Quick and dirty way to create 2 slots in workbench for crosscut sled?

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Forum topic by noone posted 06-01-2012 09:07 PM 1250 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View noone's profile


559 posts in 1692 days

06-01-2012 09:07 PM

I only have a 1/4” shank router right now and I need to route two 3/4” wide tracks in my workbench for a crosscut sled to slide into.

I know I can buy a 1/2” shank 3/4” dado bit, but that would require me buying a new bit and a new router.

Is there some other way I can create this 3/4” wide 1/2” deep cut?

8 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2488 days

#1 posted 06-01-2012 09:12 PM

When I did mine, I clamped guide boards to my workbench and routed a 1” wide slot that went far enough into the bench to allow the sled to clear the blade.

I went to 1” so the sled runners wouldn’t get hung up if the bench or saw moved.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View noone's profile


559 posts in 1692 days

#2 posted 06-01-2012 09:13 PM

What 1/4” shank bit do I use to route a 1” wide slot? Just a straight router bit and move it around between the two guides to remove all the material?

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 06-01-2012 09:18 PM

Just use a guide board or straight edge and route with you 1/4” shank router bit but only cut half way down using two passes this will cause a lot less stress on your router bit. If you don’t have a 3/4” router bit just move the fence after the first two cuts so that your router bit cuts you 3/4” groove.

-- Custom furniture

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2488 days

#4 posted 06-01-2012 09:23 PM

Clamp your guideboards at the desired distance apart and use them to get straight sides then freehand the rest.

I still encourage wider slots in your workbench. If the bench or saw move a little, the sled won’t travel all the way. The directional support for the sled runner is the saw miter slot. The workbench slot(s) just allow full sled travel.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#5 posted 06-01-2012 09:44 PM

Agree with sawkerf. You could also cut 3/8” off your workbench
legs and nail 1/4” masonite to the bench… which is durable and cheap
and takes wax well. Just cut the masonite into strips and nail those
on, avoiding the routering altogether.

View MT_Stringer's profile


2819 posts in 2651 days

#6 posted 06-01-2012 10:42 PM

If I was you, I would buy a 3/4 inch router bit. It will come in handy in the long run for many other projects.
Cut a straight edge with whatever means you have. Make sure your straight edge is wide enough so you have room to clamp it to the table and not interfere with the router base.

Layout your grooves where you want them.

Measure from where the edge of the router bit meets the outer line to the edge of your router base.
Clamp your straight edge so you router will follow the straight edge as you move the router along the edge. measure and check several times to insure you will be routing the table in the correct position.
If you want a little extra space, set up you straight edge an eight inch or so outside so you will have to make two passes to rout the groove you are asking about.

Rout your groove in two or three passes. Then move you straight edge so the router bits will cut the same amount past the other mark. Repeat above steps.

Search You Tube. There are a lot of router video how to do its!

I have that very task ahead of me when I finish making my table.
Good luck.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2110 days

#7 posted 06-02-2012 02:10 AM

This probably isn’t the answer you are looking for but I just raised my tablesaw 1/2” above my bench to provide clearance for the sled runners. Works well for my purposes.

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

View peterbb's profile


37 posts in 1707 days

#8 posted 06-02-2012 02:19 AM

Search Projects for “Dado Jig” – there are several versions consisting of two guide parts that can be set to the desired dado width. You move the router back and forth guided by the jig, using a bit smaller than the desired width (it is easiest if the bit is more than half the final width, but will work with a smaller bit).

I’ll agree with sawkerf and others that the dado in your table should be wider than the tracks in the table saw.

-- Peter

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