A table saw cross-cut sled makes it safer and easier to cut wood against the grain. That is why it is an essential tool to have. While there are various approaches in making a cross-cut sled for table saws, sometimes you may need a simple and elegant approach to solve the problem.
Here are the easiest yet effective steps on how to make a crosscut sled for the table saw.
Read on for more!
Step 1: tools and supplies
Things that you need include:
- Tri square;
- Wood glue;
- Drill bits and counter-sink;
- Straight hardwood scrap;
- Flat and thick plywood.
Step 2: Measure miter track
Majority of table saws come with standard miter track measurements of 0.75 by 0.375 deep. Before making any cut, you need to check to decide the measurements. You can use the interior measure to check your miter track width and then make good use of the depth gauge to determine how deep the tack is.
Step 3: Cutting the track
At this point, set your table saw fence so that you can track its width dimension so that you can make a rip cut on the straight hardwood scrap. After that, set the fence on the miter depth and then run the cut on the hardwood again.
Step 4: Test fit the track
Place the hardwood that you cut on the miter track so that you can test it. You can do this by pushing the hardwood along the tack to see if it runs smoothly without sticking. Wiggle the material literally against the track to determine the play or slop. Remember you are after a snug fit, a smooth glide, with no play. If the wood is stuck, check if there is debris, if not; try sanding the wood for the right fit.
Step 5: Plywood the sled base
With a track cut, you make the sled base, and the good thing about this style is that the base must not look perfectly square. You can use scrap plywood with uneven edges since it is perfect for this application.
Step 6: Glue the base to the track
It is time to insert your hardwood to the miter track. After that, apply some glue on the hardwood along the edges but make sure you do not use too much of it. You need a small amount of wood glue since you will add screws to join the hardwood to the plywood afterward.
Once you apply the glue on top of the hardwood track and the plywood, it is time to align the plywood to make sure that it is approximately square to the hardwood track. Also, the center of the plywood needs to be in line with the saw blade.
Step 7: secure track
Once the glue is dry, slide the product from the miter track and then flip over the plywood. After that, drill pilot holes along the length of the hardwood as well as countersink opening. You can then hand drill fasteners in every opening to adequately secure the hardwood on the plywood.
Step 8: Glue the front of the sled fence
The front of the sled must not be correct since its only function is to keep up the structure of the sled once you cut kerf on the plywood. You can scrap wood glue on the front side to make sure that the wood is square to make sure that the surface will glue well to the plywood.
Step 9: Cut a partial kerf
Put the sled in the miter track and put the plywood directly on top of the lowered blade. After that, start the saw and raise the blade slowly until it reaches 1 inch higher than the base of your plywood. Move the plywood with your other hands and away from the blade as much as possible to make sure it does not move as you cut. Remove the kerf material that you remove as you cut is equal to the thickness of the blade.
Step 10: Select the ideal wood for sled back
The back of the sled fence is another thing that needs keenness when making the sled. Here, use the tri-square to make sure that the wood you choose is square and straight. Just like the front fence, the back fence should be as long as the slide width.
Step 11: Glue the sled back
With your saw off and the blade raised through plywood, place the tri-square on the face of the blade. Once you do that, apply a small amount of glue on the back of the fence and put it on the plywood. Make sure there is no misalignment; every cut should be at an angle.
Step 12: Test cut
After making the cross-cut sled for the table saw, it’s time to check its performance. With the back fence secured, raise the blade ½ inches higher than the surface of that plywood and run your sled through the blade.
Your cross-cut sled is now functional, and you can now make precise and smooth cross-cuts. Happy making!