New Crosscut Sled

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Blog entry by MrWhite posted 12-10-2012 09:18 AM 6474 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After reading a few articles and watching a few videos that had one, I decided to build a crosscut sled for my table saw. I looked at a bunch of designs but eventually came up with my own.

Here’s what I built:

I used ¾” birch ply for the base, doug fir for the front and back rails, and red oak for the sled runners. I found a 2×8x20’ at the local hardware place that had some very nice tight grain. Most construction lumber has really wide growth rings but this one board, out of the whole stack, looked great. I bought it and put it aside for shop projects like this. I flattened the pieces on my jointer to improve the sled’s accuracy.

I made runners to fit my tabletop miter slots out of red oak and affixed them with glue and screws.

I rabbeted both of the rails to accept the ¾” ply, but set the rabbets just a little shallow to ensure that the ply makes contact with the saw table and not the rail. This also hides the end grain of the plywood. I put some iron on birch edging on the sides.

I did not attempt to square up the rear rail, just applied some glue and screws.

For the front rail, I started on the left side and used about a .020 feeler gage to space the rabbet away from the ply.

I then squared the front rail to the blade and installed the rest of the screws. This left a bigger gap on the right side that the left, but it is exactly square, and that is the goal after all. I used no glue on the front rail.

I used Watco Danish Oil for a finish. I sanded to 220 and then applied 2 coats allowing 3 days for each to dry. I then applied a third coat with 400 grit sandpaper. I had never used Danish oil before so took this opportunity to try it out. Man… I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before. After sanding in the 3rd coat this thing feels like glass. I applied the oil to both top and bottom, but not the oak runners. Once everything had cured, I put a coat of Minwax finishing wax on the bottom and runners. The sled slides beautifully.

I realize that most of this was serious overkill, but I have decided that from now on I’m going to treat every project (even shop ones) and a learning opportunity and do them to the best of my ability. If that means it takes longer, so be it. For me, it’s a hobby, not a business.

All in all, I had fun building it. It was the first time I used a band saw or Danish Oil. I’m very happy with both.


11 comments so far

View MrWhite's profile


15 posts in 2574 days

#1 posted 12-10-2012 09:27 AM

On a seperate note, does anyone know why the right side of all of my pictures are being cut off? The vertical format ones are displaying correctly, but the horizontal ones are all cropped on the right side. Is there a maximum size?


View ajosephg's profile


1881 posts in 4119 days

#2 posted 12-10-2012 10:16 AM

Nice job on the sled.

I’m no computer guru, but I size all my photos to 300 dpi before uploading and have no problem with them getting cropped.

-- Joe

View DIYaholic's profile


19883 posts in 3233 days

#3 posted 12-10-2012 12:16 PM

Yes, the “cropping” is an image size thing. I don’t know the max allowed, though.

Back to your sled. Nicely done. Looks to be quite functional. The finish looks great.

Just one thing though, you should consider a blade gaurd/cover for where the blade exits the front fence. Don’t want to see digits accidently removed or any DNA splatters all over theat beautiful Danish Oil finish!!!

-- 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 jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3442 days

#4 posted 12-10-2012 01:25 PM

That is one nice sled – I like the details

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2612 days

#5 posted 12-10-2012 04:44 PM


-- Joel

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 05:02 PM

This a very cool looking sled I think the idea of rabbiting the front and back adds some extra strength to the sled.
I agree with DIY’s idea about a block where the blade exits would make it much safer,another detail that I think looks very cool is the ogee detail across the top of both cross supports ,but I can’t help but wonder if that will eliminate clamping space if you wish to clamp stop blocks to the cross support nearest you. Please excuse the critique of you fine looking cross cut sled.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3043 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 05:23 PM

For any photos that I embed here on LJ’s , I resize them to 640×480. That prevents the right side being cut off. Very, very nice sled, by the way.

-- Brian Timmons -

View MrWhite's profile


15 posts in 2574 days

#8 posted 12-10-2012 08:53 PM

Ok. I re-sized all of the images to no wider than 600 pixels and they now fit the screen.


View MrWhite's profile


15 posts in 2574 days

#9 posted 12-10-2012 09:00 PM

Thanks all for the comments/critiques. Constructive criticisms are always welcome. That’s why we put our projects on here, no?

a1Jim, I agree that the curve at the far ends of the front rail means that I probably wont be able to clamp on the last inch-and-a-half, but the rest of the front rail is tall enough that I can clamp anywhere else.

The biggest problem that I think I will have with it, is where to store it! This thing is huge!


View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3425 days

#10 posted 12-10-2012 09:30 PM

Wow! that’s pretty fancy. Looks like it would be a good one to me.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4135 days

#11 posted 12-10-2012 10:01 PM

That’s the same problem with my sled it’s even heavier. I have holes on each side of the plywood and hang it with two deck screw

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