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Cross-cut sled with hold-downs

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Project by Ryan Sandler posted 10-20-2021 12:16 AM 903 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a small cross cut sled some ago, which was a huge improvement over the miter gauge, but increasingly I was finding it insufficient. Aside from capacity issues, the inability to hold things steady would drive me nuts. Sure, relatively thick stock could be clamped to the fence, but the amount of time I wasted trying to square up 1/2” stock that wouldn’t quite stay still enough for a straight cut…

This design came about from googling “cross cut sled with clamps”, which led me to this video on YouTube, which I mostly followed in the building. It has hold-downs in a T-track, a flip stop in another t-track on the fence, and measuring tapes for the flip stop. Compared to the video, I modified the back fence to make it a bit bigger and beefier while still allowing me to remove the hold-downs if I want, and added the handhold to the fence, which doubles as a nice way to hang it up.

All built out of birch plywood, though part of the main fence and the base are cheap plywood from the big orange store that I later determined just has birch veneer and some other wood inside, while the rest is nicer baltic birch plywood that’s all birch. Sled is 48” long, holds about 18” wide stock.

Only thing I might change is to either paint the handhold in the middle, reattach it more centered, or both, as the opening is currently rather close to the blade on the left side. If I were to put my left hand all the way up to the divider and stuck my thumb out while cutting, it could get ugly. Not the most natural way to hold the thing, but better to make it idiot-proof.





11 comments so far

View Eric's profile

Eric

2261 posts in 1155 days


#1 posted 10-20-2021 01:05 AM

Thanks for sharing, I have been looking to build a sled myself, along with a few other jigs to use on the table saw. You have some good ideas there in the build.

-- Eric, building the dream

View pottz's profile

pottz

21285 posts in 2266 days


#2 posted 10-20-2021 02:13 AM

thats a real nice sled,i have some but rarely use em,with a RAS i really dont need em.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

9396 posts in 3548 days


#3 posted 10-20-2021 04:43 AM

That’s something on my to do list. If only I could fine the time!

View gdaveg's profile

gdaveg

391 posts in 484 days


#4 posted 10-20-2021 01:29 PM

Nice sled, beat the heck out of a mitre gage. The hold downs would be handy. I jury rigged a hold down for cutting long boards (37” & 58”) on my two latest projects. Could have used those.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View jkm312's profile

jkm312

113 posts in 685 days


#5 posted 10-20-2021 04:39 PM

The “handles” on the back side caught my eye. I’ve not seen a design like this. I get what you are talking about with an errant thumb. I would add a solid block of wood from the bottom of the handle all the way to the table top extending past the handle. That way the blade is covered a little more as it exits the cut. Or raise the handle above the highest arc of the blade.

View Ryan Sandler's profile

Ryan Sandler

45 posts in 1737 days


#6 posted 10-20-2021 07:33 PM



The “handles” on the back side caught my eye. I ve not seen a design like this. I get what you are talking about with an errant thumb. I would add a solid block of wood from the bottom of the handle all the way to the table top extending past the handle. That way the blade is covered a little more as it exits the cut. Or raise the handle above the highest arc of the blade.

- jkm312

Yeah, or all of the above, maybe. The idea of the handholds, besides comfortable grip, was to force me to keep my hands well away from the blade, since the hold-downs will take care of securing the stock. I haven’t used the sled since finishing it and taking the pictures, but just thinking about the errant thumb potential has been giving me the heeby-jeebies. Center it, raise it, mark it, and put a block under it.

Maybe I’ll make a whole new one with the center portion a bit wider—in hindsight, I should have aimed for the middle bit to be wide and the hand slots to be smaller, and just shoulder-width apart. This was just a cheap piece of softwood that was sitting around my shop, so no great loss if I trash it.

View htl's profile

htl

5597 posts in 2441 days


#7 posted 10-21-2021 03:12 PM

Nicely done!!! Be sure to seal it from moisture, top and bottom, don’t ask how I know this. ;-[

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs https://www.lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/130264

View Eric's profile

Eric

2261 posts in 1155 days


#8 posted 10-21-2021 11:27 PM

That is a good thought to seal. I recently finished the Keepsake Box, which sat untouched before putting the finish on. Well it took on a little moisture and the top was a tad tight. After bringing in the house it did loosen up, thankfully.

-- Eric, building the dream

View NormG's profile

NormG

6574 posts in 4286 days


#9 posted 10-26-2021 01:08 AM

Such a very useful jig, thank you for sharing this with us from Henrico County Virginia

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile

WistysWoodWorkingWonders

12854 posts in 4439 days


#10 posted 11-02-2021 10:50 PM

Very nice cross cut sled!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Woodforbrains's profile

Woodforbrains

61 posts in 24 days


#11 posted 11-08-2021 08:09 PM

Really nice sled! I love how the birch plywood looks.

I was wondering, is it better to use MDF for the base, since it is very flat?

I am planning to make a sled, and I would rather use birch for the base because of the strength, but was wondering if there is potential for warping or some other drawback.

-- Go team!

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