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If you are looking to improve the versatility and function of your table saw, a table saw sled can allow you to make crisscross cuts at 45-degree angles with incredible accuracy. A table saw sled works to hold your wood piece in place as you cut, offering you a durable guide as well as enhanced safety protection.
Learning how to make a table saw sled is relatively simple if you follow these step-by-step instructions.
How To Make a Table Saw Sled
If you’re just getting started as a DIY hobbyist, chances are you don’t have the most expensive of table saws and need to make yourself a table saw sled. This will give you more versatility, while also increasing your accuracy. Here are step-by-step instructions for you to follow:
1. Gather the Supplies You Need
To begin the process of how to build a table saw sled, you first need to gather all the tools and materials you need to complete the project. This is a complete list of everything you will need for the cutting, assembly, and building of your table saw sled:
- Table saw
- Straight edge
- Drill with a countersink bit
- Framing square
- Tape measure
- Wood screws
- Hardwood pieces
2. Cut Plywood for the Base
The first step in how to build a table saw sled is to begin by cutting a piece of plywood that is the same dimensions as your tabletop saw.
This will act as your base for your table saw sled and the rest of the pieces you cut and construct will attach to this base.
Make sure you make it large enough to fit over the entire tabletop of your table saw easily. Measure twice and cut once – you don’t want to waste the wood!
3. Cut Runners for the Guides
You now need to cut two runners to attach to your table saw sled and slide through the miter gauge slots.
It is best if you cut two runners for your table saw sled as one runner will not provide you as much support as you might need.
Your miter gauge slots may not be identical in nature. Take your time to cut each runner’s width and length, so it fits accordingly.
4. Assemble Runners to the Base
To attach your runners to your sled base, you will need place each runner in each miter gauge slot.
Place your sled base on top and mark where you need to place your screws to hold the runners securely. Your runners should be able to slide in the miter gauge slots with ease and be flush with your tabletop.
Use your drill with a countersink bit to drill holes where you need to place your wood screws. Five holes should be enough and provide a secure hold.
After the runners have been attached to the table saw sled base, check how it slides through the miter gauge slots. It should move freely without any friction. It friction does occur; you may need to adjust your screws.
5. Build and Mount the Fence
Next, you will need to cut a fence piece from your plywood that will act as the stopping block for your wood piece when cutting.
It should be the width of your table saw sled and attach at one end to help you move the wood piece through the saw blade.
Attach the fence using your clamps to hold it in place while you drill holes for your wood screws.
6. Make a Kerf Cut in the Base
You will also want to make a kerf cut along the full base of your table saw sled. This will allow the saw blade to run through the sled without obstruction or limitations.
You will want to make sure your fence and kerf cut are calibrated and can use your framing square to test for straightness of the fence and cut.
Adjust both as necessary to create an accurate straight edge by using your shims to take up any slack or gaps that have occurred.
You may also want to add a few support blocks to your fence as this does most of the pushing and pulling into the saw blade and can become loose over time.
7. Test and Begin Cutting
Place your table saw sled on your table saw and use your fence to push a piece of wood into the blade.
It should slide easily into the miter gauge slots and provide you plenty of guidance as you cut with the saw. It should cut with ease and provide no issues as you cut.
You have successfully completed your table saw sled with this simple how to make a table saw sled guide. You can begin enjoying your new table saw sled and make more accurate cuts without the worry about kickbacks or wood strikes. It is the ideal accessory for your tabletop saw and will get plenty of use for your woodworking projects.