Crosscut Sled Fence Material

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Dchip posted 08-02-2010 05:08 PM 3429 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3246 days

08-02-2010 05:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question sled tablesaw

Most sleds I see have hardwood fences. Wouldn’t these be susceptible to small movements that could throw off square? Does the lengthwise grain orientation remove this risk? I’m thinking of using two pieces laminated 3/4’’ MDF or plywood, as I don’t see the downsides to this. Any input? Thanks.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

10 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 05:17 PM

the fences are usually oriented with the quarter sawn edge on top/bottom which keeps any movement in the up/down plane thus not really throwing off the sled’s left/right setup.

hardwoods are easier to work with, can be smoothed out, and look better. also you can get a beefy hardwood in one piece instead of having to glue up multiple 3/4” sheet material = extra work.

that said – you can use whatever you have at hand and works for you as long as it’s functional it’s all good.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3706 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 08:19 PM

Would mdf wear faster than hardwoods?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View GregP's profile


154 posts in 2871 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 10:24 PM

My cross cut sled is made out of plywood, I would think MDF would be awfully heavy.

-- Greg P, Washington State,

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3802 days

#4 posted 08-02-2010 11:22 PM

My crosscut slleds (have 3 in different sizes) have 3/4 baltic birch bases, and hardwood (3/4 poplar) front/rear fences. Have never had a problem with wood movement because the fences are fastened to the plywood base with long screws every 3-4 inches.

-- Gerry

View jpc's profile


139 posts in 3175 days

#5 posted 08-03-2010 12:46 AM

i guess by reading some of the above ive been lucky, i grabbed a two by two of poplar 36 inchs long from the big box for mine and have had no problems, now that ive said that watch my next cut be fucked up

View jpc's profile


139 posts in 3175 days

#6 posted 08-03-2010 12:47 AM

opps sorry for the profanity, thinking out loud as i was typing

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 3429 days

#7 posted 08-03-2010 03:58 AM


View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4018 days

#8 posted 08-03-2010 05:14 PM

I’ve had good luck with SYP dimensional lumber selected for grain. I think good grain is the most important thing.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3246 days

#9 posted 08-03-2010 06:11 PM

Thanks all. It seems MDF is out. I’m gonna swing by the big box and look for some 8/4 poplar or red oak. I’ll prob still use an mdf base (unless I can find some real good ply), though I’ll prob use a bit of finish to minimize swelling.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4928 posts in 3954 days

#10 posted 08-03-2010 06:54 PM

I use a lot of mdf for jigs, etc. A quick coat of dewaxed shellac keeps the mdf stable, and a touch of fine sanding and waxing keeps ‘em slick.


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