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The Ultimate Shop-Built Crosscut Sled Keene NH

Rube Goldberg-style contraptions to handle various specialty cuts. But I always felt a little queasy with these devices because they put expensive stock (not to mention my fingers) .

Jacks True Value Hardware
(603) 352-1517
37 Park Ave.
Keene, NH
 
W W Building Supply
(802) 365-4333
7 Loop Rd
Newfane, VT
 
The Home Depot
(603)542-4471
425 Washington St
Claremont, NH
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Goosebay Sawmill & Lumber
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Rockler Woodworking and Hardware #34
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Salem, NH

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Keene - B
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480 West St
Keene, NH
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Wed:9.5-21
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Best Septic
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Westminster, VT
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270 Loudon Rd
Concord, NH
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Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
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Sat:8-21
Sun:10-18.5
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The Ultimate Shop-Built Crosscut Sled

The Ultimate Shop-Built Crosscut Sled

It's safe, it slides like a dream and a replaceable throat plate makes it last forever!

by Travis Larson

A good tablesaw sled makes perfect crosscuts easy, accurate and very safe. In addition, a well-designed sled can be used for bevel cuts, dadoes and with a few shop-made jigs,

you can make tenons or repeated miter cuts at any angle.

I used to handle crosscuts with my sliding miter saw (with inevitable tear out). For wider stock, I employed the miter gauge on my tablesaw and sometimes fit it with all sorts of

Rube Goldberg-style contraptions to handle various specialty cuts. But I always felt a little queasy with these devices because they put expensive stock (not to mention my fingers) 

in serious jeapordy. This sled is a much better way to crosscut.

Materials Needed

For this sled you’ll need Baltic birch plywood (one 5x5 sheet), plastic laminate (one 4x8 sheet), plastic runner and guard material, and fasteners—all of which will cost under $100. An equivalent-sized factory-built model sells for about $350 but isn’t designed to handle dadoes or bevel cuts without wrecking the table and fences. Without any mistakes, you should have enough material left over for a miniature sled for lighter, smaller crosscut work.

Tailor the Sled to Suit Your Work

The sled shown in this story handles material up to 24-in. wide, such as cabinet sides and most furniture parts. I haven’t seen many larger sleds, but some people prefer smaller ones. Size your sled wide enough to handle the work you usually do. Some woodworkers use larger sleds for wide work and lighter, smaller, more portable ones for narrow cuts. 

Two Sleds from One Sheet of Plywood

Six hours of shop time will produce this sled. We used a sheet of Baltic birch plywood, and had enough to make a sled for small tasks and the larger model shown here. You can use any 1⁄2-in.- or 3⁄4-in.-thick, cabinet-grade plywood—as long as it’s flat. 

The runners are made of ultra-high molecular weight plastic (1⁄2-in. x 4-ft. x 4-in. sheets run about $20; see Sources, below). Slop-free sizing of the runners is crucial for an accurate sled. They should be the same length as the sled table, just under 3⁄8-in. thick (so they won’t bottom out in the miter slot) and should slide in the slots easily with no side-to-side movement. 

Centering the blade in the table allows for the necessary 2-in. overhang for the stop (Photo 13) on the left side of the saw table and access to the adjusting screw for the fence. Check your saw to confirm that the dimensions of this sled (built to fit a Delta Unisaw) will allow enough overhang. If not, either make the table wider or offset everything so the sled has at least 2-in. overhang over the left side of the saw.

Front Stiffener and Fence

Click here to read the rest of the article from American Woodworker