miter sled

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Project by MichaelT77 posted 02-01-2014 08:29 PM 1954 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a miter sled that I just built.

Over the past couple years, I’ve become reasonably comfortable joining corners with hand cut dovetails (through- and half-blind). A couple weeks ago, I decided to try mitered corners, instead. What could be easier? What I found was that, for me, mitered corners proved more difficult. Much less time consuming, for sure, but a less than perfect miter stands out like a sore thumb.

Speaking of sore thumbs, I’m recovering from another table saw accident. So, this weekend is a safety standdown. I’m still using the power tools, but I’m using them to build table saw sleds and push blocks.

One of the pictures shows another miter sled I built. It’s OK for narrow stock (like small molding), but not so good for a wider board that would need to stand on edge. With the miter sled I just built, I can lay the stock down flat. I doubt that any box I make with mitered corners would be over 5 or 6 inches tall, so this sled works fine.

The initial test results are good.

There’s also a picture of a push block I just made.

I wanted to use material I already had. The sled is made of phenolic-faced plywood. A little expensive, and probably not the best choice here, but I had a small sheet. Very slick surface. That’s good on the bottom, but not so good on the top. I may glue down some fine-grade sandpaper to help hold stock in place. The wood across the front is a piece of laminated poplar (3×3). The rest is some red oak I had on hand. The piece in the middle is not glued. It’s held down by two bolts (counterbored underneath). The hole on the left side of that piece is oversized a little bit so I can make an adjustment in the alignment, if necessary. I jointed the edges of the oak, so everything is flat, straight, perpendicular, whatever was necessary.

Maybe I should do a blog about shop safety. I might get my membership revoked, though. I’d want to include photos, and someone might be offended by all the blood.

The sled is heavy, and my fingers will be reasonably safe, I think. There’s plenty of open space behind the working area.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

5 comments so far

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

555 posts in 2476 days

#1 posted 02-02-2014 02:29 PM

Looks good. I’ve been thinking about building a sled dedicated to miters. You’ve inspired me.

-- Glen

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#2 posted 02-02-2014 02:31 PM

Nice work and a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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 choppertoo's profile


298 posts in 2732 days

#3 posted 02-02-2014 02:51 PM

I like the look of the phenolic faced plywood but I don’t understand the reason for the piece that you have bolted in the middle.

Glad your injury wasn’t anything worse than could be covered by a bandaid. As a shop safety thought I hope you don’t wear that nice ring when operating power tools.

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo

View MichaelT77's profile


115 posts in 1532 days

#4 posted 02-02-2014 05:30 PM

Choppertoo, the piece bolted in the middle is the backstop for whatever I’ll be cutting. Behind that, closer to me, is just a lot of open space. I’ve decided that, for safety’s sake, I want a sled to be big and heavy, solid and rigid, and easy to slide. And, I want to be able to see what’s going on while keeping my hands as far from danger as is reasonably practicable.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View dnick's profile


984 posts in 1802 days

#5 posted 02-03-2014 04:06 AM

Really nice sled. Great work.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

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