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Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

After spending the last two months building nearly 40 holiday gifts for family and friends, I’m really looking forward to spending the winter building a furniture piece or two. To build these presents, I needed a very accurate jig for crosscutting stock on my tablesaw, with a minimum of tear-out. To do that, I built the crosscut sled shown below.  The sled measures 24×24”. The front and rear fence are 1” thick (two pieces of ½” plywood laminated face to face) and 3” high. The fences are glued to the top of the ½”-thick plywood base. The back fence (closest to the operator) has a ¾” wide groove ¼” deep running its length.

Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

Tablesaw Crosscut Sled

 The 6” long stop has a mating cleat on its back side that slides smoothly in the groove. I use a small clamp to secure the stop to the back fence.

Sliding Stop

Sliding Stop

For additional safety, I added a 5” long 3½” wide solid-wood block on the back side of the back fence to cover/enclose the blade when finishing a cut. I painted the block red, and never, ever use it as a handhold when pushing stock across the blade.

Blade Enclosure (painted red)

Blade Enclosure (painted red)

 Finally, I added a pair of runners to the bottom side of the sled base. For accuracy when making 90 degree crosscuts, the runners must be perfectly perpendicular to the blade. I sanded the runners smooth and added a bit of paste wax to them to keep them sliding smooth in the tablesaw grooves. When not in use, I simple stand it on edge behind my jointer and next to the wall.

93 Responses to “Tablesaw Crosscut Sled”

  1. I believe you wanted to say that the runners (to fit the mitre slot) should run ‘parallel’ to the blade. The rear fence needs to be perpendicular to the blade for accurate 90 degree crosscuts.

  2. I already have this sled and have had mine for 5 Years.

  3. Putting it together is straightforward.
    How to you assemble it to the saw with the necessary precision snd sdjust if necessary?

  4. You mention “glueing” the fences to the sled. Did you cut a dado for them? You also mention putting the runners on the bottom of the sled. What was your method of fastening them (glue, screws, brads or combination of these)? I like the idea of not having the cutoff fall away like on the sled Norm built on NYW.

  5. Just a thought. I built my sled out of a high quality MDF( with some 3/4 ply parts) I find just about any plywood has a tendency to move over time

    Rob

  6. Forty projects, wow! Forty different or forty of the same?

  7. I’ve seen several tables simular to this, i haven’t built one yet because, i’m looking for the best. I have many uses for one, but before I build it, I’d like too get it right the first time. Thanks for any help that you can give me P. Ransom

  8. Just remember that to maintain the slot on the table to always use the same kerf sawblade. I have a “junk” blade which is normal Kerf and a “Nice” blade which is thin kerf and I promptly mixed them up two days after I built one of these and messed this up on mine. Still using it with a lot of success four years later, I just can’t trust the cutline when I line my pieces up on the sled.

  9. Very nice job Marlen! I’m new to woodworking and need to build one. I’ve been looking at dozens online. Just can’t seem to decide. Yours looks well constructed and safe. Would you care to share the plans?

  10. Mine is made out of an 3/4″ MDO base and scrap 3/4″ plywood for the leading and trailing edges. It makes for a pretty heavy sled but very stable. My runners are attached with screws and glue and are pieces of cherry left over from another project.

    I slid the runners into the mitre slots on my saw and then set the MDO loose on the top (blade under the table of course. I then squared the MDO from the [extra long] runners which were sitting perfectly parallel to my saw blade. I then attached them with screws while it was still on top of the saw. Once the holes were established I removed the screws and applied glue to the backs before reattaching and waxing them.

    I might need to add that extra slot in the backer fence. It looks like a nice little upgrade.

    I also have a slight relief cut in the back of my stop block to help prevent dust from building up between my stop block and the multiple pieces that are cut with the sled.

  11. My back fence is a little “fancier”, and made out of a piece of solid 2 X 6. The base is an old laminate table top from a table I rebuilt with a solid wood top. The 3/4″ plywood substrate is solid and stable, and I faced the plastic laminate side down, so it slides easily across tha table.
    I cut the table in half to make my sled, and used the second piece to make a separate sled with a dedicated 45 degree fence.
    I fitted the slides as Adam did, ran the blade up through the base, and then attached the back fence, using an accurate framing square to set it up perpindicular to the blade.

  12. (1-07-10 Adam) <- Have you thought of putting a piece of hardboard over your existing sled and making another cut? – allowing an accurate cut line again.

  13. Your sled looks a lot better than the one I have which was on a woodworking show some years back. Last year, I was trimming the end of MDF panel & it kicked back breaking the sled. This looks much more substantial than mine.

  14. made several over the years. problem, only heat shop when I want to work there. All have changed shape just enough to no longer make perfect cuts.
    Last one is almost 1/64 out of square since last used in summer. Thinking hard board for base of next try. Doubt if I will glue on backers, screws allow for possible adjustments in future.

  15. I am confused by one detail, what is the ¾” wide groove ¼” deep running its length on the back fence for?

  16. Bob – I believe that Marlen put the groove in the back fence for the adjustable stop. To me that is the nicest change in what is an old standard “must have” jig.

  17. Anyone, I am thinking of getting one of the smaller portable tabletop saws with a stand. Does anyone have experience with one of these and how they work with a sled like this one.

    Wayne

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