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Thread: Need for crosscut sled?

  1. #1

    Need for crosscut sled?

    After watching the video below I'm questioning the need for my crosscut sled. It seems that mine rarely gets used in favor of an Incra miter gauge, which I find easier to handle than the bulky and heavier crosscut sled. The only complaint with the miter gauge is it doesn't stay square or at least I don't always trust it. The Woodpeckers Exact-90 seems like a good alternative except for the price. Anyone else rely more on a miter gauge for simple crosscuts than a crosscut sled?

  2. #2
    I have 3 table saws. My Uni-saw. A Bosch that I use for general rough cutting, and my Delta, I leave the dado blade in permanently. I also have 3 Incra 1000HD Miter gauges. I also have 3 sleds. The sleds are stored away up in the attic of my garage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Bluffton, SC
    Posts
    22
    I have the Incra 3000 and I built the sled from The Wood Whisper. I use both all the time. As in his illustration I can't cut a panel with the incra. Maybe I can design the drop pin on my Incra. My sled hangs on the wall and it's a easy on easy off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,263
    Miter gage for me. Sleds are silly
    Aj

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    531
    I had planned to make a sled-mostly for larger panels- but I was fortunate enough to get an Incra 5000 miter sled when I bought a complete hobby WWers shop at an estate sale. I'm too cheap to buy one outright and after using it for several years I would definitely step up and buy one now. Great accuracy, super safe for small piesces and repetability is easy. Down side was limited width of panels you can cut and I made a table extension with a dadoe for the miter bar. My TS is left tilt so I can't use it for bevel cuts as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    8,336
    I would not want to be w/o my miter sled. No miter gage comes close to supporting the work as well, or having a built in ZCI. I built it 30 years ago and it still cuts 90.0 deg, without fail.

    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    317
    For 1/3 the price of that mitre gauge (~$350) you could make a nice sled out of BB. Using the 5 cut method to square the fence, you can get 90 deg +/- 0.01. Especially if you have a table saw with a smaller top.

    Sleds support the workpiece and the offcut, allowing you to clamp both if you need the precision. It keeps your hands well away from the blade, probably the safest cut a cabinet saw can make.

    But man it sucks lugging that thing up on the table.

    For example a sled allows you to rip an 18”x8’ piece of 3/4” plywood and make the crosscut for cabinet sides with precision. And you could do that on a job site saw with a quality crosscut sled.

    Lots of ways to skin this woodworking cat.

  8. #8
    50" baltic one used for many years, it cross cut 4 x 8's. It paid for other machines. What you need depends on what you do. It did tons of work and I didnt care about the weight.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 08-11-2022 at 1:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    61,598
    I"ve only had a cabinet saw in my (temporary shop) for about a year right now and I had to nearly immediately make up a crosscut sled in order to safely (at least for me) do that kind of work. A sled is a lot more comfortable for "critical" cross cutting as well as handling small things than a miter gage of any kind, IMHO.
    --

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
    Posts
    1,047
    Sleds are very important for the things I make. All of mine are home made.
    There are several tasks that I can not find another way to accomplish, other than using robots.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 08-10-2022 at 10:46 PM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Redmond, OR
    Posts
    439
    I can't remember the last time I used a sled or a miter gage. Cross cuts are done on the Radial arm saw and ripping is done on the table saw. I have been working like this for the past 35 years. Before that crosscuts were done on the radial arm saw and ripping was done on the radial arm saw. I celebrate the day when I got my first table saw and no longer had to rip on the radial arm saw.

    The last time I used a sled it was for making box joints.
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 08-11-2022 at 12:45 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,178
    It's tough to crosscut a 24" or 30" wide panel with a miter gauge, more so if it's also over 4' long. I personally have no use for a miter gauge.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    14,432
    I have a Kreg miter gauge and I use it most of the time. However, when I have a piece that is wider than the distance from the blade to the edge of the saw table, my crosscut sled gets used. I also use my cross cut sled for pieces that are going to have more than 30 inches of length against my miter gauge. I've noticed that the drag on longer pieces when cross cutting can deflect creating inaccuracies.
    Lee Schierer
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
    Posts
    717
    I feel like I made a mistake buying the incra 5000. It rarely goes on the saw and takes up a ton of room. I should have went with one of the 1000's

  15. #15
    I have an Incra Miter Express sled which I have used very little and a JDS Accumiter miter gauge which I have used a lot. The Accumiter has a clamp and a really long bar which alleviate most of the problems with miter gauges. I use it most of the time. The clamp holds the workpiece downward against the bar. It prevents work from slipping laterally while being cut. The long bar with nylon washers that spread to adjust the fit have no play. The head is rigid. I adjusted the angle with the 5 cut method. Cuts are square many years later. I should probably repeat the 5 cut test to see how close it is. The fence has a nice rigid flip stop for crosscuts in the 5-20” range. A telescoping bar extends the width to 32-36”. Too bad JDS went out of business. They had some innovative, high-quality products.

    I bought the Incra sled to do production runs of parts for cabinet door and drawers. I wanted repeatable position of flip stops. I haven’t done that operation much but have a large run of built-ins to do this year. I will see if it helps. The fence was set with 5 cut method and gives square results. The sled is small and light compared to many sleds. I haven’t weighed it but it is not much different than the Accumiter.

    I expect to keep both close to the saw and use as needed.
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 08-11-2022 at 9:07 AM.

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