LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I made a crosscut sled out of 3/4" Baltic Birch Ply. It measures 28 inches front to back and 30 inches side to side with 19 inches to the left of the cut line and 11 inches to the right of the cut line. I have seen sleds with cut-outs or profiled sides which I'm assuming are to decrease the weight of the sled. Which part of the sled are these cutouts and profiles usually made on? I would like to do this to decrease the weight of my sled. No problem using it but it is a little unwieldy when I have to take it off to store it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I might use a large forstner bit to make a 10 or so holes just inside the left and right sides - you could also cut out an arc or triangle from both of the sides. Sand, round-over, or file to keep the edges clean. If you have enough space above the saw, you could also rig up a pulley or a swing arm above the saw (with considerable care), to aid lifting and lowering the sled to the table saw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,349 Posts
That's a pretty good size, I think the 28" depth is little long. Mine is 20". I use a panel cutting sled for crosscutting wider panels.

1/2" ply for the base will work and is reduces weight, and you can add 1/4" zero clearance MDF sacrificial panels to the base and fence as needed.

Its also a good idea to make a mini-sled. They are really quite useful for cutting smaller pieces!

Wood Table Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle


Table Wood Floor Flooring Engineering


Panel cutting sled:

Wood Table Rectangle Automotive exterior Plank
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That s a pretty good size, I think the 28" depth is little long. Mine is 20". I use a panel cutting sled for crosscutting wider panels.

1/2" ply for the base will work and is reduces weight, and you can add 1/4" zero clearance MDF sacrificial panels to the base and fence as needed.

Its also a good idea to make a mini-sled. They are really quite useful for cutting smaller pieces!

Wood Table Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle


Table Wood Floor Flooring Engineering


Panel cutting sled:

Wood Table Rectangle Automotive exterior Plank


- Robert
It's already made and the front and rear fences are installed. I have an outfeed table semi-permanently attached so the 28" depth hasn't been a problem. I just wanted to do some holes or angled/curved cutouts for weight reduction.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I might use a large forstner bit to make a 10 or so holes just inside the left and right sides - you could also cut out an arc or triangle from both of the sides. Sand, round-over, or file to keep the edges clean. If you have enough space above the saw, you could also rig up a pulley or a swing arm above the saw (with considerable care), to aid lifting and lowering the sled to the table saw.

- Jerroni
What's a good location for the arcs? I could make the circular holes but wonder at what point the strength gets compromised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
That is a nice Sled

Being lazy, I would probably use it as is without tweaking. And enjoy it. However, making it lighter is not a problem.

If you only use it as a sled, not a cart for carrying material, then with 3/4 ply strength is of minimal concern. (the weakest area of the design is picking it up by holding each end - the saw kerf only leaves a small area of support where the kerf pierces the fences to support the sled weight close to the highest stress zone. Ligntening the ply improves this issue by the amount of material removed. Leave a couple of inches of solid on each side of the blade kerf, and 1.5 inches or so solid solid on the outside edges. A couple of inches solid next to the fences would also be good. These solid areas by the fences are for safety in terms of stock not setting firmly. if you use a 1.25 inch forstner bit , and offset the holes, most common stock will bridge the holes easily an you should not have any handling issues if you sand as indicated.

You might consider the dust issues with your particular saw.

Beyond that, if you keep an inch of material remaining between holes, you can lighten to your heart's content through the middle field of each side. ( try to avoid the guide strips since they are already attached) All you might notice is a little racking when you pick it up in an unbalanced manner. It will be fine on the saw and slightly less prone to warpage with age and humidity changes. It will handle a little more smoothly without the weight as well.

you can test the concept with a model made of a scrap of 1/4 inch ply glued to 1×2 "fences" to ease any concerns. Even without the stiffening guide strips on the model, you will be fine.

Plenty of other ways would work fine, just different aesthetics.

I generally always overbuild. My Daddy used to tell me that more is not always better, and to consider the use before determining the material and design. After 55 years of him being right, and my designs being a bit more cumbersome and expensive than necessary, I am trying to listen a little more… not that I am really succeeding yet.. ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
That is a nice sled.

I would probably use it as it, and enjoy it. However, Making it lighter is not a problem.

If you only use it as a sled, not a cart for carrying material, then with 3/4 ply strength is of minimal concern. (the weakest area of the design is picking it up by holding each end - the saw kerf only leaves a small area of support where the kerf pierces the fences to support the sled weight close to the highest stress zone. Ligntening the ply improves this issue by the amount of material removed. Leave a couple of inches of solid on each side of the blade kerf, and 1.5 inches or so solid solid on the outside edges. A couple of inches solid next to the fences would also be good. These solid areas by the fences are for safety in terms of stock not setting firmly. if you use a 1.25 inch forstner bit , and offset the holes, most common stock will bridge the holes easily an you should not have any handling issues if you sand as indicated.

You might consider the dust issues with your particular saw.

Beyond that, if you keep an inch of material remaining between holes, you can lighten to your heart's content through the middle field of each side. ( try to avoid the guide strips since they are already attached) All you might notice is a little racking when you pick it up in an unbalanced manner. It will be fine on the saw and slightly less prone to warpage with age and humidity changes. It will handle a little more smoothly without the weight as well.

you can test the concept with a model made of a scrap of 1/4 inch ply glued to 1×2 "fences" to ease any concerns. Even without the stiffening guide strips on the model, you will be fine.

Plenty of other ways would work fine, just different aesthetics.

I generally always overbuild. My Daddy used to tell me that more is not always better, and to consider the use before determining the material and design. After 55 years of him being right, and my designs being a bit more cumbersome and expensive than necessary, I am trying to listen a little more.. ;-) Not enough though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,339 Posts
I have 4 sleds….all different sizes for different operations…...small, medium, and large projects, plus a panel sled.
One size does not fit all, so if you have the room or space to make more than one. You'll be glad you did…!!
But….I have two table saws. One is and old Craftsman and the other is a Delta X5…both have different miter slots. I use the old Craftsman to cut dados and rabbits, and two sleds for that one. That way I'm not changing the setup from one saw to the other. I keep a dado set in it all the time. The Delta X5 is used for all other cuts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
The sled I recently made is 40" x 22.5" base is 3/4" BB ply. I chose size to allow cabinet sides to be cut. It is a heavy beast. I really like the 3/4" over 1/2" for flatness.

The weight is not an issue but really would like it lighter and have considered using a Forstner bit to cut 2.25" holes.

Just did a quick calc, 10 - 2.25" holes in 3/4" ply only reduces weight by 0.62 pounds. Not worth the effort, will just eat more spinach.

A mini sled has been in the back of my mind for awhile.

But you will really enjoy the safety and accuracy of a sled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I went all-in on weight reduction. I cut those holes to use to hang the thing. Do not cut very large panels with mine but I have about 22" capacity if necessary. I got the idea for the cut-away shape from youtube. Also, 1/2" BB ply instead of 3/4. If I decide to make another sled for cabinet carcasses, it will be a single runner and have only the rear fence.

Wood Automotive design Automotive exterior Floor Flooring
 

Attachments

1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top