Cross Cut Sleds: How thick is your base

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Forum topic by Josh posted 06-03-2010 08:20 PM 3341 views 2 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Josh's profile


103 posts in 2987 days

06-03-2010 08:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jig tip tablesaw

I’m working on finally building a crosscut sled and since I don’t have hardly any ‘spare’ wood lying around I figure I’m gonna have to go buy some sort of sheet good to use as the bottom of the sled. So my question is, in your opinion, how thick should the bottom of the sled be so that it isn’t ‘flimsy’ but also so that is doesn’t make it so I can only cut through an 1” of material?

Does the question make sense? Do you usually go 1/2”? I do have some 1/8” hardboard lying around, what if double that up and use it for a base, or would it be better to try and triple it? Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

14 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 08:47 PM

I use decent quality 1/2” plywood for sleds and most other jigs I make, Anything thinner than that might work okay, but too flimsy for my taste.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View supervato's profile


153 posts in 2894 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 08:58 PM

I made my cross cut sled with 1/2 inch mdf for the base and douglas fur for the fence.

View Chris Pond's profile

Chris Pond

63 posts in 3012 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 09:08 PM

I think a “sled” can be any size, depending on what you project/wood is.

-- Chris, Fernie, BC

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3658 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 09:14 PM

Mine is 3/4 ply but I don’t feel like its necessary. After using it for a little while I found the important piece is a very stiff and sturdy fence. I have a runner on mine for each slot in my TS so if the bottom was much thinner it wouldn’t effect the accuracy. In fact the unit would be lighter and with a deeper cut capacity. Hmm now I’m thinking about steel runners, a heavy duty thick fence and then just 1/4 hardboard for the bottom. Cheap, light, solid. I might try that.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 09:18 PM

I have several but the largest two have 3/4 ply .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TheWoodsmith's profile


108 posts in 2885 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 11:00 PM

mine is 3/4’’ mdf, it was spare from a project, i took a piece of tslider off of my junky miter guage that came with my little saw. when i upgraded to the new fence and stand and so on i realized a sled would be better and just used that slider for my sled, It is a little on the tall side though I am considering a nicer melamine surfaced one from 1/2 inch

-- I know its around here somewhere...

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 2895 days

#7 posted 06-03-2010 11:30 PM

I have 3/4 ply.
And my fences and whatnot on the sled are all 1 inch thick. I took no chances.

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Jeff's profile


116 posts in 2879 days

#8 posted 06-03-2010 11:41 PM

3/4” baltic birch for mine, but if I was making a lighter version I think 1/2” would work fine.

-- Jeff

View stevenmadden's profile


174 posts in 3054 days

#9 posted 06-04-2010 12:22 AM

1/2” birch plywood for the bottom, 3/4” birch plywood for the front/rear fences, blade guard and the stop block, and 3/4” MDF for a replaceable zero clearance fence. This crosscut sled is based on the one by John White from Fine Woodworking, with a few modifications.

Keep us posted, I would like to see what you come up with.


View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3029 days

#10 posted 06-04-2010 11:31 AM

I would use 3/4 plywood. Especially with how much humidty that you might have in your shop.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3329 days

#11 posted 06-04-2010 12:29 PM

3/4 MDF no problems at all.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3956 days

#12 posted 06-04-2010 02:28 PM

I used “3/4” birch ply” Click for details: Tablesaw Cross Cut Sled

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Josh's profile


103 posts in 2987 days

#13 posted 06-04-2010 05:28 PM

Hey, thanks everyone for your input. It looks like 1/2” to 3/4” is the way to go. We’ll see if I can put something together here soon.

-- Josh, South Jordan Utah

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3491 days

#14 posted 06-05-2010 12:00 AM

The following one was made by MickeyD,

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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