Weekend Project - Crosscut Sled

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Project by jayman7 posted 07-12-2009 10:07 PM 3695 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally got around to building a crosscut sled for my table saw this weekend. It’s based on a Fine Woodworking article. I used quarter sawn (or close to it) red oak for the runners to minimize wood movement and attached them with 3/4” #6 wood screws. Base is approximately 24” x 20” 3/4” MDF. The rear fence is a beefy 2” thick, and 4” tall piece of poplar that was glued together (scrap piece I had laying around). It’s attached using three 5/16” diameter lag bolts fitted into T-nuts on the top. I chamfered the inside part keep a work piece seated properly with saw dust. The front fence was less important so i used a scrap piece of 2×4 attached with four screws. Waxed the bottom and runners and slides real well. The bolts made it easy to adjust it perfectly square to the blade. I might add a little block of wood on the rear part where the blade pops out so i don’t accidentally put my thumb there, but my fence is so tall and my thumb so short that it doesn’t reach there anyway.

Few things I learned:
It’s impossible for it to slide perfectly smooth after attaching the runners with screws even though they were milled perfectly. The screws makes the runners dift just enough to make it catch in the miter slot. I used to card scraper to remove the material that was catching. It leaves a dark streak that lets you know it’s catching in that particular spot. If I do it again, I might try using glue to attach the runners before using screws. Has anyone tried this method before?

And be sure to test your T-nuts before hammering them in! I used a badly threaded T-nut and stupidly forced the bolt in. Made it very difficult when I decided to replace it later.

7 comments so far

View Bullgoose's profile


61 posts in 4453 days

#1 posted 07-12-2009 10:20 PM

Looks great! You will be glad that you made it. Mine gets a lot of use!

-- When I die I want to go like my grandfather did...peaceful, in his sleep...not screaming like the passengers in his car.

View briwalkr's profile


19 posts in 4309 days

#2 posted 07-13-2009 01:29 AM

Your sled looks great. I like the through bolts running from the base through the back fence. That is a weak point on the one I built. I may have to do a little re-design when it finally fails.

As far as the runners. That was a big question mark when i was building mine. I opted to buy some of the Pinnacle steel miter slot jigs available at Woodcraft. They allowed me to drill a slightly larger hole in the base to adjust the squareness and still tighten them up enough to not move.

So far mine has worked great and is a life saver on big pieces.

-- Brian - Virginia

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4637 days

#3 posted 07-13-2009 01:54 AM

Some one commented a while back about having more sleds then Santa there a great tool I guess when I see one listed I always worry about someone getting hurt when there’s not a blade guard


View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 4492 days

#4 posted 07-13-2009 01:59 AM

What a coincidence. I made my first cross cut sled this week, too, but nothing I’m proud enough to show here. I, too, had trouble with the miter slot elements. I made mine out of wood. But had had to shave one of them down with sandpaper because they just were a little off. They still don’t slide as smoothly as I would like. But the thing works.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View panther's profile


59 posts in 4303 days

#5 posted 07-13-2009 03:58 AM


-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

View Cornductor's profile


208 posts in 3727 days

#6 posted 03-17-2011 05:04 PM

Nice looking sled its a very clean design. When I made mine I attached the miter runners with screws from the top and just counter sunk them a bit. It seems to work fine I would just like to make it slide a little smoother.

-- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 5333 days

#7 posted 03-17-2011 05:15 PM

Nice sled, well built. I really need to get busy and make me one.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

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