as I could while making sure it was still secure in the mitre slot. I then placed a long strip of this plastic in the mitre slot under my plywood. I drilled 4 holes through the plywood and into the plastic then secured it with 5/8 inch screws.
From Crosscut Sled Step #3 – install sled fence 90 deg to blade
Since I know that my existing mitre gauge makes perfect 90 degree cuts I use it for a foolproof method of installing the sleds fence ensuring 90 degree cuts on it as well.
I had a big piece of poplar laying around which looked like it would make a solid enough fence for my sled. (you would preferrably use a hardwood that will have less chance of warping in the future)
I jointed 2 sides and ran it through the planer. I applied some packing tape to the face of my nice mitre guage so that glue wouldn’t stick to it. I then put glue on one jointed edge and a little on the plywood and placed the poplar fence in place and held it firmly against the mitre guage with clamps. Once the glue was dried I put screws through the bottom of the plywood up into the fence.
From Crosscut Sled Step #4 – install remaining mitre slot guides
Now that the fence is installed I can remove my mitre guage and install plastic mitre slot guides along the remaining length of the sled. The first piece I installed is holding the sled firmly in position so you won’t need to worry about messing up your sled’s orientation to the blade. Cut the plastic guides to lenth and install them in front of the first one and behind the first one where the mitre guage was.
From Crosscut Sled
Tips: #1. CRITICAL. Make sure that the first guide you install is not loose in the slot AT ALL. If it is then make another one. This first guide helps keep your sled in secure orientation to the blade while the mitre guage has been removed and you are installing the remaining slot guides.
#2. I did use my block plane to take 1 shaving off of my plastic mitre slot guides. They were too tight to begin with.