Versatile Panel-Cutting Sled
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Wood Magazine

Versatile Panel-Cutting Sled

Split a hair and make it square with our wide-body tablesaw accessory.

When you use our panel-cutting sled, you'll never wonder if the corner you just cut is square. For hair-splitting accuracy, the beefy fence is fixed at 90° to the blade and shows exactly where your saw blade will cut.

Additionally, the fence-leading design holds wider workpieces more solidly and keeps your work closer than fence-trailing jigs.

Build the jig according to the drawing, below. We made ours from birch-veneer plywood with a solid poplar fence, but you could use any 1/2" plywood or medium-density fiberboard and a straight scrap of 2x4. Cut both pieces 1/8" longer than shown; you'll trim them to their exact length after you build the jig.

Note: A well-tuned tablesaw is essential to complete the job. The saw blade must be perfectly parallel to the miter slot.

Before attaching the miter-slot bar, ensure the corner formed by the fence and the right edge of the sled is square. Make a mark 3" from the corner along one edge, and 4" along the perpendicular edge. Measure diagonally between the two marks. If the diagonal measures exactly 5", your corner is square. If it's more than 5", the angle is greater than 90° ; less than 5", and it's less than 90°.

Next, measure the distance between your tablesaw's blade and miter slot and add 1/8". Using that measurement and a combination square, scribe a line on the bottom of the sled, measuring from the saw blade edge. Attach the miter-slot bar along the scribed line.

With the sled's guide bar in your tablesaw's miter-gauge slot, crank the saw blade up to full height. Run the sled through the blade, slicing off the extra 1/8" from both the base and the fence.

You now can cut with confidence by aligning the cut line on your workpiece with the edge of the fence. For repetitive cuts less than 27", clamp a stopblock to the fence. When cutting pieces up to 48", lock in the sled's built-in stopblock.


If you like this project, please check out more than 1,000 shop-proven paper and downloadable woodworking project plans in the WOOD Store.


 

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Wood Magazine