Ultimate Crosscut Sled Revisited
THE ULTIMATE CROSSCUT SLED A.K.A. STEALTH BOMBER REVISITED
This past summer I constructed the crosscut sled design described by John McCormack in his cover story, “The Ultimate Crosscut Sled,” (August, 2008) http://www.finewoodworking.com/Workshop/WorkshopPDF.aspx?id=30757
I fondly call it “the Stealth Bomber,” since it resembles the aircraft’s shape and the sled is quite “bomber,” meaning dead-accurate. A couple of problems with the Bomber arose while preparing to build it: I wouldn’t be able to repeatedly cut workpieces longer than five feet and the 3/4″ mdf sled would be heavy, creating a storage issue. So to address the first obstacle, I decided to add a telescoping flip stop to the Kreg Top Trak. The telescope slides out from a rabbet in the back of the fence trapped between the hard maple and plywood back fence and is locked in position with a Festool clamp. The Kreg Top Trak, adhesive rule tape & flip stop makes crosscutting a cinch.
After a bit of pondering a storage solution, I traced the sled on the 4′ x 8′ outfeed table at the opposite far corner from the table saw and cut out an embedded and lockable Stealth Bomber hangar or docking station that makes the sled flush with the table saw top & puts the sled’s fence completely out of the way of the saw’s ripping path. The lock is a fixed piece in one of the sled’s many oval hand holds on the sled’s outer perimeter.
No need to develop a hernia by lifting the Bomber’s heft off the table saw, just slide it around the outfeed table and land it down into the hangar. The bomber’s hangar also keeps the sled from being bumped out of square or damaged by lifting it off the saw and placing it elsewhere. I squared the fence to the blade once and I have not had to tune it up since.
In addition to McCormack’s adjustable sawhorse supporting the sled on the saw’s left flank, I also use a five-foot infeed rip support located on the right side of the sled’s runner. I am able to safely crosscut 37 inches.
I can now quickly, repeatedly and accurately crosscut cabinet parts and trim work. Set-up time takes about a minute. John McCormack’s ultimate shop-made sled is by far the best of its kind and well worth the time it takes to build.