Introduction: Ultimate Crosscut Sled With Dust Collection

There are so many sleds out there. I have done so much homework to find my preference of a sled and attributes that make it so versatile. This sled is my version of what I think the perfect sled is. Welcome to my article of the Ultimate Crosscut Sled with DUST COLLECTION!

Step 1: Break It Down!

1. Break down a piece of 3/4” plywood to a size to your preference. This is to be oversized and later broken down to final size on the table saw.

Step 2: Set Up the Runners!

2. The miter runners I am using is a solid aluminum 24” miter bar that you can find at Rockler. With so many adjustment screws it will prevent slop in your cross cut sled.

Step 3: Mill Up the Fence!

3. Using hardwood, ash in my case, cut two pieces for the long half and cut two more short pieces for the top of the fence. These are oversized first and can be cut down to final thickness later.

Step 4: Glue It Up!

4. Now just laminate the pieces together

Step 5: Raise the Runners!

5. In order to attach the miter bars in place effectively, I need to raise the bars off the surface of the saw. This way the plywood sits on the bars only and not the saw. This will give the best way to glue the bars to the plywood.

Step 6: Glue the Runners!

6. Use super glue to adhere the the bar to the plywood. I use the fence on my saw, as I know that it is parallel to the blade. Let cure and then remove it from the saw.

Step 7: Countersink the Runners!

7. Counter sink and pre-drill holes for screws to secure it.

Step 8: Dado the Base of the Sled for T-Slots!

8. Using the dado stack, carve out the slots for the t-track on the sled base, in your desired spots. Mine are appx 4" to either side of where the blade kerf will be.

Step 9: Backset and Cut the T-Slots to Length!

9. Back set the t-track 1 1/2” from the front end (this is not the fence edge). Take an exactoknife and mark the t-track so it can be cut flush with the fence edge of the sled base.

Step 10: Biscuit Join the Stabilizer!

10. Using biscuits, join the stabilizer bar to the base (opposite edge of the fence) with plenty of glue!

Step 11: Create a Dust Channel

11. Using the router and a chamfer bit, create a dust channel for the dust to escape when cutting. This is only at the base of the blade side of the fence.

Step 12: Groove and Assemble the Fence!

12. Using the dado blade, cut out the channel for the t-tracks on both the long and short pieces of the fence. Then glue them together in line with the blade kerf that you will create later.

Step 13: Create Round Overs on the Base!

13. Using a quart can, create curves on the stabilizer and the base of the sled. Pre-cut the cross grain with a knife and cut the curves with a jigsaw.

Step 14: Round Overs of a Different Kind.....

14. Then round over the edges of the sled except for the fence edge.

Step 15: Create Your Pivot Point

15. Measure 1” from right edge and 3/4” from the back edge. Make a hole at that intersection for a screw to create a pivot point for the fence.

Step 16: Square It Up As Much As Possible!

16. Using a framing square, line up the fence as close as possible to the blade. This will make the 5 cut method easier to accomplish.

Step 17:

17. Clamp and screw it down on the other end of the fence. Then cut through the fence.

Step 18: 5 Cut Method

18. Now it is time to do the 5 cut method. Using a board that is roughly 12-13” square in size. Make a cut on all four sides, turning the board clockwise for each cut, and on the 5th cut slice off a strip appx 1” in width.

(Pic 35)

Step 19: 5 Cut Formula!

19. Utilizing this formula, it will determine the margin of error to adjust the fence into squareness.

"Top - Bottom / 4 / length of strip x the length of the fence from the pivot point to the end of the fence = margin of error” A negative number the fence must move towards the blade A positive number the fence must move away from the blade.

Step 20: Adjust for the Margin of Error!

20. Now select the feeler gauge that = the answer you got from the formula. Remove the Cut a piece of wood with a fine tip and place it at the end of the fence with the feeler gauge in place to move the fence where you need it to go. Make a new hole in the bottom of the fence and sled and retest the 5 cuts to see if your margin of error decreased. Goal is below 10 thousands of a inch (0.010”).

Step 21: Anchor the Rest of the Fence!

21. If you have the fence within your desired range, then secure the fence completely.

Step 22: Finish the Kerf!

22. Now raise the blade up to its highest point and rerun it through the fence.

Step 23: Install the Rest of the T-slots!

23. Now place t-slot in the fence in the middle and top. Accommodate for the blade kerf.

Step 24: Chamfer the Ends!

24. Using a file, match the chamfers on the fence to the t-slots.

Step 25: LASTLY, ADD DUST COLLECTION!

