Super Sled with Zero Clearance Inserts

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Project by NickyP posted 09-13-2014 03:08 PM 4973 views 20 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a small sled for small parts so I felt it was time to make a full size one. I wanted to incorporate allot into this sled so I started with having a good way to measure repeatable cuts without making the sled itself too big. I just slightly off-centered where the blade goes on the sled in order to put a stop block to the left of the blade that would go to 18”. To get the most out of this aspect of the sled I made a 1” thick block for the table saw fence and can cut anything up to 35” by just adding an inch to my table saw fence measurement on the right side of the blade.

I rounded over for the places where your hands go on the back fence, staining it with a gun stock stain and finished the handles with 2 coats of wipe on gloss poly. I used the “bolt down” method for the back fence of the sled as I find this the most accurate way of finding 90 degrees to the blade. I put a 3” wide zero clearance insert made from hardboard that can be unscrewed and slipped out of it’s space to accommodate straight cuts, 45 degree cuts, and various size dado cuts (1/4, 3/8, 1/2, & 3/4 inch) all with their own insert. I finished the sled off with miter fences that include stop blocks.

All hardware was purchased last year during a really good super sale Rockler was having while I got the nuts and bolts for the fence at the big box store and the rest was made from scrap material in the shop. A few other pictures:

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

11 comments so far

View SissyCassie's profile


26 posts in 3045 days

#1 posted 09-13-2014 04:02 PM

Hi Nicky P,
I’m always impressed with the quality of your work. I love that you use a lot of scrap material, too. Great job!

View gsimon's profile


1334 posts in 3454 days

#2 posted 09-13-2014 06:22 PM

really nice sled! – i want one!

-- Greg Simon

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4316 days

#3 posted 09-14-2014 03:37 AM

Very nice looking CC sled and that is a good design,should be very useful on the TS !

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View joshuam39's profile


62 posts in 2723 days

#4 posted 09-14-2014 06:35 AM

I love it! I thought about doing a similar design, but I don’t think I could make it fit on my saw. I have a Bosch 4100, and will probably have to do a crooscut and a miter sled separate. Just not enough room on the table top.

-- Let's go Pens!

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4008 days

#5 posted 09-14-2014 02:15 PM

You will enjoy that sled and the results that you will get to no end .
One of the best accessories for the table saw .
Nice job .


-- Kiefer

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2885 days

#6 posted 09-14-2014 02:28 PM

Man that is a work of art! Beautiful!!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

583 posts in 3719 days

#7 posted 09-14-2014 04:01 PM

Very nice sled. I have a few questions about the ZCI.

1) looks like the base is 1/2” ply. When changing inserts are you not worried about eventually making the screw holes so large that they no longer hold the insert?
2) if you screw into new holes each time you change, eventually you will run out of holes (if you answered this way to #1). What then?
3) do you slide he insert out of the front fence and new one in the same way? Are the inserts 1/8” hardboard?
4) it looks like the insert is a tad lower than the fence when looking at pic 4. Is it flush with the top and if not are you worried about that?

Apologize for all the questions but I’ve been contemplating making a sled with ZCIs for quite a while now and these are the things that I haven’t been able to figure out good answers for.

-- Matt, Arizona

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 3064 days

#8 posted 09-14-2014 05:32 PM

Thanks for all the questions Matt.

1 & 2) when a screw hole wears out I’ll move a half inch to a untouched spot with screw holes for new inserts.

3 & 4) I made a good dado . . . hardboard is flush and slides easily through slot in either direction.

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

583 posts in 3719 days

#9 posted 09-15-2014 03:49 PM

Thanks for the answers NickyP, kind of along the lines what I thought. I’m still contemplating a different way to hold down the inserts rather than screws though. I’ve thought about using threaded inserts but not sure if those would A) hold well in that thin of ply and B) screws small enough to go through the hardboard and recessing while still having holddown power in the inserts.

-- Matt, Arizona

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3723 days

#10 posted 09-17-2014 03:30 AM

Really great sled. Great work, well done.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View geekwoodworker's profile


378 posts in 2801 days

#11 posted 09-21-2014 11:38 AM

This is the limousine of sleds. My big sled is nothing to this. Nice job.

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