Idea Shop 6, Paycheck 13: Get the Sled Out
Because the tablesaw serves such a central role in a woodshop, you'll continue building accessories that improve your results with that essential tool. For about $50, pick up a half-sheet of 3⁄4 " plywood (we used birch) or MDO and a 1x6x72" board of maple, oak, or other hardwood. You'll make several jigs from these materials during the next several weeks.
First, following this free plan, build a crosscut sled that rides in the miter-gauge slot and provides a far more stable platform for crosscuts than the narrow face of a miter gauge. Its long fence and wide base steady long and/or wide workpieces for absolute accuracy. The sled also allows you to carry small pieces past the blade while keeping your fingers well away from the blade. Clamping a stopblock to the fence makes it easy to cut numerous pieces of identical length. The fence and platform back up the workpiece, preventing chip-out. While the platform does reduce maximum cutting depth, that's a concern only on pieces more than 2 1⁄4 " thick.
Sock away the bulk of this check to continue building savings for the purchase of workbench materials in a few weeks. With Paycheck 14, you'll build another useful tablesaw jig.