Improved cross cut sled

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Forum topic by corelz125 posted 02-10-2019 08:52 PM 1202 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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988 posts in 1580 days

02-10-2019 08:52 PM

10 replies so far

View olegrump's profile


97 posts in 826 days

#1 posted 02-13-2019 03:49 PM

This kinda depends on how far you want to go with your crosscut sled. Are you trying to reinvent the wheel, or do you just want something that works simply and reliably? In my own experience, the “Keep It Simple, Stupid” method works best. My own crosscut sled is made of scrap 1 X screwed to a 1/2” plywood base sliding on maple runners. It is basically a box without ends sized to fit the saw table. Many here at LJ would look down their noses at such a simple, POS “pile of lumber” as they would say. But here’s one of the projects I’ve made using it:

This is a copy of building orginally made for use with O scale trains in the prewar years. All of the pieces were cut using my sled, held down by a scrap block secured in place with a spring clamp. BTW, this project made it to an article in a nationally read toy train magazine. So do you really NEED a fancy go-to-hell crosscut sled? No. Do you WANT one? Well, THAT is up to each individual.

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988 posts in 1580 days

#2 posted 02-13-2019 11:25 PM

You have a pic of it olegrump?

View Bill_Steele's profile


630 posts in 2335 days

#3 posted 02-14-2019 07:24 PM

I tend to agree with the old grumpy one—no need for a fancy crosscut sled—but if you’re going to spend the time making one—you might as well do it right and make it accurate.

A crosscut sled is something you may use on almost every project and you could use it for many years—for me that sorta justifies any added expense or effort.

I have several crosscut sleds—none as fancy as the one from the link—but I do like the one in the link. I tend to use aluminium angle iron for my fence. I have one sled where the fence is at the front of the sled (rather than the back)—this allows me to crosscut wider panels.

View fivecodys's profile


1559 posts in 2240 days

#4 posted 02-14-2019 10:26 PM

I use my sled on just about everything I build.
My only complaint is the runners. I used hard wood and they expand and contract so I’m loose or too tight.
If I was to build it again I would look for a more stable material. Maybe HDPE or even prefab runners.

I have been looking at the Incra 5000 Sled. Not cheap but very nice.

We’ll see how that goes.

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View corelz125's profile


988 posts in 1580 days

#5 posted 02-15-2019 01:30 AM

Absolutely a cross cut sled gets tons of use. Probably one of the most used jigs in the shop. The sleds are kind of like cars the one in the link is like the rolls Royce of sleds but toyota yaris (2 pieces of lumber and sheet of plywood) get you to the same place.

View OleGrump's profile


518 posts in 948 days

#6 posted 02-15-2019 07:53 PM

The weather cooperated enough so I could take the sled outside and get some pix to post. Again, bare bones approach, but works quite well for me:

And my basic stop block for repeat cuts and hold down device

By no means elegant, but quite effective. I screwed the runners to the base, ran it aboout 2/3 of the way through the table saw, used a framing square to mark lines at a 90 degree angle to the kerf, so the fences would be positioned correctly, glued and screwed on the front and rear fences, raised the blade to cut through 1 1/2 inch stock and sawed through the whole contraption.

Some sleds I’ve seen have quite elegantly shaped tops on the rear fence. They look GREAT, but I left mine flat across the tops so I could clamp any mannner and number of stops and hold downs inside the box.

This all being said, the main thing to remember is that it is YOUR shop and YOUR sled. If you have desire to build a fancy version, by all means do so. Just know that a “Swiss Army Cross-Cut Sled” isn’t absolutely necessary to make things.

-- OleGrump

View therealSteveN's profile


4610 posts in 1178 days

#7 posted 02-15-2019 08:34 PM

Note the last line in “sources” where it says this article is a reprint.

“This story originally appeared in American Woodworker May 2007, issue #128.”

Probably doesn’t mean much if you really like this particular sled, because end of the day, this is most important. It’s just that since then a whole lot has changed in the way sleds are made, and look. I think the biggest take away from what has been learned is that fences made with a good grade of plywood, or even MDF are a lot more stable than a 2×6 from the BORG. Having a fence made to be a right angle to the saw blade, and then staying that way are a number one consideration for a good sled.

-- Think safe, be safe

View RobS888's profile


2630 posts in 2449 days

#8 posted 02-15-2019 08:49 PM

I miss American woodworker. At least their content didn’t disappear.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View therealSteveN's profile


4610 posts in 1178 days

#9 posted 02-15-2019 09:41 PM

I miss American woodworker. At least their content didn’t disappear.

- RobS888

Yeah Pop WWing offers DVDs and thumb drives of all the old stuff, plus Woodwork. I always liked the B$W no advertising of it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View corelz125's profile


988 posts in 1580 days

#10 posted 02-15-2019 10:27 PM

Simple and effective old grump. SteveN some of the reprint articles pop up at the right time sometimes.

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