LumberJocks

Squaring the front and back edges of a crosscut sled

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by jstewart posted 2541 days ago 1510 views 4 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jstewart's profile

jstewart

141 posts in 2726 days


2541 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: crosscut sled square

I’ve seen lots of great looking crosscut sleds on the site. I’ve been wanting to build one for myself, but haven’t got around to it. I have one question about the process. Are there any tricks to making sure the back and front crossboards are absolutely square to the blade/mitre track? Being a crosscut sled, it’s useless if it’s not square.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas


7 replies so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34870 posts in 3035 days


#1 posted 2540 days ago

Joshua, your right on it being useless and I’ve seen something in the last month about making sure it was square. I’ll try to find it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View jstewart's profile

jstewart

141 posts in 2726 days


#2 posted 2540 days ago

I just found this one another site: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/five_cut_method_swf.htm

It describes what they call the 5-cut method for squaring a crosscut sled fence. I basically boils down to setting the fence, making some cuts, determining if the fence is currently correct and resetting the fence.

Are there any methods to ensure the first “guess” is VERY close to square? I know I need to run some test pieces and check for square after I’ve set the fence. I just don’t want to set it, test, reset, retest, reset, retest (you get the idea).

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12265 posts in 2732 days


#3 posted 2540 days ago

Check out this post by Niki

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/890

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2597 days


#4 posted 2540 days ago

Niki did a blog about a week ago with 40 some photos of building a sled. That would be a good place to start. I don’t think he did any 5 cut method. It was pretty straight forward. Seems like I set my back fence with a framing square, running a line from the first cut both ways. I’ve seen some with a slot on one end so the fence can be adjusted until it is correct.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3963 posts in 2698 days


#5 posted 2540 days ago

The front standard is not so important, but the back fence needs to be square to the cut (and presumably the blade is square to the table/miter slot. There was a recent FWW article about building a sled, and the interesting variation was that the fence wasn’t screwed first to the sled, but rather through bolted with the nut in a pocket under the sled on one side. With one side stable you can swing the fence until it is square to the cut, and then secure it. I used Niki’s 45-45-90 triangle trick to layout the fence position. Works great.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View slaphitter's profile

slaphitter

49 posts in 2561 days


#6 posted 2539 days ago

You can get very, very close on the first try by using good old high school math.

Make the sled (without the rear fence), and run it carefully through the saw to establish the kerfline. Then use trigonometry. If you have a right triangle where one leg is 3 and the other is 4, then the hypotenuse (the diagonal) is always 5.

So measure up the kerf 6 inches. Then use two rulers (or draw pencil marks by trial-and-error and use one ruler), until the perpendicular line measures 8 and the diagonal measures 10. If you measure carefully, when all 3 lines are just right you will have VERY close to square.

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1467 posts in 2722 days


#7 posted 2539 days ago

Take a compass, or is you don’t have a compass take a ruler and drill holes at 8” and 10” to put a pencil in.
(or 1” for the pivot and 9” and 11” for the other points)

Lay an arc with the 8” hole from the corner and lay an arc with the 10” hole from the end point of your first line.
Where they cross is exactly where you need your last point. (A thick pencil lead will put you off a little)

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase