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Thread: Need for crosscut sled?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    I think like most things, there are advantages with either approach. I use an Osborne miter gauge on occasion but, maybe due to the nature of the work I do, I more often use 1 of several sleds. I have a large crosscut sled and several small sleds. One advantage I found with sleds is that they can be set up for a single task and gives me an instantly repeatable set up. I use several small lightweight sleds, with 1/2" mdf bases, to cut small parts. I cut building blocks for a local nonprofit so I use a small sled set up to cut equilateral triangles and it's the only task it does. I have another sled to just cut drawer stops for the furniture bank where I volunteer. I have another small sled with a movable stop that I cut a bunch of different parts with.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Western PA
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    I loathe making jigs and shopmade stuff to make furniture when that jig/shopmade stuff is commercially available. When forced to make a jig, i try to make it as quickly and cheaply as possible. When i had a cabinet saw, i much preferred the incra miter gauge. However, i was almost always crossing cutting aprons/drawerfronts to length at 90, or using it for tenons. I cant remember a time when i ever needed to cross something wider than 8-10" back then. Now, i have a sliding table saw and an oliver 232. I dont have a miter gauge for the Oliver, which almost forces me to make sleds when crosscutting/crossdadoing. The miter slots on that saw are quite wide, 1.25-1.5". A sled doesnt have to be a 8-10 hour project like William Ng's and some of these other sleds i see with plexi windows and t tracks etc. I made a junky one for my oliver in 10 mins out of scraps. Cut my 60 angle dados for an adjustable height highchair--the Stokke Tripp Trapp--and now i can put that sled in the corner to be repurposed at a later date. Each has their advantages, but a sled is awfully nice for the zero clearance factor. It is very convenient to line cuts up when the bottom and back of your sled are zeroed to your current blade/dado.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    3,262
    I have a very large crosscut sled that I use all the time. Can't imagine working without it. Made with 5-cut method. Weighs a ton, but store it overhead on an overhead hoist. Sure beats lifting up the beast.

    For small pieces I built a small crosscut sled, plus I have a third sled for when I'm using the dado blades.

    So, I use crosscut sleds a bunch. I also have an Incra 1000HD. Has been collecting dust for years. YMMV.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
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    880
    A crosscut sled has distinct advantages over a miter gauge, in my experience. I keep a small sled (30" wide X 16" deep) hanging next to my (very ordinary) cabinet saw, and use it constantly. I like the fact that it's zero clearance on both the bed, and both sides of the fence. I can clamp small pieces to the bed of the sled in order to make small elements and trim cuts. I make many cuts on the sled that I would not consider safe on a miter gauge. My saw would be incomplete without sleds.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX - Boulder Creek, CA
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    642
    I just had a 3x6" piece i needed to cut in half. Would have liked it to be dead square, but no way I was going to do it on a tablesaw without support on both sides of the blade. So it went on the miter saw and squared up on sandpaper.

    Just one of the reasons I will eventually make a sled for my Felder.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    Miter gage for me. Sleds are silly
    Then I'm the Sultan of Silly. At last count I have 7 sleds.
    If any of them disappeared in a sled heist, I'd be making a replacement immediately.
    I even listen to Sled Zeppelin.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 08-11-2022 at 12:34 PM.

  7. #22
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Then I'm the Sultan of Silly. At last count I have 7 sleds.
    If any of them disappeared in a sled heist, I'd be making a replacement immediately.
    I even listen to Sled Zeppelin a lot.

    Also true here. IMHO a miter gauge is fine for small stuff. I trust my sleds implicitly and my joinery always goes together without the need for crushing clamp pressures. I do use my Incra V-27's. One for the tablesaw and one for the router table. This is primarily for picture frames or angled cuts / feed paths. However, for multiple cuts with a stop or anything larger or heavier than the Yellow Pages (dating myself) a sled is so much easier, repeatable and safe. Just as on a CMS, small cutoffs can become dangerous when they just "fall away". The support of both keeper and spoil with a sled is a safety factor. If your sled is too heavy or bulky, make a smaller one.

    P.s. They are also a good platform for other tasks. I just used a right angle fixture this morning to knock out some planters for the wife.

    Matchfit-Sled (30).jpg . Matchfit-Sled (31).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-11-2022 at 1:49 PM.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." - George Carlin

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    323
    haha yep a slider is the ultimate cross cut sled! I appreciate mine every time I use it. Sleds are awesome, but dang mine was heavy.

  9. #24
    I think the point of the Exact-90 is that most cuts (99% according to TWW) are at 90 degrees so why invite error with a device that does miters. Make it fixed at 90 degrees and make it rock solid. Certainly a crosscut sled accomplishes that but the one I built is heavy and cumbersome to use. Some have mentioned making a smaller sled to solve that problem. I may give that a try.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Steve, I don't disagree with TWW's logic on that...a whole bunch of cross cutting really is at 90 in my experience, so a fixed fixture, as it were, can be ideal for a lot of that work. I don't believe it takes away the need for "sled-like-things", however, as you mention. This is especially true for small parts cutting. Another advantage to a good sled is the ability to temporarily fasten work support elements to the sled so one can create precise, repeatable cuts for things that just are not at 90 or oddly shaped, etc. Heck, even in the short time I've had the PCS in my temporary shop so I had an actual table saw, I've made quite a few temporary fixtures to "make that cut" which just couldn't be handled with a miter gage or even with my sled.
    --

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

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
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    14,432
    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    If any of them disappeared in a sled heist, I'd be making a replacement immediately.
    Are sled heists a thing where you live?
    Lee Schierer
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  12. #27
    Yes common in our area. I usually call the mounties and they ride up then their horses and tie them to the tree on the front lawn.

    They tell me most people drop them and leave them part way down the road complaining they are too heavy.


    Id like to do woodworking what do I need?

    I dont know what are you going to do?

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    162
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    I think the point of the Exact-90 is that most cuts (99% according to TWW) are at 90 degrees so why invite error with a device that does miters. Make it fixed at 90 degrees and make it rock solid. Certainly a crosscut sled accomplishes that but the one I built is heavy and cumbersome to use. Some have mentioned making a smaller sled to solve that problem. I may give that a try.
    I see the point, but it seems like a classic WP move. Over-engineer a single-use solution and charge an exorbitant amount for it. I don't doubt that the accuracy improved by eliminating the miter aspect, but it feels odd paying $325 for something that has less functionality than other premium-priced miter gauges. So going back to the sled vs. miter gauge debate, I'd rather keep a small sled and pay for another nice (but cheaper) miter gauge. If you buy the Exact-90, you still need another miter gauge (or have another solution to cut your miters).

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    2,413
    If I have to give up either my sled or my Incra miter gauge it's the latter. There is no way it comes ahead of my robust sled (with hold downs). Especially if I have to cut multiple small pieces. Just a lot more efficient and safer!

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX - Boulder Creek, CA
    Posts
    642
    Bigger, highly contoured, anodized, engraved ...

    'Value added. Profit is always a percentage of 'cost of goods'.

    You wanna spend all your spare change? I can make you one from titanium with gold plated hardware...

    I'd have to sub-contract any inlay of precious jewels though, but I *do* have a source ...

    ;-)

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