4-in-1 Box Sled...Minus One

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Project by Lenny posted 05-31-2013 09:58 PM 6097 views 51 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello Fellow Jocks! It is with great pleasure that I post my first project since my table saw injury last August. I am officially back in the shop making sawdust. Actually, I am in the process of making gifts for several of my caretakers and have completed some but not others. I will post one or more of them once they are all done. During my down time, I read a lot of woodworking related material. I bought a copy of Woodsmith’s, “The Ultimate Table Saw Handbook” and saw this sled, front and center, on the cover. I have yet to make a box that includes splines so I decided I would make this project. The authors refer to it as a 4-in-1 Box-Building Sled. The four functions are: 90 degree cuts, 45 degree cuts, a jig for spline-making and a jig for box joints. Since I use my Incra LS Positioner for box joints, I opted to eliminate that jig, rendering my version a 3-in-1 sled.

The base (24” by 14”) is made from ½” Baltic Birch. The authors sandwiched theirs between plastic laminate but I didn’t see a need for that. I purchased a commercial miter bar called a miter slider (Incra, I think). It is adjustable so you get a snug fit. I used quartersawn douglas fir for the front fence (closest to operator) as it will tend to stay stable and hard maple for the rear fence. A slight chamfer at the inside bottom of the fences will help prevent dust/chips buildup. They suggested a fence track that costs about $32. I got another version on sale at Woodcraft for about $11. The track is used for a moveable stop to make repeatable cuts and also to hold down the spline jig.

The sled is placed in the left miter slot to cut the 90 degree kerf and in the right slot for the 45 degree kerf. The left miter slot is also used when cutting splines. One thing Woodsmith missed on this build is a safety feature at the spot where the blade exits the sled. I added a beefy block at both kerfs. I might also add a Plexiglas shield front to back when making the 90 and 45 degree cuts.

The spline-cutting jig provides an angled bed for holding the box but it also has an indexing system that allows for slots in precise increments. There is a fixed portion that gets clamped to the sled with two knobs via a mounting cleat at the rear of the jig. A ¼” index pin sits dead center of the fixed angled bed and you simply move the adjustable assembly over in ¼” increments to the spot you desire. The adjustable assembly has a cleat that registers the box square to the blade. Should you need something other than the ¼” increments, you use a spacer between the box and the cleat. Lastly, there is a length of t-track along the adjustable assembly to add a hold down to secure the box.

There are certainly simpler spline jigs out there and I haven’t even tried this out yet but, I think it will be a handy and effective box-making sled/spline cutter. Thanks for stopping by.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

34 comments so far

View David's profile


80 posts in 3315 days

#1 posted 05-31-2013 10:17 PM

Looks great!
Wonderful to hear your back in the shop. Keep up the good work

-- "A man that works with his hands, knows his soul" " Have Fun, Go Fast, and Take Chances for Christ's Sake!!"

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5365 days

#2 posted 05-31-2013 10:19 PM

I read the first two paragraphs and just had to stop and SAY AWESOME DUDE…super happy for you…now I am going to go back and read the rest.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5365 days

#3 posted 05-31-2013 10:23 PM

Okay…first observation…you know what is cool about this post—-after about the first 6 lines the rest is all about WOODWORKING…that says more then anything else about your recovery…

Continued recovery and I cant think of how getting in the shop will slow that down any! Congratulations and GREAT WOODWORKING post…(not to say that the last year has been absent of woodworking—-in fact the details of your journey to recovery and willingness to share are just as important to all woodworkers—-but you know what I mean!).

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View littlecope's profile


3133 posts in 4790 days

#4 posted 05-31-2013 10:24 PM

Nice one Lenny, it looks like it does it all!
Great to hear that you’re back in the shop again too!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4591 days

#5 posted 05-31-2013 10:34 PM

wow lenny, you have built a cadillac of a sled, mine does not touch it, i actually had thought of the sliding stop block a couple of days after i did it, i was thinking how could i improve it…and here you go doing it, its a jim dandy…you must be eating lots of chicken cordon bleu to come up with a sled like this, i better change my diet…lol..[ inside joke folks]
great sled lenny…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

140 posts in 4392 days

#6 posted 05-31-2013 10:50 PM

Nice looking dedicated sled you have there, good job! After reading the right up I checked your BIO on your home page, and I noticed you have a PM tablesaw but a Sawstop in the right up. Did you change saws in between? Guaranteed I would not be aloud to resume woodworking without switching saws after having a tablebsaw accident. Maybe thats why \SWMBO told me 3years ago when I upgraded mine, “only if its a Sawstop”!! Great work keep it up.


View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4720 days

#7 posted 05-31-2013 10:55 PM

Glad to see you back in the saddle again, so to speak!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4331 days

#8 posted 05-31-2013 10:56 PM

Hey Lenny: Glad to see your back in the shop. What a trip! Hope you are doing well. Things are great here in Colorado as I have just retired. So plan to spend a lot more time in the shop. Really like this sled idea and will have to put it on the project list. Keep us posted as to how you like it.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3773 days

#9 posted 05-31-2013 11:33 PM

Wow. It’s like the Swiss Army Tablesaw Jig, it does it all!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Lenny's profile


1723 posts in 4815 days

#10 posted 05-31-2013 11:46 PM

Thanks for the kind words of support and comments on the sled. Grizz I had it wrong that night, it was actually a Chicken Parmesan dish. No matter, it was pretty tasty. Paul, you are right on target. I sold the Powermatic and got the Sawstop. And like you, I had strong “encouragement” from my wife [Translation: Sawstop or nothing.]

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5170 days

#11 posted 05-31-2013 11:56 PM

Yea Lenny. Good to know you are back.
Love the slider. I really like the reversing aspect with 90 and 45 degree slots. Neat.

I also just retired, so now to do something useful with my life :)

Take care buddy,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kdc68's profile


3017 posts in 3564 days

#12 posted 06-01-2013 12:00 AM

Thanks for the info….I will have to order that Ultimate Table Saw Handbook….Welcome back to woodworking!

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 4274 days

#13 posted 06-01-2013 12:50 AM

Welcome back to the shop Lennie! I can see you’ve got your Saw Stop up and running and your new jig ready to roll. I need to get the dust off my LS positioner and learn how to use it properly. Where did you get the plan for your former box jig?

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4961 days

#14 posted 06-01-2013 01:00 AM

Nice jig.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4591 days

#15 posted 06-01-2013 01:59 AM

with so many new retired ones in here, i think a summer trip is in order, who has the big motor home, i say we will load up and hit every wood store and independent sawmill there is, we will also need a very large trailer , so who can sign up…or are the apron strings tied pretty tight…….......but would it be fun….i get the bottom bunk…bathroom issues…lol…....not really….....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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