I am getting ready to make a crosscut sled. I was going to make the sled
out of 3/4" x 2' x 4' material from HD. The types of material they have
available, that I am considering, are birch, oak, melamine, and MDF.
I am looking for any opinions on which material to use and why. Thanks
I used some 1/4" plywood, a piece of 2x4, a piece of 2x6 and a couple
of strips of maple from some leftover flooring.
Why? It was lying around the shop and one day I wanted to make a
Wed, Apr 14, 2004, 11:21pm (EDT-2) dave@N_O_T_T_H_I_S.balderstone.ca
(Dave Balderstone) says:
I used <snip> Why? It was lying around <snip>
Yup. Same general idea, except 2X4 pieces, and a large chunk of
that thick stuff, maybe 1 1/2" thick. Next one probably1/2' or 3/4"
I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who
are as unqualified as some of the men who are already there.
- Maureen Reagan
A google search of the archives from not too long ago will yield a great
deal of information, including JOAT's odyssey in finding the perfect, for
him, crosscut sled.
Here's the truth, if such a thing is available: You're going to want more
than one sled. That's OK. They're cheap to make. The hardest part is
storing them in a small shop.
A big panel cutter, with a leading fence. A wide cutoff box, with fences
front and back for rigidity, and a place to clamp stop blocks, for
repeatable cuts. A small one, for quick use, when you don't want to clear
the entire aircraft carrier of a saw deck. One for miter cuts. OK, maybe
more than one for miter cuts.
Figure out which blade you're going to use, and stick with it. Part of the
function of these things is as sort of a zero clearance insert. A fat kerf
blade used with a sled originally used with a thin kerf blade causes
surprises the first time, and changes the geometry of the sled.
On a safety note: Glue a big block of hardwood behind where the blade
exits the fence on the operator side. Save yourself a nasty surprise.
who enjoys reading JOAT's posts, in spite of the trolls' comments.
I have used 1/4 Luan, OSB and 1/2 cabinet grade ply.
IMHO 3/4 will make it too heavy, and take a significan bite into depth of
cut. Good quality 1/2" or 3/8" ply is my favorite choice.. the best
compromise of weight and stability. OSB was not flat enough for my liking,
but OK for a specialy sled.
I agree that melamine would be too slippery, really heavy too. Laminated MDF
makes a good fence though (nice and flat).
I have a General 650 table saw, accurately set up. I also own a
Delta Sidekick 10" SCMS, set up as well as I can get it. The General
has much less arbor runout than the SCMS, so it makes a _really_
square cut. There is no comparison at all between a properly tuned
table saw compared to any miter saw I've ever seen. Maybe I just
haven't seen the right miter saw? <G>
When I build cabinets or shelving, I expect the ends to show NO light
against my Starrett square, no matter how wide the panel may be. I
also expect them to be perfectly square, plump, and level when
assembled. The larger the part, the smaller the error needs to be to
throw off the works.
I can cut 6' tall, 16" wide 3/4" panels on my sled that will stand on
end, alone, without support. I can't do that with my SCMS. The
proof is when I assemble a bookcase, and it dosen't matter which end
gets slid into the dado first, as it's ALL square and straight.
The SCMS is simply not as good. I haven't measured it, so I can't
give you anything like 1/64" over 18" from square, or a percentage of
degrees, etc... It just works.
So, your talking about square in two directions: the angle between the
face of the board and the end that was crosscut, and the angle between
the edge and the end. Do I understand you correctly?
You say that when you check a board that you cut on the table saw against
your square, you get no light between the square and the end of the
board. When you make the same cut on the SCMS, light peeks through. Is
this because the cut is out of square, or because the cut edge is not
Neither can I. My SCMS can make a 13" crosscut, max. (DW708)
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