Saturday, 28 June 2014

My current cross cut sled

The crosscut sled is a very simple but (I believe) essential addition to a table saw. I have made many of these over the years but this is my latest incarnation. It won't be my last.
Essentially it comprises a 3/4" plywood base with two 4" x 2" softwood fences. I won't go into the details of how this is made as there are many tutorials on the internet.

The overall dimensions of the base are 16" wide x 23-1/2" long. The saw kerf slot is at 5" in from one edge. There is only one mahogany runner on the base as European saws with sliding tables only have one mitre slot to the left of the saw blade when viewed from the operator perspective. I don't believe that you actually need to have two runners as they are prone to binding if the mitre slots are not precisely parallel.

You may also notice the piece of blue tape on the fence. This is just to micro adjust the fence so the cut is exactly square. This saves having to mess around with unscrewing the screws underneath and readjusting. That is just a waste of time and tape works just as well if the fence is slightly out of whack.
If I had one improvement to this it would be making the cutoff side slightly deeper probably 12" instead of the stated 5" making the overall sizes of the sled 23" x 23-1/2" long. I find that cutoff pieces fall when the are cut off instead of staying on the sled. You can scale your crosscut sled up or down accordingly but I find (even at the current relatively small size) it works very well and does not take up much storage space.

I also attach sacrificial 1/4" thick ply to the fence as the kerf slot wears (they do) with some double sided tape. When that wears I take it off and attach another or just put another on the existing as currently shown. When the entire sled is worn out just make another.

Single mahogany quarter sawn runner
on the underside

16" wide - note the blue tape micro adjuster

23 1/2" long x 3/4" thick plywood

4x2 softwood jointed fence
either end

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