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Making a cross cut sled for table saw

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Forum topic by The__Dude posted 01-17-2016 02:06 PM 1128 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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The__Dude

125 posts in 522 days


01-17-2016 02:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: crosscut sled table saw

I want to make a cross cut sled for my table saw.

I have some left over 3/4” MDF – Good for the base?
I can use MDF for the front and back, or I should buy hardwood for this?

What about slides in the table saw? I want 2 slides.
Should I make these or better off buying steel slides?

I will probably also add some T-rack for stops and such


22 replies so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 636 days


#1 posted 01-17-2016 02:15 PM

Internet searches will give you plenty of ideas.

My sled:
3/4” melamine (MDF with white coating on both sides) easy to see pencil marks
8/4 maple front (about 12”) and back fence
Incra track along the back for stop blocks.
metal slides because I had them.. Today I would use the plastic slides I have in stock.
William Ng’s video to align the back fence.

The one thing I will add when I make the next one is T-track so I can mount accessories

Hope this helps.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2381 days


#2 posted 01-17-2016 04:26 PM

I made mine using MDF. Two oak strips to fit into the slots in the table saw. “T” track mounted on top to re-position the fences.
I also made a taper jig using only one slot of my table saw.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

303 posts in 1507 days


#3 posted 01-17-2016 06:54 PM

I would think about the weight you are willing to tolerate. A sled with a lot of features will be large. This makes it heavy, especially if made of something like MDF. I use a nice flat piece of 1/2” plywood and it seems perfect. Not too fancy but just doesn’t seem to matter and easy to handle. I hang it on a door near the TS.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View DrTebi's profile

DrTebi

248 posts in 2726 days


#4 posted 01-17-2016 07:01 PM

Be sure to protect yourself from putting your hands too close to the slot where the blade runs through. You may be tempted to hold and push the sled near the slot.

A fancy way would be an acrylic window of some sort, so you can see “when it’s coming”. Another way is to just put a big block at that spot. Another really simple way, which I use on a mini-cut-off sled, is to just paint the area red.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2149 days


#5 posted 01-18-2016 01:52 AM

Go to Eagle Lake Woodworking site for the instructions to build a “Super Sled”. I did several years ago and mine cost almost nothing, has all the features, and has stood the test of time. I was pretty inexperienced when I built it and it turned out despite my lack of knowledge.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Paul's profile

Paul

721 posts in 1024 days


#6 posted 01-18-2016 02:13 AM

I went big for my second sled. It’s heavy but does everything I’ve needed it to. Simple, cheap, and will cross cut what a big RAS will.

Click for details: First mini project with my new table saw.

Paul

View The__Dude's profile

The__Dude

125 posts in 522 days


#7 posted 01-19-2016 04:27 AM

I like your design.
But I don’t have an outfeed table.

I use portable stands for outfeed of boards now.

Will this work without an outfeed table?


I went big for my second sled. It s heavy but does everything I ve needed it to. Simple, cheap, and will cross cut what a big RAS will.

Paul

- Paul


View The__Dude's profile

The__Dude

125 posts in 522 days


#8 posted 01-19-2016 04:35 AM

I can see both versions use wood for runners.


I went big for my second sled. It s heavy but does everything I ve needed it to. Simple, cheap, and will cross cut what a big RAS will.

Paul

- Paul


View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2173 posts in 1484 days


#9 posted 01-19-2016 04:43 AM

I tried plastic runners in a similar application (not a sled), and found that the plastic wanted to swell when a flat headed screw was tightened down, making it jam in the slot. You might avoid this by counterboring and using pan head screws to attach the runner. But 3/8” thick runners don’t give you a lot of material to work with.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Paul's profile

Paul

721 posts in 1024 days


#10 posted 01-19-2016 04:47 AM



I like your design.
But I don t have an outfeed table.

I use portable stands for outfeed of boards now.

Will this work without an outfeed table?

I went big for my second sled. It s heavy but does everything I ve needed it to. Simple, cheap, and will cross cut what a big RAS will.

Paul

- Paul

- The__Dude

It sure will if it’s balanced. I actually didn’t have an out feed table when I made the sled I linked.

Paul

View Paul's profile

Paul

721 posts in 1024 days


#11 posted 01-19-2016 04:51 AM

Let me clarify no out feed table. The table you see in the pic is about 1.5” below the miter slots on my TS. It offered no support to the big sled at all.

Paul

View Moron's profile

Moron

5032 posts in 3353 days


#12 posted 01-19-2016 05:24 AM

one that works if only once

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#13 posted 01-19-2016 11:05 AM



I tried plastic runners in a similar application (not a sled), and found that the plastic wanted to swell when a flat headed screw was tightened down, making it jam in the slot. You might avoid this by counterboring and using pan head screws to attach the runner. But 3/8” thick runners don t give you a lot of material to work with.

- runswithscissors

I had the same problem with UHMW. Kept bulging the outer walls near the screws. Ended up just using wood.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#14 posted 01-19-2016 11:16 AM

Mine is MDF with a piece of quarter sawn oak for the fence and oak runners.
Waxed the bottom and runners.

What I don’t like about it:
1. The MDF is heavy.
2. The wood runners require some “tuning up” I use an old block plane blade as a scraper.

What I will do on the next one:

1. Plywood instead of MDF.
2. T track in the fence for stop block.
3. Adjustable/removable zero clearance insert.
4. Use metal slides.
5. T tracks 90 degrees to fence on each side of blade (for adj. miter fence and hold downs).

I checked out the super sled I like that one.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2173 posts in 1484 days


#15 posted 01-19-2016 07:44 PM

Another idea if you lack an outfeed support: Many miter gauges have a washer set in the leading end of the slide to let you start the cut in a wide piece that overhangs the front of the table. (The washer runs in the T portion of the slot) .Why not mount a similar washer in the trailing end of the slide, so that the sled can’t tip forward as you pass the far end of the table? I haven’t tried this, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Might be even more effective if the slide extended a few inches beyond the rear of the sled.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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