First Attempt at a cross-cut sled

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Forum topic by zipmac22 posted 07-03-2017 03:33 AM 1516 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 2134 days

07-03-2017 03:33 AM

I had fun and learned a lot while making my first cross-cut sled. When I used the 5th cut method I came up with an error of ( .177 ). After moving the fence I performed another 5th cut method and came up with an error of ( .008 )! I guess I can live with an error that small.

-- Chris, Central Texas

7 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10496 posts in 3690 days

#1 posted 07-03-2017 05:19 AM

A valuable addition to your saw, well worth the time invested in making as accurate as you can. Two suggestions, I would coat the entire unit with some sort of finish, 2. more of a safety block on the end where the blade comes through. Paint that red as a visual reminder to keep clear.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 2183 days

#2 posted 07-03-2017 05:37 AM

I have found that making the back fence uncomfortable where your hands dont need to be keeps my hands clear. I had to add wood to the rear of mine to keep the blade hid. good looking sled

View Rich's profile


7556 posts in 1870 days

#3 posted 07-03-2017 05:55 AM

This is my main sled. The block at the back keeps my thumbs out of the way. Stick with a stable material for the base. I like MDF, but others prefer plywood. Either works. And, I don’t finish the top surface. I want that friction to keep the work in place. I do wax the bottom though, so it slides easily.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Redoak49's profile


5416 posts in 3269 days

#4 posted 07-03-2017 11:18 AM

That is very good for a first try. I have a clue of sleds. I built a big one and only use it once in awhile. I have a smaller sled about 18” long that I use a lot. I also glued some 220 sand paper on it on the back piece to keep things from moving. My sled is finished with shellac.

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 3743 days

#5 posted 07-03-2017 12:36 PM

Im surprised more people don’t design a sled with an adjustable back. I have built a few sleds, and it seems no matter how accurate that thing is when its done, over time it always get a little out out of square… my guess is from taking it on and off the table, torquing even the slightest, etc.

I will post some pics of my newest sled, I borrowed the design from someone else, but its pretty darn cool.

But nice first sled indeed, you will be so happy when you need to square of ends and do a bunch of repeat same sized cuts!

View Woodbum's profile


957 posts in 4346 days

#6 posted 07-03-2017 04:56 PM

Good, accurately built sleds are worth their weigh in gold . They will make you a better woodworker. I have built a number of special purpose sleds and a couple of standard crosscut sleds and they make repetitive cuts easier and more accurate. Keep up the good work. Good Luck, Have Fun and Work Safely!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View OleGrump's profile


581 posts in 1625 days

#7 posted 07-03-2017 05:42 PM

I made a very similar sled about a month and a half ago, and am very happy with how it came out and how it works. I chose to keep mine simple, because A) As noted, when/if it gets out of square, I won’t feel badly having to scrap it, and B) By keeping the end boards square, I can use simple blocks clamped in place for stops and hold downs if needed. Left mine untreated as well, but waxed the heck out of the bottom and the maple runners. Great looking sled! You will really enjoy the benefits of your work on this piece.

-- OleGrump

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