Old Crosscut Sled

Things I've made and what making them taught me

Old Crosscut Sled

This was my first crosscut sled, also from 2007.  I say was, because I was never happy with the squareness of its cuts and decided to “recycle” its parts.  With a big hammer.  Actually part of this sled is hanging above my lathe now – the bottom of the sled became the back board of my lathe tool rack.

This thing was great from a safety perspective.  I just failed to get the guide rails lined up parallel to the blade and consequently, it cut a fraction of a degree off square.  Now you might say, what the heck – it’s only a fraction of a degree, but when you cut a panel 16″ wide on it, that gets noticeable.

This thing was great from a safety perspective and I’m going to make another smaller one soon based on some ideas from Eagle Lake Woodworking.  I probably won’t go as crazy with the attachments as he did, but I particularly like his sliding stop blocks and T-slots through the sled base for hold-downs.

My version had a stop on the right side that prevented the trailing edge of the sled from passing the midpoint of the blade, and a block that captured the blade’s exit from the fence, reducing the number of places where digits might accidentally be removed, but it had a couple of problems:

  • The fence wasn’t square
  • The UHMW plastic runners I used weren’t captured in dados, so they flexed, allowing the sled to pivot slightly
  • The thing was just too big – my space is REALLY cramped and this thing didn’t have a home.  I have a space on the wall set aside to store its eventual replacement.