Bargain Crosscut Sled

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Project by TheWoodenOyster posted 05-28-2013 02:31 AM 2145 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another bargain shop fixture to help make the days in the shop go a little smoother. I built this crosscut sled based on Marc Spagnuolo’s crosscut sled video. The bottom and fences are made of 3/4” cabinet grade plywood I had leftover from a jobsite. The sled rails are made from an old oak bed frame that I found in a dumpster near my local university.

A couple of the challenges I ran into while making it:

1. The first set of sled rails that I made for the bottom of the sled gave me some issues with wobble and rubbing. I made them from dimensioned ash I had left over from another project. I think the rails were so thin (3/4” x 3/8”) that they didn’t really have enough volume to hold themselves straight against internal stresses. Even after going through the jointer and planer, they wouldn’t stay straight. I pulled them off and had the idea to use the scrapped oak bed frame for the rails. It has probably been dry for 30 to 40 years, so I figured it ought to have fewer internal stresses than recent cut and dried wood. I cut them and hand-planed them to size and attached them. I also left them long, about 3” overhanging on the “user” side of the sled, and about 6” on the other end. This helps to stabilize the sled for a longer distance as it rides in the slots. The straighter and longer oak rails helped stabilize the sled for a longer distance during the cut and reduced rubbing.

2. I also had some trouble getting the reference fence perfectly 90 degrees to the blade. I pinned it at one end with a screw and adjusted it a couple of times using Marc’s method (to the extent that I could). It kind of ended up being a lesson in patience. My final result was about .002 out of square over 9”. Not bad, but I can see light through it and it bothers me. I undid it and redid it 3 times, and I wasn’t really getting closer. I think I can live with my accuracy for now and maybe reset the reference fence once I get a little more experience. This might be the kind of issue that I think about for a couple months and one day realize what I was doing wrong or think of a better way to do it. I can live with it for now.

Thanks for looking

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

4 comments so far

View prez's profile


375 posts in 3554 days

#1 posted 05-28-2013 07:49 AM

Nice…I’ve built one just like it….it’s invaluable ! I use it all the time..


-- George..." I love the smell of a workshop in the morning!"

View XrayJay's profile


251 posts in 2122 days

#2 posted 05-28-2013 11:14 AM

Thanks for your post. I’ve seen TWW video and I’m planning to make one too. I don’t wish it on anyone but it’s was nice to hear about your difficulties. I have them all the time and always think “I must be the only one to have these issues” especially when Marc makes it look so easy. I think the overhang on the glides are a great idea. Thanks again!

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3010 days

#3 posted 05-28-2013 12:17 PM

You built yourself a nice sled and it will serve you well.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3057 days

#4 posted 05-29-2013 01:26 AM

Good job on the sled. You will love it.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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