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Cross Cut Sled Dimensions

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Forum topic by scottkeen posted 02-16-2016 04:36 PM 641 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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scottkeen

44 posts in 391 days


02-16-2016 04:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sled cross cut crosscut jig

I’m building a cross cut sled for my small table saw.

My question is about the dimensions. I’ve seen it mentioned to make the depth enough so that I can cross cut a 24” piece for building cabinets. But how about the width of the sled?

I’m also wondering why sleds are off-set so that there is more sled to the left of the saw blade. Is there a reason why not to make the sled with equal widths to the left and right of the blade?

Thanks.


8 replies so far

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MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#1 posted 02-16-2016 04:48 PM

A 2 foot deep sled is going to be pretty big for a “small table saw” that doesn’t have much table in front of the blade. You might not want to go that big. And you can make it however you want… larger on the left, on the right, centered, whatever suits what you will be using it for.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#2 posted 02-16-2016 04:54 PM

I have a 26” capacity sled and it’s kinda big for my uni.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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clin

514 posts in 461 days


#3 posted 02-16-2016 05:35 PM

Make the depth whatever you want. I have two sleds. One is about 14” between the fences and the other 32” or so.

There’s a good reason to offset the center. It avoids having a dead zone where you have no way to position a stop block or use your fence. I’ll try to explain it with an example.

Lets say you have a sled 24” wide in total and position the blade in the exact center. To make repeating cuts, it’s common to clamp on a stop block. But with 12” on each side (ignoring saw kerf), you can only position a stop block at about 10” or so. You need some area for the block to be clamped against.

Now, if you are going to make repeating cuts longer than 12”, you can use your fence as the block. Actually you still attached a block to the fence so the stock is sized against this block, but once you slide the fence out, the stock is NOT up against the TS fence and won’t bind. Common to make this block exactly 1” thick.

So with the blade dead center, you have a sled that can use a stop block for up to about 10” cuts, or using a TS fence for 12” or longer cuts. There’s no way to position a stop block for 10” to 12” cuts.

Now, if you offset by say 2”. Lets say 2” more on the left side, you have 14” to the left and 10” to the right. So on the left you can place a block for cuts up to about 12”. On the right, you have room to bring your TS fence close enough to make cuts down to nearly 10”.

No dead zone. You have some way of using a combination of the left and right sides to position stop blocks for any length cut.

-- Clin

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scottkeen

44 posts in 391 days


#4 posted 02-16-2016 06:40 PM


So with the blade dead center, you have a sled that can use a stop block for up to about 10” cuts, or using a TS fence for 12” or longer cuts. There s no way to position a stop block for 10” to 12” cuts.

Now, if you offset by say 2”. Lets say 2” more on the left side, you have 14” to the left and 10” to the right. So on the left you can place a block for cuts up to about 12”. On the right, you have room to bring your TS fence close enough to make cuts down to nearly 10”.
- clin


OK. So then is the reason not to make the sled very wide to the left of the blade, because it would not have adequate support if it overhangs extremely the left edge of the table and there would be less sled fence on the right to hold your stock against? For example in an exteme sense, let’s say the 24” sled has 4” to the right of the blade and 20” to the left. To the left with a stop block, I could cut up to 18”. To the right, I could cut up to 2” with the stop on the sled and 4” or more with the stop on the fence. The deadzone is between 2”-4” on the right, but I can make those cuts on the left.

Is the reason not to do this because the sled would be out of balance as it overhangs the left edge of the table making it unstable, and there would not be much of a sled fence to the right to hold your stock against?

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clin

514 posts in 461 days


#5 posted 02-16-2016 08:45 PM

Depending on what you are cutting, there can be a preference for using one side or the other. So I don’t think you would want a sled that is very lopsided. I’m not sure if actual balance is a factor. My saw is large enough that my ~35” wide sleds are completely on the table. But I would agree that if the sled overhangs the side of the table, you’d want to be sure there’s still much more sled on the table than off.

If you clamp stock to the sled, you’d be at more risk.

Regardless of the sled size, long stock clamped to the sled could still try to lift the sled up. In this case, you have to hold the stock and sled down, or much better, and safer, support the stock in some way. I’ve used my roller stand doing this. Just turned sideways where the stock slides down the length of the roller.

I also have a support piece, made from the same material as my sled base. If needed I clamp this to the far, right side of my extension table (about 40” from the blade). This supports longer stock that would otherwise try to tip off the sled.

Having said that, there are sleds that are just one-sided. Only using one miter slot. I think it comes down to what you expect to use it for and how much effort you want to put into building one. Some sleds are very complex, with all sorts of slots for angle fixtures etc. So there is no one size fits all.

In the end, I wouldn’t over think it for your first sled. Make something that looks like other sleds you’ve seen online that are not too complicated. Build it to work for your immediate need and a bit bigger. No one sled is going to be optimal for everything, so I wouldn’t start out trying to build the super-sled.

Building a good, straight fence for the sled is the most time consuming part for a basic sled. But since you screw this on (no glue so you can adjust and square it), if you need a bigger sled int he future, it would be easy to remove it and put it on a deeper sled (meaning larger form front to back).

-- Clin

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clin

514 posts in 461 days


#6 posted 02-16-2016 08:48 PM

FYI,

Here’s a great video explaining how to make a basic sled. He also talks about the offset and has a great explanation of how to square up the sled using the “5-cut” method. Well worth the time to watch.

https://youtu.be/UbG-n--LFgQ

-- Clin

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Redoak49

1951 posts in 1453 days


#7 posted 02-16-2016 08:58 PM

Personally, I have a couple of different sleds. I have a large one, a medium one and a small one. I really like the small one for safely cutting smaller ones.

In a recent blog, Marty Backe, uses a small one to make a small box and cut small pieces. I am making one like it.

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Rick Dennington

5179 posts in 2659 days


#8 posted 02-17-2016 12:32 AM

For my shop, I have 4 sleds, and a panel sled….But….I have a large outfeed table (4’ x 8’), and a large table to the left and right of my saw….I also have another saw in front of my main saw….2 saws….front and back, and the sleds are adapted to each…..

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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