25. Now to protect your hands from the blade on the other side of the fence, make a blade guard. It is nothing more than an enclosed box glued to the back of the fence. However, drill out a hole that will accept a 2 1/2” dust port on the right side of the box. This will enable a feature that no other cross cut sled will have, DUST COLLECTION!!!

Step 26: Utilize Your Versatility!

Now you can utilize clamps and stop blocks to take full advantage of all the features you have now created on your “perfect sled”. Enjoy and thank you for reading and watching.

Comments

author
yrralguthrie (author)2017-03-22

How does that dust collector work? There is no dust at that point.

author

I beg to differ. I have used crosscut sleds for several years and I always get dust on the surface of my sled by making cuts. That is why most people create dust channels on the fence. I made a second video on my second channel that shows just how much dust it does remove by performing one of the dustiest cuts I could think of. It didn't remove all of the dust by doing it but it removed about 90% of it

author

Beg all you want. :) Most of the dust from the table saw is underneath the top. Very few sleds have a vacuum in that position. My dust collector is from under the saw. With it off some saw dust does collect on the top, with it on very little. Now if you also have a second dust collector where most of the dust is then you're good. That dust collector in that position will collect only a small percentage of the dust.

There is no way on God's green earth that dust collector in that position removed 90% of the dust from any cut. I can put a hose within an inch of the blade in front and it won't get that much of the dust. The spinning saw blade throws it down into the normal dust collection channel. Which is built into 99 % of all saws. If you are cross cutting a 12" panel that collection nozzle is 12 " from the cut at first.

But you do whatever floats your boat. Good build otherwise, a bit repetitive, but good.

author

Well I must thank you for your "constructive" criticism. I know what I know because that's how are use it and it "WORKS". Yes I have two, count them too, dust collectors. One in the bottom of the saw and one in the back of the sled. My video demonstrated that very well. Thank you for your words and I hope that you are doing well. See you in the comments.

author
Zclip (author)2017-03-21

Dude. Step 19. Thank you!!!

author
JeremyR11 (author)Zclip2017-03-21

more on that from the master... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbG-n--LFgQ

author

Yea I give him all the credit in my video and show notes. He is the man!

author

Sorry, I should have mentioned that.. thats where I found him too, from your recommendation!

author

???

author

I hadnt heard of Mr. Ng until you mentioned him in your video but im a big fan now haha

author
Rock-n H Woodshop (author)Zclip2017-03-22

You're welcome! I did want to clarify though that I did have a miss print on my numbers. The pivot point to the opposite end was 28.75 not 12.75 When I did my calculations I did use the correct number but I made the graphic wrong.

author
charlessenf-gm (author)Zclip2017-03-22

STEP 19 - Why isn't it the length from pivot point to the left edge of the saw blade?

author

Well to be honest, since it is not my equation, I really cannot give you a safe answer. That would be best answered by William Ng. I suppose you could do that but that is where you will need to make your correction with your point and feeler gauge since that is where you measured . However, you are utilizing both right and left sides of the blade so measuring the entire fence not only will simplify the margin of error but will take into account the entire sled and not just half of it

author
deluges (author)2017-03-22

Neat!

author
JamesJ84 (author)2017-03-22

Nice work mate

author

Thank you!!!

author
signalsoldier (author)2017-03-21

So glad this came up featured in an email today. I bet I had watched at least 10 videos on sled construction over the past week. And maybe one of them were as detailed as this one. As a novice I really like how you broke it down "barney style" for the newbies to understand. And the pacing of the video was just right.


New subscriber!! Thank so much.

author

I try make my videos as instructive as possible. I always consider that there will be people watching this video who have just started in Woodworking and there are others that I've done it all their lives. Trying to balance those two can sometimes be tricky but apparently I am doing a pretty alright job.

author
KryptoTSD (author)2017-03-21

As soon as I get my own table saw, I'm building this!

author

You will enjoy using it.

author
JeremyR11 (author)2017-03-21

That smile in the thumbnail made me stop.. that is a man proud of his baby! I'd love to see each track used.. Im newer to woodworking and have seen stop blocks clamped to the front fence, but two tracks.. that sounds amazing!

author

You will love it too.

author
pmurray6 (author)2017-03-21

Hold down features for safety and accuracy. You are designing out the mistakes for work of certainty. First class job!

author

Thank you so much. I appreciate it!

author
iminthebathroom (author)2017-03-20

Wow, nice

author

Thank you!!!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am an avid Woodworker who loves to make videos and blogs for my channel! It keeps me sane and happy!
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