Material for TS crosscut sled

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Forum topic by dschlic1 posted 04-19-2013 03:35 PM 1553 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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428 posts in 1967 days

04-19-2013 03:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question tablesaw

I would like some advice on material to use for a large crosscut sled on my table saw. I would like recommendations for the base and also for the fence. I do not have a joiner, so cutting absolute straight edges is somewhat difficult. Before building the sled I will be building a TS joiner/taper jig similar to this. I plan on making the jig a full 48” long. This jig should allow me to get a straight square edge on a board to 60” long and 2” high.

I have some 1/2” Baltic birch plywood, however it has a very nasty bow in it, so I would not use it for any of the bases. In my area lumber is rather limited to what is available in Lowes or Home Depot.

I am leaning toward using 1/2” MDF for both the base and also the fences. Any comments?

7 replies so far

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

45 posts in 1865 days

#1 posted 04-19-2013 04:03 PM

Whereas MDF is easy to work with, I’d steer away from using it on something that you will use a lot. If you do not seal it up well (i.e: many coats of shellac), it does easily absorb moisture, and does change dimensionally. Plus if you bang a corner on something, it will soften up and possibly flake apart. Plus any attachments, hinges, etc., will be quite prone to pulling out.
Better to get a sheet of 3/4 birch plywood, and make that your base and fences.

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2367 days

#2 posted 04-19-2013 04:32 PM

My sled (made from the woodsmith plans) uses 1/2” birch ply from Lowes. I used solid 3/4 cherry scrap for the front and back fences and have not had any warping issues. The solid fences seem to keep that in check. Used aluminum stock for the runner.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2246 days

#3 posted 04-19-2013 04:57 PM

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 04-21-2013 01:55 AM

I used 1/2” birch ply from HD for the base and 1 5/8 thick old growth Doug Fir for the front and back ‘fences’. I used the 1/2” rather than 3/4 for the weight advantage as my sled is big (Eagle Lake Woodworking Super Sled). I am careful to stand it up straight when not in use. It is 3 years lod and still flat. I assume the heavy fences helped to keep it from bowing.

My previous sled was smaller, made of MDF, and weighed a ton!

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

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2575 days

#5 posted 04-21-2013 02:41 AM

3/4” columbia purebond plywood from home depot.

Of all the plywood I’ve been using in the shop, baltic birch included, the purebond has stayed the flattest.
It’s good stuff.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rickf16's profile


390 posts in 3579 days

#6 posted 04-21-2013 03:13 AM

I made one and ponied up the extra money for a couple of aluminum miter bars. Using these on my sled made life so much easier. They are adjustable so there is no play back and forth. They are about 20 bucks each, so it can be a bit pricey. I used 2×4’s that I ran through the jointer for the fences and screwed them in place.

thewoodwhisperer has a great video on how to make a T/S sled miter bars crosscut sled

-- Rick

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3891 days

#7 posted 04-21-2013 04:05 AM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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