How to make a table saw sled – Step-by-step guide

Table saw sled makes cutting wood safer and more accurate. There are many ways to create a table saw sled. However, take care of that when you are a skilled carpenter. This article will give you the simplest method. So, let’s find out the methods to make a table saw sled.

How to make a table saw sled

There are many ideas for making a table saw sled. However, if you are a beginner, do not mind them. Here are 12 steps for you to get the best results.

Step 1: Prepare materials

Before you start, you need to prepare the following materials:

  • Digital calipers (or a tape measure)
  • Glue
  • Drill bits & countersink
  • Plywood (the area of Plywood depends on your saw’s table)
  • Straight hardwood scrap

Step 2: Measure the width and depth of the track

The first thing you need to measure is the width and depth of the tracks. You can measure the width and depth of the track with a tape measure. You should write down the numbers on a piece of paper in case you forgot it.

You can also use digital calipers instead of a tape measure. It also works great for measuring the width and depth of tracks.

You must make sure these numbers are accurate. They play a very important role in making the table saw sled work smoothly.

How to make a table saw sled

Step 3: Cut the track

After having the parameters related to the track, proceed to cut the track.

Place the fence about the width of the track bar from the saw blade. Then run the straight hardwood scrap through the saw blade.

Next, place the fence at a distance from the saw blade equal to the depth of the track. Then run the cut hardwood through the saw blade again.

If your hardwood cut is very long, you can cut it in half. If not, you have to go through the above step one more time. You should use a set of push sticks to let the straight hardwood scrap run through the saw blade

Step 4: Clean wood chips

Before proceeding to the next steps, you can clean the table saw surface. Although this step is not important, you should still do it to get the best results. Make sure you remove all the wood chips from the miter track.

Cleaning wood chips

Step 5: Check out track

Try putting both cut hardwoods you just obtained on the track to see if it fits. Try sliding them a few times in the track to gauge their flexibility. 

If you feel a bit entangled, it could be due to wood chips. Try sanding the sides of cut hardwoods and try again.

If they still do not satisfy you, repeat step two to create a new one.

Step 6: Check plywood sled base

In fact, plywood sled base does not have to be perfectly square. You can even use plywood with uneven edges. 

However, the surface of the plywood sled base must be very smooth. You should slightly sand the surface of the base before moving on to the next step.

Step 7: Use glue to stick plywood sled base and track

First, you need to put the hardwood into the mitre track. Anyway, you need to apply glue along the length of the hardwood. 

You need to remember not to apply too much glue to avoid the glue getting on the mitre track. 

Use glue to stick plywood sled base and track

Rest assured, after this step, we will fasten them again with screws. Do the same with the remaining hardwood. 

Then, place the plywood sled base on top and press down firmly. After that, it is best to leave it overnight for the glue to dry completely.

Step 8: Use drill and screw to fasten plywood sled base and track

Once the glue is dry, remove the glued assembly from the miter track.

Drill holes along the length of the hardwood. Ideally, you should drill 2-3 holes for each hardwood. Then apply screws to the holes. The combination of glue and screws will ensure the plywood sled base and track is firmly attached.

Once the drilling is complete, you should sand any burrs or bumps.

Using drill and screw to fasten plywood sled base and track

 

Step 9: Attach Sled front fence to plywood sled base

Sled front fence is the part furthest away from you when you operate the table saw sled. Take a wooden stick of the right length and glue it to the plywood sled base with scissors.

You should mount the sled front fence in the center of the base and perpendicular to the saw blade.

Step 10: Cut part of base

Slowly let the glued assembly run through the saw blade. Remember that the sled front fence is the part that is furthest away from you.

Step 11: The sled back fence

Unlike the sled front fence, the sled back fence is the part that needs to be precise. This section is where you align your wood before cutting. Therefore, the sled back fence needs to be perpendicular to the saw blade.

The wood used for the sled back fence must be completely square and straight. The length of the sled back fence must be as long as the width of the base.

Step 12: Check

Once done, you should test the product again to make sure it is ready to work. Try cutting a piece of wood a few times. It is best to start with 90-degree cuts. If possible, try making 45-degree cuts.

When you check your table saw sled, it is best to start with 90-degree cuts

What is the benefit of table saw sled?

If you are a beginner, you probably do not know the advantages of the table saw sled. In general, they have some advantages. 

  • Ensure your safety

It is extremely dangerous to keep your hand near the saw blade. With just a little distraction, you can suffer huge consequences. We all do not want that to happen, right? That is why you should use a table saw sled

It allows you to run the wood through the saw blade without bringing your hand too close to the saw. Thanks to that, you can avoid terrible accidents.

  • Increase accuracy

Thanks to using a table saw sled, you can cut the wood pieces perfectly. Making 90-degree cuts is no longer a difficult challenge. You can make 45 degree cuts much simpler and more precise.

  • Limiting friction when pushing wood through the saw blade

It is true to say that friction force is your enemy in this job. Friction will make it more difficult to get the wood to run through the saw blade. As a result, it may affect the cutting accuracy. 

With a table saw sled, you will not have to worry about that anymore. You will easily push the wood into the saw blade via a sled. This makes your work a lot easier. In addition, the cutting lines will also be more accurate.

  • Create equal sized pieces of wood

With a table saw sled you can create equal sized pieces of wood. The reason is that it can help you repeat a process easily. This is very useful when you need to mass produce something. Such as countertops, doors, chairs, etc.

All you need is to put the stop where you want it. After that, the cutting will repeat many times correctly. It is almost impossible to do without a table saw sled.

It can improve your safety and accuracy when using table saw

 

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Frequently Ask Questions

1. What is a sled for a table saw?

Simply put, it is a flat piece of wood that is attached to the saw’s table by two tracks. You can use it to run pieces of wood through the saw blade by pushing it up and down.

By using a table saw sled, your cuts will become extremely precise. It can improve your safety and accuracy.

2. What wood can I use for the sled base?

You can use whatever wood you have. However, plywood is the best choice. However, many people will recommend birch wood. In general, any piece of wood with a smooth side will work.

3. Am I required to use a table saw sled?

The short answer is no. It is completely optional. Using a table saw sled only makes your work smoother. It can improve your safety and accuracy when using table saw. 

4. I am preparing to make a table saw sled. However, I am having a hard time trying to figure out its size. What should be the size of a table saw sled?

There is no exact answer to this question. The size of a table saw sled depends on many factors. In general, it depends on the size of the saw’s table and the material you want to cut.

5. Are a table saw sled safe?

The short answer is yes. As long as you craft it properly. It can improve your safety.

Conclusion

Making a table saw sled is not too difficult, right? However, this is the simplest way to create a table saw sled. You can refer to other ideas if you are a skilled carpenter. Good luck!

Reference Source: EASY TO MAKE CROSS CUT SLED for TABLE SAW – DIY

 

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