A crosscut sled is an extremely versatile tool for any shop, and it only takes a few minutes to make one once you’ve gathered the materials. Having a single sled in your shop is like having a single chisel. You can get the job done, but it’s far easier if you’ve got more sizes available. That’s why I have several sleds of varying sizes and for different applications in my shop at all times.
You can add any number of fixtures to a crosscut sled to make everything from accurate miters to perfectly sized dados. A crosscut sled is also far safer than using a standard miter gauge because the base of the sled travels with the material. When using a standard miter gauge, there is friction between the wood and the table saw surface that often causes minor movement when cutting. It’s that movement that reduces the accuracy of our cuts.
Making a Crosscut Sled
For the sled I’m making today I am using a piece of 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood that is approximately 16″ wide by 38″ long. I’ve also got a scrap maple board to use for the runners and two pieces of white pine that I milled straight, square and parallel to the dimensions 3″ X 38″. This sled will be good for material up to about 14″ wide, but feel free to adjust the size to suit your saw and needs.
The video below covers each of the steps needed to make an accurate crosscut sled for your table saw in only a few minutes. Starting with properly prepped materials and a plan of action will certainly reduce the time you’ll spend making a crosscut sled.