A question in regards to tablesaw sleds.

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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 11-11-2013 02:23 PM 2674 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4883 posts in 2688 days

11-11-2013 02:23 PM

I have yet to build a nice wooden cross cut sled and not even sure if I need one so that brings me to this question, but first a run down of my shop and equipment.

I am limited on space but could manage to find room for a sled if it’d be an asset. I have a Dewalt DW717 miter saw which has been flawless so far for what I’ve been building, the type woodworking I do mainly consist of box building, mitered joints in which I use the miter saw for, the tablesaw I have is a discontinued portable cabinet saw, the Hitachi C10FL 10” Table Saw which it’s also been a great saw more so with the minor upgrades such as a new Delta fence but it has one flaw in which it has plastic gears for the blade angle rotation, I’ve read these gears have a tendency to strip and fail over continued use so I try not to adjust it to 45’s if at all hence the reason I use the miter saw, so this leads me to my question would I still benefit from having a custom built sled in the shop?

A side note, I also have the incra 1000 cross cut sled, but it’s only good for one side of the blade at any given time unlike a full wooden sled.


-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

17 replies so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3032 days

#1 posted 11-11-2013 02:27 PM

Randy you have answered you own question
Yes you will benefit greatly from it
Speed and accuracy will be greatly improved.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4394 days

#2 posted 11-11-2013 02:53 PM

I find my sled to be an invaluable asset in my box-making and other small projects. Cutting/trimming small pieces is much cleaner, safer, and more accurate than trying to do it with a miter saw.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View MrFid's profile


885 posts in 2080 days

#3 posted 11-11-2013 02:55 PM

So worth it. Be sure to take the time to build a good one. Miter bars (if you’re making them from wood) need to be pretty close to perfect for the sled to be effective and accurate, and make sure that the base is flat. Plywood does the trick. I have two sleds for my saw, one for 45 degree cuts and one for crosscutting. Miter saw is used only for irregular angles now.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3146 days

#4 posted 11-11-2013 03:00 PM

I have an old Delta compound miter saw. Not a slider, and only a 10” blade.
I use the miter saw to cut practically all my material to length, unless it’s wider than 6”.
For wider material I have to use a sled on the table saw.
I know this flies in the face of what many on here say, but I prefer the miter saw over the sled.
BUT, obviously sometimes you have to crosscut stuff that is wider than 6”.
The sled does, without doubt, make TS crosscuts practical and accurate up to a point.
The sled, for me, is useful and often used for small pieces or wide boards, but not for long pieces.

View Tooch's profile


1794 posts in 2052 days

#5 posted 11-11-2013 03:29 PM

I don’t use a crosscut sled because most of my cuts are done on a Mitre Saw or Radial arm saw. However, I’d say if you have time, try it out. if you don’t like it [or use it] that much, just get rid of it.

The potential upside far outweighs the risk of time and $$ in materials.

I would like to make one myself, but with so many projects going at once I haven’t had the time to produce one just yet. Oh yeah, and those pesky students are always taking up my time with their questions, too…..

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 11-11-2013 04:13 PM

Thanks for the great comments

Ok so if I build one it looks like the one shown here that Matt built would be a nice one, only I’m not so sure I’d go with aluminum channel, I’d just make two from wood to fit both miter slots at the same time, less for chance of play.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2661 days

#7 posted 11-11-2013 04:24 PM

Definitely do it. Mine is as basic as they come, and I use it constantly.

-- Brian Timmons -

View pintodeluxe's profile


5784 posts in 2989 days

#8 posted 11-11-2013 04:43 PM

Mine rides on a single track, and is only to the left of the blade. I like it because it is lightweight, and works well. I never had a use for the 90 lb. versions that are 4 feet wide, with a huge 4×4 hardwood fence.
Think lightweight for easy daily use.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 2115 days

#9 posted 11-11-2013 04:44 PM

Sleds are the answer to many cuts.

Just yesterday I had to cut a piece of ply for a friend. Ripped to with then used the sled for the lenght. He is used to working with saws and said he would have tried ripping it, but new that 90% chance of kick back.

He had never seen a sled and was impressed how safe and easy the cut was.

I was using a Makita portable saw much like the Hitachi. The plastic gears stripped out very quickly. But this saw was on a job site and some guys are hamfisted idiots and never took the extra second to make sure the angle lock was on or off. After about the 5th set of gears in 3 months the foreman finally got an old delta contractor saw on site.

View BJODay's profile


527 posts in 2118 days

#10 posted 11-11-2013 05:21 PM

I made a sled more for practice than for use. I tend to go straight for the miter saw. However I needed to cut some 3/4 oak to length for a CD cabinet and it worked very well. Nice clean square cut. No chip-out. I felt very safe during the cut even though it was a 52” piece of 10” wide oak.


View 8iowa's profile


1586 posts in 3937 days

#11 posted 11-11-2013 05:24 PM


I have INCRA’s V120 with Shopsmith’s pistol grip. As a miter gauge it can work on both sides of the blade, and with “dead nuts” accuracy. INCRA offers several choices in miter gauge fences. One of the three sizes of the telescoping fence with the “flip stop” is a great addition to the miter gauge.

Just a few days ago I purchased INCRA’s Miter Express. The V120 can be locked in the sled, or quickly taken out if need be. This gives me a lot of versatility in my small 200 sq ft shop here in Gainesville.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2980 days

#12 posted 11-12-2013 01:03 AM

IMO, I think a sled is a nice addition to a shop. If you don’t have any room for it, that’s a different story. In your case, Randy, I think you do some mighty fine builds. That’s my story, and I’m stickin to it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Woodmaster1's profile


1060 posts in 2763 days

#13 posted 11-12-2013 01:21 AM

I have three sleds. Crosscut, miter and box joint.

View Steve's profile


188 posts in 2176 days

#14 posted 11-12-2013 02:00 AM

A very handy accessory for the table saw.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2688 days

#15 posted 11-12-2013 02:32 AM

Once I get some time from my projects I’ll build one, thanks Roger.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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