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 24x24”. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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