Easy Table Saw Crosscut Sled
Here is a table saw crosscut sled that is easy to build and works well. With this front-fence design, it is easy and natural to maintain firm registration of the work piece which is pushed forward against the fence as the sled is fed forward into the blade. With rear-fence crosscut sleds or a with a miter gauge, the workpiece must be pushed back against the fence as the sled or gauge is pushed forward.
The sled has several other useful features. The fence is easy to make and adjustable for accuracy. The left-side platform will carry the workpiece while the stationary right-side platform is situated to prevent the cutoff from dropping. The front of any size work piece and most of the mass of the sled start close to the blade and are as well supported as possible by the saw table before the cut is started. The entire jig is less cumbersome to handle and store than most larger, rear-fence sleds. While the latter have their advantages, I find this jig gets most of my jobs done very well.
Here’s how I made my sled which fits my Saw Stop cabinet saw. I started with two ½” MDF slabs. The final size of the left platform is 23 3/8″ wide x 18 ½” deep, the right is 21 3/4″ wide x 15 3/4″ deep. 3/4″ x 3/8″ UHMW plastic runners (waxed quartersawn maple is an alternative) fit snugly in the miter slots and are screwed in place from the top face with countersunk flat head screws. The slabs start with a bit of excess width so they can be trimmed by crosscutting after the runners are in place. The three 1″ finger holes assist in retracting and carrying the jig.
The fence is made from stable 3/4″ thick quartersawn mahogany, 2 1/4″ wide, with a hand planed straight and square working edge. It is secured with four 1/4″ x 20 x 2″ flathead bolts inserted from the bottom through slightly oversized holes and hand tightened with knob nuts. This allows the fence to be squared unhurriedly, tested, and fine tuned as necessary after the initial cutoff.
Easy, simple, and it works – the way I like it.