This week I uploaded a video about how to make a cross cut sled. I wanted to do this for a couple reasons.
1. I wanted to at least earn my Cross Cut Creations name.
2. (More importantly) I wanted to be able to safely make cross cuts on my table saw for when I’m cutting pieces to their final lengths.
3. I want to start segmenting pen blanks to make new and unique pens.
These three main reasons were my motivation behind making this cross cut sled. I channeled my inner reclaimed audio podcast listening-ness and used left over plywood and 2x material from another project to make this sled. As I said in the video, the sled is huge and if I were to do it again, I would make the sled smaller and overall, less beefy. I like the way it came out, but now I need to figure out where to store the sled when it isn’t in use.
I started this build by cutting the rounded edges off the boards that would make up the front and back fences. After that, i milled up some hardwood runners that were about 3/4″ wide that the sled would sit upon. In order to line up the runners and table of the sled, I put stacks of pennies into the runners so the runners could be tested and attached to the table portion of the sled. Throughout this build, I used two different kinds of glue to assemble the different parts of the sled. I used Titebond II for a long lasting bond, but I also used some Stick Fast medium CA glue with activator for instant adhesion. This seemed to work really well for me.
Once I put glue on the runners, I lined up the plywood with the fence of my table saw and put it on the runners as square as I could and then cleaned up and flushed up any protruding runner material. Then, I made the first cut (Chris Cute!) into the sled to establish the kerf of the blade. At this point, I backed the sled off the blade and attached the back fence to the plywood. I also attached the fences with screws after predrilling the holes. Getting this fence square to the blade isn’t super critical as I will not be referencing my materials against this fence. The fence that was important to square up is the front fence and you can do that using the 5 cut method. If you aren’t sure what the five cut method is, search on YouTube for “5 cut method” and a lot of incredibly talented people can explain it better than I can. Essentially, it is a way to make sure your reference fence is as square as possible to the blade. When making the front fence, I cut down the height of the fence so I could attach stop blocks and things like that if I needed to make repeatable cuts. This will help immensely with efficiency in the shop.
To finish off this build, I added a scrap 2×4 to the front of the sled where the blade would be in theory, so I can keep my hands safe and away from the blade at all times.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact me!