Spline cutting jig for cross cut sled

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Project by lumberjoe posted 07-20-2012 08:15 PM 4424 views 15 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yes it’s ugly, yes it’s a hack, but it works.

I am working on a box now (thanks to boxguy for tips and inspiration) and I have never really made a GOOD one using proper technique. I am not overly thrilled with the look of box joints or dovetails. I purchased a lock miter bit, but am not super happy with the fit. It’s REALLY tight without glue. That leaves me with the dreaded splines. I don’t know why, but I have always been terrified of splined miters.
I decided to give it a go. I had an old cross cut sled that I took all the t-tracks and good stuff off of. I was going to chop it down to make a spline cutting jig, but then I had an idea. I just made one that attached to the sled with the t-track clamps!
I cut the 1/2 plywood into two wide pieces and two narrow pieces. I then put two identical speed squares up against the cross cut fence to get my 45 degree angle.

I layed the plywood on the speed squares and applied some glue to the edges. I attached the sides with clamps and some 18awg brads.
I then put the the other angled piece on. I glued the edges and loosely clamped it to the sides. I slid my speed squares under to get it aligned then hammered down on the clamps and drove some brads.

After that I attached 2 pieces of 3/4” ply to the sides so I would be able to clamp them with the T-track clamps.

The block inside is what I use for a stop block.I just clamp it in place with a quick grip 90 degree clamp.

It works AWESOME! I am no longer afraid of splined miters.


22 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117236 posts in 3725 days

#1 posted 07-20-2012 11:23 PM

Looks good Joe

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2396 days

#2 posted 07-20-2012 11:58 PM

No, it looks terrible! But it works good. I just cut the top of my box and started the finishing project.


View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2339 days

#3 posted 07-21-2012 12:01 AM

Joe, Found your pickup truck yet?
Nice jig, Looks Horribly awesome!

-- My terrible signature...

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2396 days

#4 posted 07-21-2012 12:13 AM

Holding out for a good used one to pop up. It’s definitely not pretty, but it gets the job done. I’m pretty sure that’s how my wife describes me to her friends.


View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4248 posts in 2709 days

#5 posted 07-21-2012 12:15 AM


I think that looks neat to use. I always wanted to make something like that.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2530 days

#6 posted 07-21-2012 12:15 AM

What a good idea. It does what you want it to do & that makes it a great jig.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2339 days

#7 posted 07-21-2012 12:15 AM

Joe, Since I’m at NY, I decided to go to toolsforworkingwood….
Guess what I bought…
Everyone should know by now… A Japanese chisel….

-- My terrible signature...

View robdem's profile


381 posts in 2754 days

#8 posted 07-21-2012 12:51 AM

Joe doesn’t have to be pretty just has to work .

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2396 days

#9 posted 07-21-2012 12:55 AM

Thanks guys. I agree, but I have remade stuff that “works” just so it is also pretty. I’m pretty impressed this worked. I am also pretty impressed it took me about 15 minutes to make. I think I may start to be getting good at this woodworking stuff (well, jigs anyway)


View JamesN's profile


26 posts in 2318 days

#10 posted 07-21-2012 02:38 AM

Not sure if you might find yourself limited on box size with this jig in the future, but if you do, you can just cut out the wood for your side walls that covers the ends of your 45 degree boards. Cut it flush to the 45 degree boards and you can slap any size box in there you want to put splines in.

I plan on making something like this in the very near future myself :)

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2396 days

#11 posted 07-21-2012 12:41 PM

JamesN, good idea and I planned on doing that. This is 14” long, so I’m good for a box up to 14” tall. Since this rides on the sled, I am only going to cut one side off. I can re-position the jig on the sled if need be


View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3014 days

#12 posted 07-21-2012 01:22 PM

It’s a very nice jig. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View abie's profile


876 posts in 3919 days

#13 posted 07-21-2012 02:55 PM

Nice I alwya like jigs that attach to other so that they are modular and serve several purposes.
so what if it is not pretty.. it works doesnt it…

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Bob817's profile


673 posts in 2530 days

#14 posted 07-21-2012 05:10 PM

Hey Joe as you can tell everybody loves jigs, me included. Made it to #1 Alright that’s Awsome good for you Congrats!

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View SergeantSawDust's profile


173 posts in 2330 days

#15 posted 07-21-2012 07:13 PM

I think that’s a really nice cross cut sled accessory actually.. Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

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