|Project by NiteWalker||posted 02-06-2012 07:44 AM||6813 views||46 times favorited||15 comments|
I decided to build a new crosscut sled since I had a bit of shop downtime and because my miter gauge with plywood auxiliary fence wasn’t giving me the results I desired. I wanted something that would give me better, more predictable results.
I figured it would be an easy, few hour project.
For the most part it was; I had the basic sled put together in about 2 hours, maybe less. I cut the bottom, used the rear fence from my old sled and glued and screwed a new front fence together (so I wouldn’t have to wait). I used 1/2” baltic birch plywood for the bottom and a double layer lamination of bb plywood for the fences. For the runners I used UHMW. The runners were a bit undersized so I shimmed them towards the blade with masking tape when screwing them in place so I’d have a snug fit regardless of size.
My real problems came when it was time to adjust the front fence square with the blade. For some reason, I just couldn’t get it right. I called it a nite, went upstairs and relaxed for a bit before doing some research online to make the adjustment process easier and more efficient. I tried doing it the way Marc did in his crosscut sled video, but after a few rounds of screwing, unscrewing and drilling holes, the bottom of my sled was beginning to resemble swiss cheese.
I figured that there has to be a better way and did a bit more looking online.
I came across Gary Rogowski's crosscut sled article and as soon as I saw how he attached the front fence to the sled base I knew that was the way I wanted to go.
In the article, he used a thicker front fence and used hex head bolts to hold the fence in place. With the through holes drilled oversized adjusting is as easy as loosening two bolts, make necessary adjustments and tighten the bolts when it was squared up. I left the middle bolt loose until I got the fence square to the blade then tightened it.
It’s square, and will likely stay that way, but even if it doesn’t, adjusting it takes only a few minutes.
I plan to build another very soon.
The width is fine, I just need it longer. For this one I used scraps.
I also plan to use some incra miter sliders I have.
So for anyone building a new sled, the biggest thing that made the whole process a lot less troublesome for me was using hex head bolts to secure the fence instead of screws.
Thanks for looking. :)
-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.