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Thread: Preferred crosscut sled size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Leawood, KS
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    42

    Preferred crosscut sled size

    Having recently upgraded my tablesaw, it's time to build a sled. I'm curious what others find to be the best size for their workhorse xcut sled.

    I'm leaning towards 36" (fence) x 24". I know I'll probably end up with multiple sleds eventually.

    What size do you like for a general purpose sled?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Waterford, PA
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    904
    I had 3 sleds by the time I sold my Cabinet Saw. The first one accommodated a 24" panel, so was 30" x 36"". It worked well for sheet goods but was heavy to take on and off the saw and was difficult to store. The second one I used all the time. It was 16 x 40. The extra length gave me more support for cross cutting solid stock. It could accommodate a 12" wide piece of material. The final one, which I still have was specific to making box joints and is tiny by comparison. I now use it on an old Craftman saw dedicated to box joints.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
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    503
    I currently have 2. 1 is the incra 5000 which replaced my 36 x 25(inside fences). I replaced it hoping it would be more manageable. I trip over this one too now. I think pieces 24" wide are easier to crosscut without a sled assuming they aren't 10' long. I would go smaller. 16" or so x 30" wide.

    The one i like to use is piece of 1/2" for the base and its 24" wide x12"

    I also have a few others for specialty stuff. (Coasters, picture frames,Etc)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Funny you should ask...

    I'm currently making both sleds 3X3Custom - Tamar has on Youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McXJxYLXq-E

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McXJxYLXq-E

    One is a smaller one and one is a larger one that has an extension to the fence.
    She (Tamar) does a very good job of walking through each step of the construction.

    My current one is 30" wide and 24" front to back.
    It's both too large and not large enough - if that makes sense.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    6,395
    Most of my work is shorter so I made one that is the width from the sawblade to the right hand end of the table, about 24". and roughly 12" front to back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I have a few. Most used is 36 x 26 allowing for 24 inches comfortably between the fences.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  7. #7
    only had one and it would cross cut 50". Made from half inch baltic, hard maple front and back

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Leawood, KS
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    42
    Some good feedback here. I'll be using 3/4 BB since I want to use some T-track for hold-downs. Sounds like 36x24 will be probably too large and heavy to be convenient.

    I think I'll shrink the back fence down to about 30", and taper towards the front fence to keep the weight down. I don't have any pending projects with boards wider than 16" so I can drop down from 24 inches.

    Might as well start on the smaller side and build larger when I need it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    I'm interested in this question as well.
    I have crosscut sled that is about 20" deep and about 32" wide. It works well but will be building a couple more in the future. Sometimes the larger size is required but I'd really like a smaller sled in addition which would likely become my more used sled.

    I used the matchfit dovetail bit to make the clamping slots/grid along with the matching matchfit clamps. I'm extremely happy with this configuration and will use it on any sled. Getting it clamps quickly in place is very easy. I'd definitely go this route over t-track.

    The other issue I've had is my fence/backstop hasn't stayed flat. I glued up a couple layers of the 3/4 baltic birch plywood. I did use a good grade of this from my wood supplier as opposed to the orange or blue store stuff. But it has still moved. I have acquired some thick phenolic as well as 80/20 aluminum extrusions that I will be using for my next fences.

    I'm still not sure about the runners. I used aluminum bar stock on my current sled. It seems to work well. There are a few options for this and I'm not sure which is the best or what may offer any advantage over my aluminum runners. I also tend to over-analyze such things so likely many of the runner materials may yield good results. UHMW is appealing to me though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    This one works great and is very convenient. It does not need a back fence or hold down hardware. It is 3/16" underlayment, a piece of basswood and an oak runner. Weighs about 2 pounds so it goes on or off with one hand. It's about 24 x 30.

    I recently made a small one with front and back fences about 12 x 12 for detail work.


    sled.jpg

  11. #11
    Have a NYW style panel cutter, Dubby, and most used is a tiny sled. Tiny sled is approx 6" X 8", single runner, with ends trimmed, using left miter slot. Trim one end, and then reverse in miter slot and trim the other. Use it especially for squaring the end of boards.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    [QUOTE=Tom Bender;3144776]This one works great and is very convenient. It does not need a back fence or hold down hardware. It is 3/16" underlayment, a piece of basswood and an oak runner. Weighs about 2 pounds so it goes on or off with one hand. It's about 24 x 30.

    Tom one good feature yours has is a convieint hole to hang it from.
    Bill D.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2010
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    Mine accommodates 27" deep wood, which I find convenient. Having slightly more than 24" comes in handy more than you would think. What I don't find convenient is that it is made of 3/4" laminated MDF, and weighs so much I had to have a overhead hoist installed over my table saw to prevent me from having to lift it, which my back won't allow anymore.

    So deep - good. Heavy - bad. Hoist - nice to have.
    - When God closes a door, he opens a window. Our heating bill is outrageous & six raccoons got in last night. Please God, this has to stop!
    - Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

  14. #14
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    Alan's post reminds me of one I saw on YouTube. It was fairly large and made of plywood. To lighten it he had made large cutouts in the base. Seemed like a good idea.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
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    965
    Tom, is your saw’s power switch a step on controller on the floor ?

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