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Thread: Crosscut Sled Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Central, PA
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    Crosscut Sled Question

    Will be building a sled for my table saw. Some suggest 3/4” ply for the sled while others suggest 1/2”.

    Recommendations & feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Ed Gibbons

  2. #2
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    Aug 2010
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    My most recent was a 1/2" BB plywood with doible miter slot tracks. I like it because it is stiff, lighter than 3/4" material I previously used and gives that little extra cutting depth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    My most recent was a 1/2" BB plywood with doible miter slot tracks. I like it because it is stiff, lighter than 3/4" material I previously used and gives that little extra cutting depth.
    This was my last sled build as well, 1/2" Baltic Birch. For fixtures and add ons that will get a lot of use, I found using the higher quality plywood (BB) is a better overall experience.

    The only caveat I have is that it was my third sled so I had a good idea of what I wanted the design to be. The previous two sleds with 3/4" shop grade plywood. They were heavy, but functioned fine.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2009
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Ed I built mine with 3/4”. I have built them in the past but this time I copied Nick Ferry’s plan. The hardware is a little expensive but it is a treat to use.
    https://nickferry.com/2015/07/table-...d-in-one-ep58/

  5. #5
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    Palm Springs, CA
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    My latest cross cut sled is 1/2" Baltic birch. I routed slots and relieved the backside to take T-bolts since the thickness didn't allow for T-tracks. It is plenty strong enough with the 1/2" material and the lighter weight is a real plus for me.

    IMG_1763e (2).jpg

    Years ago when I had a full size table saw, I built this version of a super-sled that I found somewhere on the internet. It was 3/4" MDO plywood and was a very capable cross cut sled, but it weighed enough that I barely used it.

    IMGP5963e.jpg
    Last edited by Dick Mahany; 01-09-2019 at 10:27 AM.
    Dick Mahany.

  6. #6
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    Thinner has the advantage of less reduction in cut depth...your saw blade can only raise so much. If you use good quality material for this, you shouldn't have any issue at all using the .5" thick material for your sled. IMHO.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    I went with 1/2" on my last iteration.

    One before that was 3/4 MDF. Too heavy!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    My first sled was 3/4". There have been many subsequent sleds and they have all been 1/2". That first sled was a lot heavier and the weight offered no additional benefits. Also, my first sled fence was made of oak. All subsequent sled fences have been made of poplar. Again, the heavier material offered me no additional benefit. One of these lighter sleds was built in about 2006 and it was still working well when I sold the saw in 2017. The only durability issue I have had with sleds is one I built with quarter sawn red oak runners. They became loose and sloppy over time.

    Even my newest sled is too heavy for many applications. I am planning on building an ultra light sled that uses 1/4" material for small projects.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    DFW, TX
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    Like everyone else, my first couple of sleds were out of 3/4", but were heavy to use. More recently, I've used 1/2" and have 4 now. One large, one pretty small, a miter sled and a panel sled.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    My latest one was made from 1/2" Baltic birch and based on the William Ng design using the 5 cut method of accurizing it.
    Ken

  11. Agree with everyone above. My current 3/4 is too heavy.
    Will also be rebuilding with 1/2 for a standard and miter sled.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Canonsburg PA
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    The last sled I made was 3/4 on the back rail. Two pieces of 3/4 glued together on the front rail and 1/4 tempered hardboard, tempered side down. Works great and the rough surface helps hold stock in place. Won't last forever but none of mine do. If you use hardboard use construction adhesive not wood glue on the rough side. My only complaint... can't see a pencil Mark's very well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Northern Oregon
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    I made a big sled as a test. I used 1/8" plywood. It's as accurate as my old thick heavy sled. It's the one I use for everything now.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right."
    - Henry Ford

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rege Sullivan View Post
    The last sled I made was 3/4 on the back rail. Two pieces of 3/4 glued together on the front rail and 1/4 tempered hardboard, tempered side down. Works great and the rough surface helps hold stock in place. Won't last forever but none of mine do. If you use hardboard use construction adhesive not wood glue on the rough side. My only complaint... can't see a pencil Mark's very well.
    I'd love to see a picture, sounds intriguing.
    Best regards,

    Jim
    Lakeside, Oregon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cashiers NC
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    314
    My last sled was 3/4 with a heavy oak fence. It worked great. I just built a 1/2 of Baltic Birch ply. I used 3 layers of 1/2 Baltic Birch ply for the fence.ay last sled had red oak runners and they were beginning to get sloppy. I am trying PVC for this new one.
    Charlie Jones

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