What is your "must have" jig/guide/sled for your Table Saw?

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Forum topic by AngieO posted 07-19-2012 05:03 PM 11530 views 2 times favorited 54 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1267 posts in 2883 days

07-19-2012 05:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig tips tricks guides table saw sled

So far I’ve been doing all my cutting with my miter saw and my Skilsaw. Tomorrow I am going to pick up my table saw. It’s a used Craftsman bench top. I’m getting it from a friend. He has it all tuned up for me and I can’t wait to pick it up. I’m pretty sure that he said it was a 10” blade. Other than that I’m not really sure till I get there and see it again. I just know it’s a table saw.

I wanted to get out and build something today but with the rainy weather it looks like I may not get to. So I’ve been watching some YouTube videos and checking things out on LJ’s. I watched a video on making a cross cut sled. Looks like a pretty handy piece for the table saw. I’ve checked out a couple on LJ’s as well. I’ve seen some nice ones.

So this leads me to my question. What are your “must haves’ for your table saw?

Right now I know I’ll be making some small things (picture frames, boxes… maybe some more boxes… :) but I have plans to gradually get bigger. I eventually plan to make beds for my kids. So I do have some lofty ideas of making big furniture. But with the small things I’m doing now I like the idea of repeat-ability. I can already see where a cross cut sled would make the projects I’ve done so far (lol… all three) easier.

I’ve already learned SOOO much on this site. So I thought I’d throw this out to you guys to see what you think. I’m don’t buying tools for a while (for at least a week or so… right? LOL). I just want to build stuff with the tools I have… and like many of you said… let my next project dictate what tool I may need to get.

I look forward to reading your responses. :)

54 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3022 days

#1 posted 07-19-2012 05:11 PM

A good crosscut sled is a must imo. I built mine based on Marc’s design at the Wood Whisperer.

-- John, BC, Canada

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1267 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 07-19-2012 05:13 PM

Oh… and also… since it’s a bench top table saw… your comments about out feed (?? is this the correct term?) is also welcome.

Obviously I’m going to be asking my friends lots of these questions as well. But since my time there is limited we might be able to actually make some of the things recommended instead of just talking about them. :)

nwbusa… That’s the video I watched today that I thought was the most helpful. I know there was another posted on LJ’s, but I found the Wood Whisperer video much easier to follow.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 3968 days

#3 posted 07-19-2012 05:20 PM

For me, since I have a Ryobi BT3100 which features, at least from the factory, no miter slots, Suwat's Multi Purpose Tall Fence.

It’s a tenon jig, spline jig, panel raising jig, thin strip ripping jig etc… all in one jig…Fairly simple construction. I have no idea why I haven’t built one yet other than I have had too many other projects going on…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4456 days

#4 posted 07-19-2012 06:06 PM

I had to make a cross-cut sled. It seems to be the only thing for accurately cutting panels that are too big for the miter saw. An in feed and an out feed support are also necessary for safety on my little fold up table saw. This sled really, really, really makes cross-cutting nice!

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4383 days

#5 posted 07-19-2012 06:06 PM

A cut-off stop to the left of the blade. One to the right as well
(mounted to the fence) is very useful as well.

View PurpLev's profile


8568 posts in 4384 days

#6 posted 07-19-2012 06:14 PM

I’d start with a zero-clearance insert for what you are not using a sled. followed by some featherboards to keep stock tight against the fence. these are things that can be done in the shop and adds a lot of quality for the finished cuts.

a push block is also something you need to have. if you don’t have one – make one

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jdmaher's profile


468 posts in 3315 days

#7 posted 07-19-2012 06:15 PM

Well, the fence, of course.

I usually use the mitre gauge that came with my Unisaw for 90 degree cuts, and its “okay”. But I plan to get an Osborne EB3. For any angled cut, or for precision panel cutting, I rely heavily on my “Double Dubby”. I had one with my old contactor’s saw, and its the first accessory I bought after I got my Unisaw.

I also use a real good dado set quite a bit.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3022 days

#8 posted 07-19-2012 06:31 PM

+1 on the ZCI, really helps a lot with improving the quality of the cuts.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3804 days

#9 posted 07-19-2012 06:38 PM

I’m not sure that there are any real “must haves”, but there are tons of “nice to haves”. That list will depend on the projects you do, the tools you already have, and your particular skills.

If your new TS is well set up, it and your miter saw (assuming it cuts accurately) will get you thru a great many projects. If you’re cutting long pieces of stock, workpiece support should be at the top of your list of things to add. Even the best set up saw will be hard to use if the workpieces aren’t well supported, and correctly supported workpieces usually result in more precise cuts.

ZCI’s are handy, but only necessary if you’re ripping thin strips which can drop into the throat of a stock insert, or trying to minimize chip out on plywood. I use my stock plate most of the time for the added air flow around the blase which makes my dust collection more effective.

As you do projects, you’ll reach points where your particular “must have” will be quite apparent.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2984 days

#10 posted 07-19-2012 07:04 PM

Not so much a jig, but BLADES! A good blade makes all the difference. If you are on a tight budget, you really can’t beat the 37$ 50 tooth diablo combo blade. If you can afford it, a better option would be a good cross cut (60 to 80 tooth) and a good rip (24 to 30 tooth) blade. If I was forced to use the blade that came up with my saw, I would be extremely frustrated


View gizmodyne's profile


1784 posts in 4825 days

#11 posted 07-19-2012 07:22 PM

A fence. :)

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2927 days

#12 posted 07-19-2012 07:27 PM

jdmaher, A shop near me is selling that gauge for 99.99 each.

-- My terrible signature...

View jdmaher's profile


468 posts in 3315 days

#13 posted 07-19-2012 07:36 PM


Osborne themselves only want $109 (with free shipping).

I just always seem to spend my monthly budget on the 1st of each month for things I absolutely HAVE to have immediately.

I’ll get it eventually . . .

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2883 days

#14 posted 07-19-2012 08:24 PM

Lots of good suggestions. The friend I’m getting it from made a zero clearance insert already. Which is really nice.
I don’t know what kind of fence is on it now. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. When I first checked this thing out I didn’t know what to look for. After doing some research and things I’ve learned here on LJ’s, I’ll be better equipped now.
Have I mentioned how excited I am??? I can’t wait! And… two other things I’ll be getting tomorrow… a table… like a clamping table of some kind. I saw the legs of it and he was putting a new top on for me. Can’t wait to see it. And he made me a tool (he can do some welding too). It’s for disassembling pallets.

The weather here has been so dry… but I’m hoping that this weekend there will be no rain. I work outside and I’m planning on making some sawdust. Probably gonna start with a cross cut sled. AND… well… I”m sure I’ll make some more boxes :)

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2927 days

#15 posted 07-19-2012 08:34 PM

Angie, It depends.
If you change the blade… You’ll want to make another zero clearance insert.
These are easily made.
If you want help on making a Zero Clearance Insert, I can send you a issue on how to make one.

-- My terrible signature...

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