Bevel Sled

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Project by Mark Whitsitt posted 01-18-2011 06:01 AM 15893 views 98 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, it seems like all I’m posting is jigs and fixtures… that’ll change soon!

This one is a bevel sled that I made specifically for the next project I'm going to post. I didn’t want to have to keep changing the bevel of my table saw blade back and forth, so I decided to make a jig that would give me good 45 deg bevels with a vertical blade.

You can see the design in the pictures, which is pretty straight forward; here’s what I found are the keys to the jig:

1. Use 1/4” or 1/2” material for the base of the sled. 3/4” plywood took up too much blade for thicker work pieces.

2. make the platens as close to 45 deg to the blade as possible, but more importantly, make them exactly 90 deg to each other. If you cut all the right side workpiece bevels on the right side of the sled, and all the left side workpiece bevels on the left side of the sled, you’ll have a perfect bevel/miter joint, even if the blade is slightly off vertical. I mark all the corners of the workpieces with an R or an L so I know what I’m going to do.

3. My first version didn’t have the clamps on the faces of the platens and I tried to use F-clamps to hold the workpiece to the jig… not good enough… but you absolutely MUST clamp the workpiece to the platens to keep it from falling into the blade as you push it past the blade. That will severely screw up your bevel matching!

4. You have to cut the bevels with the workpiece FACE DOWN! This caused a little difficulty in my next project posting about golden boxes.

5. You’ll have to experiment a little bit, but I have to cut the workpiece blanks (unbeveled) about 3/16 long to account for the kerf created by the blade if I’m trying to make something to a specific dimension. Otherwise, as long as you’re cutting all your sides with the same jig, and you don’t care what the exact final dimension is, just cut the opposite sides of your box to the same rough length and you’ll have a systematic difference that will allow them all to line up perfectly.

Other bits: I’m using shop-made QSRO runners in both miter tracks; I use the opposite platen and a back fence to register the workpiece with the blade, and took a little work to get the fences satisfactorily perpendicular to the blade.

My next project post has examples of work created using this jig, as well as my Golden ratio dividers.

God bless!

-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

18 comments so far

View Tom Goodman's profile

Tom Goodman

198 posts in 5139 days

#1 posted 01-18-2011 06:23 AM

Well done ! I think I’ll make myself one too. Thanks for posting.

-- - " If you want square work, You don't cut corners. " - -- Tom Goodman, Santa Maria, CA. [email protected]

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4368 days

#2 posted 01-18-2011 06:30 AM

Hey Mark,
Nice neat strong job…well done.

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 3820 days

#3 posted 01-18-2011 06:38 AM

Cool. This is the kind of stuff I like to see on LJ. I am really into jigs and making them. I like this. Thanks for posting this cool jig.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View FreddyS's profile


212 posts in 3781 days

#4 posted 01-18-2011 06:55 AM

Nice jig Mark!

I Was building one, but only one side of it… reading your comments I’ll go for the whole thing now.

One question, are the 45 deg boards on the sled glued together before passing the blade thru?(to make them true 90 deg) I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do this part.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Learning one thing at a time

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 4274 days

#5 posted 01-18-2011 07:04 AM

i built one a few weeks ago but only did one side, mine was just something i threw together but it works. i attached mine to the miter gauge. i really like your idea i might have to make a nicer one someday

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3986 days

#6 posted 01-18-2011 07:21 AM

Great question, Freddy… I struggled with that too.

what I ended up doing was, cutting 45 deg bevels on the platens and then placing the boards BEVEL DOWN on the sled base. First, I cut a kerf in the base so I could see the blade, but I didn’t cut it all the way through the base. The sides were clamped together at 90 degrees and placed on the base on the center of the blade line parallel to the blade. I then ran the sled through the blade to create the kerf.

The reason I put them bevel down is that the 3/4” (actually more) thickness of the sides wasted too much of my saw blade. That is, I had to raise my blade too high, and that really limited the thickness of the workpiece I could use.

Looking at Mike’s picture, I would have just flipped the board over so the cut bevel was flush with the table top.


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View dlgWoodWork's profile


160 posts in 4761 days

#7 posted 01-18-2011 07:37 AM

Have you had any problems with the cutoff pieces bouncing around on the blade? I see that you clamp the workpiece, but what about the part you cutoff, what happens to it?

-- Check out my projects and videos

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4071 days

#8 posted 01-18-2011 02:58 PM

Nice jig. Looks like I am going to have to make one of these. Thanks for posting.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4083 days

#9 posted 01-18-2011 03:37 PM

You know…. Just the other day I was cutting miters for a box using my old sled I built. After fighting to get my miters at a true 90 deg angle I realized I needed to do something different….

Mark, I think you may have just showed me what the “Something Different” is…..

Thanks for sharing and I plan to favorite this to come back and try my hand at one….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3986 days

#10 posted 01-18-2011 03:46 PM


Yes, the cutoff does bounce around on the blade a little, but it doesn’t seem inclined to fire back in the sled since it’s backed up by the fence. I haven’t come up with a good way prevent it entirely, though…

-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View Broglea's profile


693 posts in 4097 days

#11 posted 01-18-2011 03:56 PM

Mark – Its OK with me that you have only been posting jigs and fixtures. This jig is exactly what I need. Thanks for posting.

View happy_budah's profile


138 posts in 4805 days

#12 posted 01-18-2011 04:32 PM

nice jig! i built a similar one for my router table (not as nice though) i like to use dovetail splines in my 45 miters. After seeing yours now i need to make one to the table saw!

-- the journy of a thousand miles begins with a single step " Lou-Tzu"

View HallTree's profile


5666 posts in 4774 days

#13 posted 01-19-2011 01:59 AM

It seems like most projects require some kind of jig.
Thanks, got to make one of these.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4295 days

#14 posted 01-19-2011 02:22 AM

very cleaver design.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View NickG's profile


25 posts in 3676 days

#15 posted 02-11-2011 08:42 PM

Definitely will be making one of these soon. Thanks for the post.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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