crosscut sled design questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Jigs & Fixtures forum

Forum topic by JoeFuture posted 01-07-2021 09:30 PM 789 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeFuture's profile


42 posts in 176 days

01-07-2021 09:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: crosscut sled

I’m going to build a crosscut sled, and I was wondering how many of you put a stop block on the fence? Do you find that you ever use it?

For dimensions, I was thinking 36-48” wide and 24” deep (minus depth of fences). Do you recommend cutting the slot through the middle or offset towards the right side to allow for more length along the back fence before the stop block?

Any reason NOT to use 1/2” baltic for the base? I’m not planning on adding any t-track in the base… just the fence if I add a stop block.

17 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


1357 posts in 2565 days

#1 posted 01-07-2021 09:38 PM

You’ll get a multitude of different opinions. For me, I cut in middle and just clamp on a stop block when needed. I did use 1/2” Baltic plywood because it’s what I had.

View metolius's profile


294 posts in 1735 days

#2 posted 01-07-2021 09:49 PM

I use fence stop blocks on my sled fence very often. Either in a production sense of making N number of parts that are to be identical, or when I need something super precise. In the latter case, even for one cut, I’ll setup the block for test cuts to carefully measure and then move it with a assistance of thickness gauges.

I don’t think a stop block requires a t-track across the top; nothing wrong with a piece of wood and a clamp.

I prefer an offset. My favorite sled has the fence extended 10” beyond the left side of the base for stop block support.

Thats a huge sled. Sounds heavy.

-- derek / oregon

View pottz's profile


14672 posts in 1989 days

#3 posted 01-07-2021 10:37 PM

i used baltic birch works fine,for stop blocks i just clamp on when needed.4ft is a big sled but do what works best for you.i always make my cut with more on the left side of blade,but as said your gonna get a lot of different opinions.the thing about sleds is they evolve over time you use them,there is no one perfect sled.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View corelz125's profile


2342 posts in 1980 days

#4 posted 01-07-2021 11:18 PM

3x customs on YouTube made a pretty nice cross cut sled

View Axis39's profile


429 posts in 601 days

#5 posted 01-07-2021 11:58 PM

My most often used sled is a little over 16” deep. It does the lion’s share of work… because, really the majority of work I do is smaller…

Except for cabinet work. But, I have a larger sled for that work. It’s so heavy it gets tiresome lifting it on and off the table saw.

My main sled has more hanging off to the left of the slot… But, it wasn’t a conscious decision, just kinda the way it worked out.

I also use stop blocks constantly on my sleds. And, I also just clamp them in place with a small F-clamp. I never found the need for t-track or anything like that.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View JoeFuture's profile


42 posts in 176 days

#6 posted 01-08-2021 12:01 AM

Thanks all. I like the idea of having different sized sleds. I felt the need for a large sled most recently while building a cart for my planer, but I don’t do a lot of cabinet work. I think I’ll start out with a smaller one and then maybe build a larger one later if the need arises again.

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


4124 posts in 2499 days

#7 posted 01-08-2021 12:15 AM

+1 Stop blocks used all time on sled for repeated cuts.
I prefer T-track on top of fence for holding stop blocks. Kreg Top Track has slot for stick on tape measure too.

+1 Huge heavy sled.

Where will you store it? Made a large sled once. Weight made is it a hassle to put on/off saw, and found myself not using it; even when it was right tool for the cut. IMHO – If you build a huge sled, it will not be your only sled and soon will have a smaller one too. Then you have two sleds to store when not being used.

+1 Offset fence
Don’t really need same length on both sides of blade. This helps reduce size and weight.
If you want long pieces supported on both side of cut, build a platform that locks into miter slot for one side. Look at the Incra MIter 5000 for example pictures. The Dubby miter sled also sold a blank panel for same purpose. Make sure your saw table properly supports an offset fence. If hang more than 1/2 of the offset platform off the side TS top, it loses stability or falls off. DAMHIK


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View pottz's profile


14672 posts in 1989 days

#8 posted 01-08-2021 12:20 AM

i dont use a sled often because i have a RAS which negates the need for a sled for cross cuts and is much more efficient.but i do have 3 sleds that serve a vital function in my woodshop.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Kelly's profile (online now)


3356 posts in 3948 days

#9 posted 01-08-2021 02:29 AM


Most are thinking the only stop block is for left and right cut control; HOWEVER, my bandsaw circle cutting jig has a stop block on the underside at a point nearest the operator and which stops the sled from moving forward to far, so the fresh edge of the cut stops at the point the cutting edge just meets the pivot line.

The same thing on a tablesaw sled is a great safety feature.

One on my miter box has allowed me to repeat, dead on, angle cuts.

In the end, if you can install one on a sled it’s a good good thing. After all, it works on box joint jigs too.

View Bearcontrare's profile


87 posts in 141 days

#10 posted 01-10-2021 03:08 PM

My sled is stupid simple, and I like it this way. I did not incorporate a stop into the rear fence, but I keep a dedicated 2 X 2 block the same height as the fence at the saw. This block becomes a stop for repetitive cuts when needed (and that happens a LOT) and it serves to hold down small stock being cut from time to time. A syrudy spring clamp holds it in place just fine. Easy to install and remove and never in the way.
For me, operating under the KISS (Keep It Simple, Supid) works best. I find a very basic sled the most versatile. Attachments can be added as needed.

-- Barry, in Maryland

View Lazyman's profile


6617 posts in 2392 days

#11 posted 01-10-2021 03:47 PM

I just clamp a block in place when I need it. It is a great way to make repetitive cuts.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View JackDuren's profile


1457 posts in 1964 days

#12 posted 01-10-2021 05:52 PM

I only use a cross cut sled for sizing panels for doors or cutting ends for upper cabinets.

Wouldn’t a stop block with a fence be the same as using a incra?

View RyanGi's profile


24 posts in 41 days

#13 posted 01-17-2021 11:29 PM

I made a bigger sled that I’m happy with (used the 5 cut method to square it in…nice). I mounted it on 3/4” dowels used as pegs, so it hangs right next to the saw…but I’m finding I’m going to build a much smaller one (probably 12” front-to-back and maybe 20” wide)...because that better fits most the lumber I cut. I’m also going to make a small dovetail sled for a 7* blade, but that’s another animal.

My finding, for 80% of my cuts, the big sled is much bigger than needed, maybe start small and then go bigger if you find you need it?

-- I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar

View iminmyshop's profile


371 posts in 2998 days

#14 posted 01-18-2021 12:16 AM

The stop block on the sled is used constantly in my shop. It also has a crew in it that is used for fine adjustments. I use the Dubby sled which is now sold by Rockler.

Another feature it has is the ability to tweek the angle it makes with the blade. I don’t mean the ability to cut angles. It does that too. The biggest problem lots of folks have is setting the sled to an exact 90 degrees to the blade. They test and test then goue it in position. But if you’re off by any amount, you’re ALWAYS off by that amount until you make a new sled. So I like the ability to adjust that angle.


View JoeFuture's profile


42 posts in 176 days

#15 posted 01-18-2021 12:42 AM

Built the sled today. A few rookie mistakes… It’s very big, but I have ~25” left of the blade. I should have made the fences taller so I could make deeper cuts, but this lets me cut 8/4 pretty easily. Will square it up tomorrow with the 5 cut method. Learned a bunch and will apply that to the next (much smaller) sled.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics