New Crosscut Sled - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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New Crosscut Sled

After reading a few articles and watching a few videos that had one, I decided to build a crosscut sled for my table saw. I looked at a bunch of designs but eventually came up with my own.

Here’s what I built:




I used ¾” birch ply for the base, doug fir for the front and back rails, and red oak for the sled runners. I found a 2x8x20’ at the local hardware place that had some very nice tight grain. Most construction lumber has really wide growth rings but this one board, out of the whole stack, looked great. I bought it and put it aside for shop projects like this. I flattened the pieces on my jointer to improve the sled’s accuracy.







I made runners to fit my tabletop miter slots out of red oak and affixed them with glue and screws.










I rabbeted both of the rails to accept the ¾” ply, but set the rabbets just a little shallow to ensure that the ply makes contact with the saw table and not the rail. This also hides the end grain of the plywood. I put some iron on birch edging on the sides.

I did not attempt to square up the rear rail, just applied some glue and screws.

For the front rail, I started on the left side and used about a .020 feeler gage to space the rabbet away from the ply.





I then squared the front rail to the blade and installed the rest of the screws. This left a bigger gap on the right side that the left, but it is exactly square, and that is the goal after all. I used no glue on the front rail.





I used Watco Danish Oil for a finish. I sanded to 220 and then applied 2 coats allowing 3 days for each to dry. I then applied a third coat with 400 grit sandpaper. I had never used Danish oil before so took this opportunity to try it out. Man… I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before. After sanding in the 3rd coat this thing feels like glass. I applied the oil to both top and bottom, but not the oak runners. Once everything had cured, I put a coat of Minwax finishing wax on the bottom and runners. The sled slides beautifully.





I realize that most of this was serious overkill, but I have decided that from now on I’m going to treat every project (even shop ones) and a learning opportunity and do them to the best of my ability. If that means it takes longer, so be it. For me, it’s a hobby, not a business.

All in all, I had fun building it. It was the first time I used a band saw or Danish Oil. I’m very happy with both.


Last edited by bpajwhite; 12-10-2012 at 04:07 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 04:36 AM
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Looks good. I need to make one.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 05:30 AM
(clever wood pun here)
 
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That is a really sharp crosscut sled! I have seen some with a strip of lexan 6-10" wide spanning the front and rear upright. Probably not necessary if you're wearing eye protection, but a nice safety feature none-the-less. I have also seen some with miter rails that extend beyond the sled. I imagine that this is for added stability when starting the sled.

I can't get over how much it looks like furniture! Looks like fun.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 07:13 AM
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looks great. i love sanded-in danish oil on more open-grained woods. and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the commercial grain fillers they put out there....
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 10:06 AM
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That looks really nice. One feature that I like is to add a block of wood to the backside of the back rail where blade comes through to protect your hands form the blade. Kindof like a sacrificial piece of wood.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments and critiques.

Phaedrus, I thought about the plexi-glass but ultimately decided against it. I think that over time it is going to get scratched/dirty and obscure my view of the cut. I do see how it would add to the safety though. I couldn't extend the sled runners for the miter slot any further since they would hit the end of the slots in my outfeed table before the blade cleared the front rail. This thing is big!

ArmedFerret, I was really happy with the Watco Danish Oil. I will definitely be trying it again on other projects. My only gripe with it is how long it takes to dry. Three days, really? Mostly that's due to the cold and damp climate here in Western Washington, but I hate the heat, so three days is a price i'll gladly pay to live here.

My concern now is where to store this behemoth when not in use. I also need to build a miter sled and an artillery fence system.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 04:23 PM
(clever wood pun here)
 
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For storage, against a wall would be good, hung if possible (like art!). Depending on your saw situation, a shelf under an outfeed or extension would provide good access and usability.

Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using Woodworking Talk
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-10-2012, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanr View Post
One feature that I like is to add a block of wood to the backside of the back rail where blade comes through to protect your hands form the blade. Kind of like a sacrificial piece of wood.

Ditto on the wood block. Nice job
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-11-2012, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpajwhite View Post
ArmedFerret, I was really happy with the Watco Danish Oil. I will definitely be trying it again on other projects. My only gripe with it is how long it takes to dry. Three days, really? Mostly that's due to the cold and damp climate here in Western Washington, but I hate the heat, so three days is a price i'll gladly pay to live here.

true; that can be a damper on it, but the nice thing is, it can be used indoors without massive ventilation needed like some other finishes, and i always have something else i can be doing while i wait for it to dry.

in fairness, though, we haven't had much issue with it taking a long time to dry out here....something about the high 70's and low 80's in December with the total lack of humidity that comes from being in a desert.

(not that it sees much use, but i found a can and figured i'd play with it a little....dress up my awful rifle/body armor stand in my tent...turned out as you'd expect lipstick on a pig to turn out.)
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-11-2012, 07:46 AM
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Make sure you keep the tablesaw blade low so you don't cut the sled in half :)
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-11-2012, 08:09 AM
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Excellent job! Good looking and functional. Nothing wrong with overkill, it can be a great learning experience.

Joe B. 41
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-11-2012, 12:24 PM
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Looks good, I really need to get to building one.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-11-2012, 01:06 PM
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Here's how I store mine. I put the grooves in it for accessories (this is the "super sled" you can find on youtube), but some cheap bathrobe hooks from a surplus store fit just right.

The sled you made is very nice. One tip I missed when I made mine was to put a groove at the bottom of the front fence so the sawdust had a place to go. It's hard to blow it out of the way with a mask on, and when making lots of cuts, it can start to build up and get between the workpiece and the fence. Oh well....there's always the next one!
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-12-2012, 01:43 AM
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a little bit of canned air for electronics dusting works great for getting the sawdust out. BTDT.
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