Crosscut Sleds

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Forum topic by Coleman Dodds posted 01-15-2020 05:40 AM 1148 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Coleman Dodds

24 posts in 770 days

01-15-2020 05:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cross cut sled

I am looking up and thinking about different crosscut sled designs. I am wondering if I should keep it simple or what all I should add to the sled. Should I at T tracts and other accessories? Can you provide pictures of your crosscut sled and tell me what accessories you have found useful. Thank you.

21 replies so far

View sansoo22's profile


1748 posts in 901 days

#1 posted 01-15-2020 06:32 AM

I don’t have a cross cut sled yet but the Nick Ferry design has been on my list of things to build. I really like the flip stop and miter capabilities of it.

YouTube vid of the build

View Walker's profile


465 posts in 1719 days

#2 posted 01-15-2020 06:49 AM

I found the Zero Play miter bars from Micro Jig (they make the grr-riper) really useful. I have a cheap contractor’s table saw with not so precise miter slots. When I made my first crosscut sled I tried birch ply, mdf, and hardboard for the miter bars. It was unusable until tried the Zero Play bars.

-- ~Walker

View HokieKen's profile


19402 posts in 2385 days

#3 posted 01-15-2020 02:12 PM

I definitely agree about the adjustable miter bars like the Incra or the Micro Jig that Walker mentioned. There are other, cheaper ones too that are probably just fine as well. I’ve just always used the Incra brand ones.

I put t-track in my sled for hold-downs but never used it the first time. I also made a replaceable center piece so I had the ability to make different inserts for different blades/dadoes/bevel cuts. Never used that either. Maybe the work you do makes all the “bells and whistles” worthwhile. They werent’ for me. I did put a t-track in the fence and made a stop block to use with it and that did come in handy.

So, my advice would be to keep it simple and only add features you know you need. One thing that I did find made dialing the sled in MUCH easier was to have one end of the fence drilled with a tight clearance with the bolt and let that act as a pivot then drill the rest of the holes a bit oversized so you can “swing” the fence into alignment. Then bolt the fence down from the top rather than up from the bottom so you can snug it down as you adjust it. Kiefer’s sled below is an excellent example of how I would do the fence.
Click for details

Good luck with the design and build!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View MPython's profile


398 posts in 1059 days

#4 posted 01-15-2020 02:36 PM

I apologize for the upside down photos. It’s a iPhone issue I haven’t been able to resolve. I started to delete this post when I realized the problem with the photos, but I thought the sled ideas were worth posting anyway.

I have two crosscut sleds, a small one that I use for 90% of my crosscuts and a large one that handles panels up to 30” deep. I used UHMW strips for the runners. They are stable, slide easily and can be pared for a perfect fit with a hand plane. Both sleds have Kreg tracks with flip stops on top of the fence. The tracks have track for a tape rule that can be set very precisely for use with the flip stops for accurate cross cuts and repeat cuts. The flip stop can be flipped up about of the way for cutting longer sections. I have the track set on the right side of the blade on the small sled, and the blade is centered on the sled. This gives me about 12” of capacity with the flip stop to the right of the blade. I often wish for another 2 or 3 inches. If I had I to do over, I’d offset the blade to the left so I’d have more capacity on the right side of the sled – not a big issue, but something I learned with this sled. Here’s the small sled:

The large sled is for accurate cutting of large panels – up to about 28” deep. It is big and heavy, so it doesn’t get used except for large pieces. It also has a Kreg track on the of the fence for use with the rule and flip stop. The fence has section on theft that can be extended to 39” for accurate cuts and repeats with he flip stop. I built two T tracks into the sled to use for clamps which are very handy when cutting large heavy panels. Here are some photos of the large sled:

Hope this gives some ideas.

View HokieKen's profile


19402 posts in 2385 days

#5 posted 01-15-2020 02:40 PM

Here are your pictures fixed MPython.

When you take the pictures with your iPhone, make sure the volume buttons are on the bottom left ;-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View HuckleberryWoodWrks's profile


45 posts in 649 days

#6 posted 01-15-2020 02:40 PM

I have a basic one but intend to build what MPython has. I will then use the t-tracks to make it modular so it can have a miter attachment, finger joint, miter key, etc.

Personally I think that’s the way to go. It beats having several sleds (currently have 3) built from the ground up. Want a new jig, simply build the base with flat stock and add the jig to the top. You can use hold downs to attach it to the main sled.

If you include a removable center plate you can even go zero clearance.

Example attached;

View Sawdustmaker999's profile


5 posts in 648 days

#7 posted 01-15-2020 02:44 PM

Nice solution – will try to emulate.

View jmartel's profile


9236 posts in 3397 days

#8 posted 01-15-2020 06:07 PM

Honestly, just make a very basic one. Get it done, get it working, use it for a bit, and then decide what more you want to add to it. I tried to make a complicated one first and ended up spending way too much time. Switched over and made a simple one that has been in use for a few years now.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View MPython's profile


398 posts in 1059 days

#9 posted 01-15-2020 06:48 PM

Here are your pictures fixed MPython.
- HokieKen

Thanks Ken! How did you do that?

View HokieKen's profile


19402 posts in 2385 days

#10 posted 01-15-2020 06:51 PM

I just saved them, rotated them and reposted them.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View sepeck's profile


523 posts in 3388 days

#11 posted 01-15-2020 07:13 PM

Simple. Make your first one simple. Then you will get an idea how you will actually use it and how it fits in your workflow.

Here’s one I made. It’s filled my modest needs for a while now.

-- -Steven Peck,

View mel52's profile


2276 posts in 1511 days

#12 posted 01-16-2020 04:41 AM

Go to my projects page and look at the one I made from ideas on the internet with a few ideas of my own. Works good for me and I can clamp things to it if needed. I cut my own runners for my table saw to get a good tight fit. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View WoodenDreams's profile


1433 posts in 1158 days

#13 posted 01-16-2020 05:45 AM

You may want to consider having two sleds. One about 16 inches wide for the smaller pieces to cut. And a larger one for the larger pieces. The two I have are very similar to Huckleberry’s, but mine the larger portion of the sled is on the right side of the blade. I painted the blade guard block in back of the sled red (the danger zone stands out better in red verses putting a X on it and writing OUCH). I also cut a 4” slot on one end to make it easier to grab when I put it away or take out.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8775 posts in 3446 days

#14 posted 01-16-2020 06:06 AM

I have a few…but the one I use the most, by far, is the ugliest and most simple :)

And it was made from scrap material that was headed for the dumpster.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Woodbum's profile


957 posts in 4312 days

#15 posted 01-16-2020 12:07 PM

Wiiliam Ng video.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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