number of runners on crosscut sled?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 01-17-2013 03:46 PM 5695 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2282 days

01-17-2013 03:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question crosscut sled table saw

I have always built my table saw crosscut sleds with two runners, one for each miter slot. I figured that this would help eliminate any racking and keep the back fence at a right angle to the saw blade.

I regularly see designs of a sled with only one runner in a single miter slot.

Why would I want a single runner instead of two? The only possibility I can think of would be to be able to run the sled in either miter one for when the blade is at 90 degrees and the other when at 45 degrees.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

11 replies so far

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4160 days

#1 posted 01-17-2013 03:55 PM

Another possibility would be that the two slots are not perfectly parallel to each other … I had an old Craftsman saw back in the 70’s that had such a problem. A 2-runner sled would bind up at one end or the other.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3143 days

#2 posted 01-17-2013 05:04 PM

Fuzzy, that’s no reason to discard one of the runners, that’s a reason to discard the saw.

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4264 days

#3 posted 01-17-2013 06:02 PM


I would think that this is a matter of personal choice. In watching the New Yankee workshop over the years Norm used a “panel cutting sled”. It only had one runner because it was only used to support the work on one side of the blade. If you’re using a cross-cut sled, that spans both sides of the blade I would think that you would have better support and some redundancy. I’m sure a crosscut sled could be used with 1 runner, but two seems better, at least to me.

-- Nicky

View a1Jim's profile


117270 posts in 3749 days

#4 posted 01-17-2013 06:15 PM

I think it depends on what the jig is used for it’s design and size as to how many miter grooves you use.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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32087 posts in 3038 days

#5 posted 01-17-2013 06:20 PM

I have sleds with both one and two runners. It depends on what the sled is used for. However, for a large crosscut sled I think it should have two.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2244 days

#6 posted 01-17-2013 06:24 PM

I agree with “it depends on what the jig is used for” Sleds in my shop used for larger crosscutting, tend to have two, smaller sleds used for angles, finger joint, etc. tend to have one.

-- Who is John Galt?

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2282 days

#7 posted 01-17-2013 09:13 PM

Assuming that the table saw has two parallel miter slots, is there any reason why you could not make the sled large enough and use two sliders?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View MrRon's profile


5130 posts in 3415 days

#8 posted 01-19-2013 05:02 PM

Expansion and contraction can cause sleds using two runners to bind in the miter slots. One runner sleds avoid this.and if made well, are just as accurate as a two runner sled.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2282 days

#9 posted 01-19-2013 08:55 PM

I don’t understand. I have always used aluminum or plastic for runners and plywood, MDF, or Melamine for the sled bottom. Will plywood, MDF or Melamine expand or contract enough to cause binding?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View REO's profile


929 posts in 2246 days

#10 posted 01-20-2013 10:37 PM

one runner if properly fitted will eliminate racking as well as two. racking is allowed because of the clearance between slot and rail. two runners will allow just as much misalignment. two runners just gives you twice as much chance to take up the clearance by pitting one against the other.

View PittsburghTim's profile


232 posts in 2494 days

#11 posted 01-20-2013 10:54 PM

Don’t understand why it matters so long as the runner is properly fitted? Tenoning jigs have one runner and the good ones allow for extremely accurate cutting. I have an Osbourne miter gauge that is extremely accurate and it only uses on runner. I think that it depends on your application, just like Jim stated earlier.


-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

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