Small Parts Crosscut Sled

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Project by Matt (MWA Woodworks) posted 01-14-2014 04:38 AM 4252 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While this isn’t my first woodworking project, it is the first project I have completed since joining LJ, so I thought it would be great to post it as my first LJ project.

I decided I needed a smaller crosscut sled as an alternative to my primary crosscut sled which has much more real estate, but is a pain to have to get out and use when I need to cut pieces that are only a few inches long or thick.

I also wanted to try and ensure a more accurate cut by using more stout ply (my larger sled is 1/2” ply) and using a hardwood reference surface on the back rail.

The sled base is made out of 3/4” birch ply with a total width of about 22” and 16” of space between the front and back rails. It is trimmed out in 1/4” red oak to protect the edges of the sled from bumps.

The front fence is done the same way.

The back fence has a core made of two 3/4” ply strips glued together. I then added a 3/4” piece of red oak to the top and rounded over the edges for a more comfortable grip. I cut a grove out for an Incra t-track on the top (for future accessories) and also created a homemade t-slot on the front of the fence by adding a piece of 1/4” red oak.

The runners and blade guard are also red oak and are able to be replaced if they get worn out or if I change saws and the miter slots require a different width on the runners.

I finished the top surface and rails of the sled with 3 coats of shellac. I find it easier to move stops and work pieces across the smooth surface of the sled and rail and it’s easier to clean up the dust that gets on the sled.

A couple coats of paste wax on the bottom and its time to cut some wood!

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

12 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3745 days

#1 posted 01-14-2014 05:17 AM

Nice design.

It’s a good idea to have a smaller sled foe smaller pieces. Definitely easier to move around.

Well done!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3097 days

#2 posted 01-14-2014 05:57 AM

Looks good!

-- John, BC, Canada

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4388 days

#3 posted 01-14-2014 06:02 AM

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3832 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 06:08 AM

Very nice looking sled. Great size as well. One question. Looking at the pictures it looks to me you have made the cut all the way through except for the stop block…are my eyes seeing something that’s not there?

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3913 days

#5 posted 01-14-2014 07:08 AM

Big sleds can be a hassle. I like these smaller ones. More likely to get used.

It is trimmed out in 1/4” red oak
Like those added touches…..................

-- mike...............

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2424 days

#6 posted 01-14-2014 12:40 PM

Larry, I think you’re talking about the blade guard? Yes, I cut all the way through the sled except for the blade guard.

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2424 days

#7 posted 01-14-2014 12:41 PM

Mike, the red oak trim was a late addition. I had some scrap and decided to put it to use protecting the parts of the sled that take abuse from things other than the blade.

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 3786 days

#8 posted 01-14-2014 02:04 PM

Matt, it looks like you have put together a well constructed TS sled, and I am sure you will make good use of it. I have several different sleds and love what they offer in way of safety and performance when done right. One feature I have really found to be a good addition on sleds is incorporating a length of plexiglass(LEXON) to ride above the blades path especially when cutting smaller sized material. I tend to bend over the sled to watch the cut only to have the sawdust and chips coming off the blade directly at my face and eyes. Bridging the two rails with the shield has been one of the best add-ons that I have done and it is a cheap/ easy safety feature that works well IMO. Just thinking out loud and once again nice MINI sled, thanks for sharing!

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

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2424 days

#9 posted 01-14-2014 02:44 PM

Rob, I have seen plexi shields on a few sleds. I think that’s a great idea.

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3832 days

#10 posted 01-14-2014 07:01 PM

Yes Matt I did mean the blade guard.. So as I understand it, the front and back rails are what hold the two “table” pieces together..correct? I have made sleds in the past, but have not cut the table piece all the way through from front to back…Depending on the size, I start my cut about 8” – 12” from the front rail all the way back past the blade guard piece. Very interesting. Perhaps I have been doing it wrong all this time.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2424 days

#11 posted 01-14-2014 07:30 PM

you will almost always cut into the back fence (thus the need for the blade guard) and with smaller sleds, you can begin the cut with the sled IN FRONT of the saw blade, allowing you to use more of the real estate on the sled for your work piece.

I would be able to cut stock up to 16” wide if needed, so long as the stock was no more than say 3/4” thick. Normally I wouldnt use a sled this small for that kind of work, but I like having the capability to do it.

You dont want the blade raised up too high when executing that cut because you dont want to risk cutting through too much of the front fence.

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3615 days

#12 posted 02-17-2014 11:58 AM

A really nice and needed crosscut sled. These are a gr8 addition to a table saw.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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