Crosscut Sled Material

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Forum topic by BiggKountry posted 04-28-2011 02:45 PM 6814 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 2687 days

04-28-2011 02:45 PM

This newbie needs advice on a crosscut sled for a tablesaw…..

Could I use red oak for the fences?

Also, could I use pine for the sled itself? Lowes sells Ponderosa pine slabs that are a good size. I was thinking of using that for the sled part…..

What are your thoughts?


11 replies so far

View 1978's profile


167 posts in 3630 days

#1 posted 04-28-2011 02:51 PM

Welcome, I have been told that plywood is the best wood for a cross cutting sled. Articles that I have read said that solid woods warp.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3213 days

#2 posted 04-28-2011 03:02 PM

Phenolic plywood is a favorite.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View TheDane's profile


5438 posts in 3684 days

#3 posted 04-28-2011 03:33 PM

I used MDF for the sled itself, hard maple for fences, and red oak for splines.
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-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#4 posted 04-28-2011 03:42 PM

NO!!!!! on the pine. Use 1/2” ply or mdf. More stable so you don’t have all the dimensional movement. Red oak would be fine for the fences, but I would try to use 3/4” x 3/8” miter bar stock (either phenolic, metal, or hard maple) for the guides.


View mnguy's profile


193 posts in 3420 days

#5 posted 04-28-2011 03:43 PM

Stay away from solid wood for the base. I used 3/4” veneer core plywood (not Baltic birch – didn’t have it around at the time) and maple for the fences and runners. I think oak would be fine for the fences and runners. I also put a layer of 1/4” hardboard on the top of the base, with a replaceable insert, in case I want to do bevel cuts. My sled is a different design that TheDane’s (nice looking sled!) – mine straddles the blade and rides in both miter slots. This design needs a front fence, too, since the blade passes through the entire base.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3308 days

#6 posted 04-28-2011 03:59 PM

I prefer 1/2” Baltic Birch plywood for my sleds. With 1/2” instead of 3/4”, you don’t loose the other 1/4” in blade height, although it might be a bit more stable with 3/4”. I think pine might be one of the worst materials to use.

If you need to save money, MDF is certainly not a bad choice. It will remain much flatter than any solid wood.
Any stable hardwood is fine for fences. I have used walnut, mahogany, and ash so far. I like to glue up 2 pieces for my fences. The thicker fence is better and more stable. It also makes T-track easier to put in too.


View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 3053 days

#7 posted 04-28-2011 04:12 PM

Most of my jigs are made from either mdf, or masonite, depending on the application.Haven’t built a sled for the tablesaw yet, haven’t had the need. My bandsaw sled is doubled 1/4” masonite, the fence is extruded aluminum.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2615 days

#8 posted 04-28-2011 08:37 PM

You can use just about anything to build a table saw sled. For instance I used Corian for the runners. Hard maple for the fences and good plywood for the base. You want materials that are stable and tough especially if you want the sled to last and stay acurait.If I could figure how to up load pictures to this sight you could see my sled !Wood smith has real nice design Google it.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2715 days

#9 posted 04-28-2011 08:39 PM

Definitely no solid wood on the base, you’ll regret it and better materials are cheaper. I made my first out of phenolic MDF, actually a really large shelf from Lowe’s. After I killed that one, I used simple quality 1/2 inch ply for the base and prefinished maple flooring for the fences. Haven’t had any problems. Mine has stayed dead flat for the good part of a year now. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2615 days

#10 posted 04-29-2011 09:19 PM

Check out Fine Wood working mag this month!Good tips on sleds

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2711 days

#11 posted 04-30-2011 06:01 AM

I built the super sled from the Eagle Lake Woodworking video.Used 1/2” baltic birch ply for base,OLD reclaimed doug fir for fence and 3/8’ thick white plastic[like some tablesaw fences are faced with] for the runners.It has been used daily with big temp and humidity swings and it has stayed dead on.

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

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