A few Table Saw sleds to look at #2: The Rockler sled.

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Blog entry by therealSteveN posted 02-28-2021 03:52 AM 1057 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Double Dubby, Rockler, and Incra sleds Part 2 of A few Table Saw sleds to look at series no next part

A while ago I started this look at 3 different premade sleds that I found myself with. The link for the beginning is found here.

I mentioned then I had built the Rockler sled first, and today I am putting in some detail about it. I didn’t photograph the build itself, it’s been done on You tube. I will say it was a very easy assembly, clear instructions, and the parts all went in without issue.

What I did was use the sled for some basic cuts, first of which was just a basic crosscut. I did several pieces. What I was using is some scrap WRCedar I had left over from a barn build. Typically it’s much rougher than prepped hardwood, and always seems to finish with some fuzz. I was using a pretty new WWII for all the cuts, and even still it roughed up the edges a bit. I was just making cuts, I didn’t spend any time on cleaning them up, sanding or joining the boards in any way.

Basic crosscut below, nice and square when set at 90. I did 4 cuts, all were the same, nice and tight at 90.

Next I did a crosscut, and rejoined the boards. Here I had trouble taking a pic with my cell phone. I want to point out I am not a camera person, so I need both hands on the phone to hold it still, and push the button. Consequently every pic looked like there was a gap, or a NON tight fit. This wasn’t the case, it was just the rough end grain, and fuzz that would keep the 2 parts away from each other just a spec. If I held the boards so they couldn’t separate, the gap was gone. Note though that the split is very even in width.

The funny thing was as I flipped one piece of the cut, and joined them, they stayed together like they were glued. I think what I had was the fuzzy grain, was now going 2 different directions, and I more or less made wooden velcro. Pics are below. One surface is painted, so it’s easy to see same side, versus flipped side.

After that I cut several 45’s seeing as that is a steeper cut, and also one done more than most others. Rockler does not provide any type of sandpaper, or “grit” to use on the fences face to help stop pieces from creeping as you make miter cuts. It wouldn’t take much to get some sanding belt material, and spray adhere it to the fence. I would suggest it for crisper cuts.

I did several cuts, but again got a lot of pics that all looked alike, pretty tight 45’s. Below are a few. With these the painted sides looked tighter than the smooth unpainted sides, yet with slight hand pressure I could easily match them tightly, and any gaps were consistent. If I were using this WRC for a picture frame, I would certainly use a hand plane and a shooting board to clean up the saw cuts. I didn’t want to cheat the test, so I didn’t do anything to improve the cuts. So if all 3 of the sleds are the same, well not sure yet, we will see.

A pic below of the sled, and the optional cut off side table. The side table has a locking nut at the end closest to you, so that you can lock it into place. Having it move around during the cut would take your attention from the cut, so the lock is a great feature for cheap, it’s already on there. You can see it in this pic.

It isn’t even a Rockler part, and you could easily do the same with a chunk of wood, and a c clamp. I had a few of Kreg’s T Track mounted “swing stop” so I threw one on, because I think a sled needs a stop, or you loose a lot of the reason to use one. With a set stop, you can cut one, or a thousand pieces, and provided the stop is set they are going to be the same length, or very close to it. I have had good luck with Kreg’s swing stop, and like them, because they stay there, just out of the way when not needed. see pics.

Stop mounted, and up out of the way.

Set down.

Set behind the fence, and clear of the tabletop.

That’s it for the Rockler sled. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the way this worked out. I have seen woodworking jigs that were not this accurate, some of them were from Rockler. Too early to say yet if it’s a winner, but if a person was looking to buy a sled, and with Rockler you know they are going to have sales. This could end up being a good buy.

As I can, I’ll get to the other 2 sleds. Let me know if you have a preference as to which of the other 2 you want to see next.

-- Think safe, be safe

6 comments so far

View 18wheelznwood's profile


130 posts in 85 days

#1 posted 02-28-2021 06:50 AM

Might try to make a mitered frame with it to test it’s true accuracy. Single cuts look good, but put 4 of them together and that seems like a better way to test accuracy. I’ve seen people cut octagonal frames to test accuracy.

View gdaveg's profile


107 posts in 257 days

#2 posted 02-28-2021 03:02 PM

Real Steve N: I will follow your blog. I love sleds having access to them for the last 3 plus years. Yes 4 sides are a true test of accuracy. Also wide frames also point out accuracy issues.

I am currently building a miter sled based on William Ng’s YouTube video. This sled is only for 45 degree cuts and does not have the flexibility of the Rockler sled.

Here is the YouTube link:

Got it sort of dialed in yesterday, but the test pieces on each side did not have the same error correction number. Close but not exact. Hopefully today I can make a test frame out of 1×4 select pine. Hopefully I am satisfied with these joints.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA

View therealSteveN's profile


7493 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 02-28-2021 07:23 PM

Hi guys thanks for the comments. I’ve always looked at doing the other 3 corners as just a measure of how accurately you can measure between 2, and then 4 corners, if the corners are tight.

I hoped to use up my scrap from the WRC I had, so I’ll keep that to use on the other 2 sleds to come up. I’ll get something else to use for making up some picture frames.

Dave, best of luck on the sled build, William’s videos are the benchmark for an accurate sled.

-- Think safe, be safe

View gdaveg's profile


107 posts in 257 days

#4 posted 03-01-2021 03:01 AM

Real Steve N:

You really hit the jackpot with the three sleds. I had been looking at them since I was having trouble with my William Ng sled. The thought of buying a pre-made sled to cut the mitres was in the back of my mind. Runners too tight for my liking, other issues, etc. Worked through the issues and the sled will be operational tomorrow, almost a year in the making. Darn Covid.

Today I cut a 24×24 frame with 3.25” wide frame pieces. Corners were very good. I am happy.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA

View therealSteveN's profile


7493 posts in 1629 days

#5 posted 03-01-2021 07:45 PM

Good to hear it’s working out. I ended up with the 3, and it was a whim to do the comparo. I have always built sleds.

The only problem with either home made, or store bought is you are constantly pushing and pulling on that back fence, and after a while it’s not as spot on as it was, A little later they start to become even less accurate. Kind of a fact about wooden, MDF, plywood, particle board jigs and tools. They don’t last like metal tools, and machines. Heck, even some of the metal ones tear up with use.

-- Think safe, be safe

#6 posted 03-03-2021 02:10 AM

Great idea.

-- Tree Services, Gergia,

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