Evolution of a Shop #28: New Cross Cut Sled

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Blog entry by Cory posted 02-29-2012 02:57 PM 10203 reads 12 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: New drum sander Part 28 of Evolution of a Shop series Part 29: New bandsaw and drum sander modification »

There have been a few cross cut sleds posted recently and it motivated me to replace mine. The original was a little small and a little heavy. My max capacity was about 14”. I used maple and cherry for the fences, which looked nice, but weighed too much. A few other lessons learned gave way to Version 2.0:

Overall size is 24” x 36”, quite a bit larger than my previous sled. Capacity on this sled is 21”. Base is 1/2” birch ply.

The rear fence features sliding replaceable faces. I had a lot of tear out on my previous sled, this should solve that. It’s made from poplar and 1/2” MDF for the faces. Thick and stable, but a lot lighter than the maple and cherry. The movable faces have a chamfer along the bottom. This allows dust to gather there, rather than on the face (thanks, Woodwhisperer!).

I considered making a super-sled-like handle to go over the blade exit area, but I never like my hands over a blade, even if they’re well above it. The old sled had a large block of hardwood. On this one it’s a smaller piece of poplar. Enough to keep my thumbs from sliding into the exit area.

My previous sled had home-made runners. On this one I bought miter bars from Rockler. The fit is perfect, they’ll never wear out, and I can easily re-use them on Version 3.0!

I mounted t-track to the face of the rear fence. This makes it easy for stop blocks or other attachments. On my previous sled I would clamp a piece of wood to the fence, this is quicker and locks down tight with no slipping.

To attach the rear fence I used oversize holes and bolts. It was extremely easy to square it up and make adjustments. After I dialed it in with the 5 cut method, I used 4 additional screws to lock it down.

Overall I’m really pleased with this version. I’m sure I’ll learn some more lessons from this one and be ready for Version 3.0 in another couple of years.

Thanks for looking.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

5 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8648 posts in 4662 days

#1 posted 02-29-2012 03:07 PM

looks good. I kinda liked the idea you have already accepted the fact there will be a version 3 :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1124 posts in 3326 days

#2 posted 02-29-2012 03:33 PM

Nice one! It’s now on my “To Do” list.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3688 days

#3 posted 02-29-2012 04:45 PM

Looks like it will serve you well, atleast long enough for V 3.0 to be released!!!

On my infinetly looooooooooooooong To – Do list!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3818 days

#4 posted 02-29-2012 04:52 PM

oh yea… very nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 3341 days

#5 posted 03-01-2012 02:33 AM

Nice work, a new sled is on my list

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