Welcome back to Fix This Build That. Today we’re gonna make a table saw sled with an integrated stop block. A crosscut sled is a must-have jig for the table saw in my opinion. Paired with a stop block it lets you make repeated cuts With ease and the cuts are clean. Thanks to a zero clearance. Slop that’s matched with your blade now I’ll show you how to make the sled and I’m gonna give you some free plans for it, too And my old sled served me well for years Until I decided to cut a 45 degree miter on it and I basically ruined the zero clearance slot So today I will be making a nicer version with a still simple design.
I grabbed a large piece of half inch plywood and cut it down to 36 by 24 inches for the sled base And this is a bit larger than my old one for a little bit more capacity The half inch plywood is gonna help keep the weight down Before the fence is I’m going to use a double stack of 3/4 inch plywood I had a 5 foot off cut about 9 inches wide that I ripped down to two three and a half inch strips And next I cut both strips at 37 inches Which would be for the back fence and this left meet with two strips at about 23 inches for the front fence And gluing the plywood together makes a really beefy fence, but you also want to make sure it’s as straight as possible If you have any bow in the plywood that you’re using you can counteract that bow By flipping the boards in towards each other during the glue up now this will make the bowing boards work against each other and it kind of cancels it out most of the time I thought a glue bottle flipped will be a fun way to kick off this glue up But apparently I’m more lego movie Batman than dude.
Perfect Yes, first try And nothing special here just a lot of glue and a lot of clamps So keep the board’s on line as best you can but we’ll square everything up after they’re dry So it’s not a big deal If everything isn’t perfect if you get a little bit overzealous with the glue Like I did then you can just scrape it off while it’s still wet.
This is gonna be a lot easier than scraping it Later, since you can’t really access the board until you take the clamps off. I Let the boards dry overnight and I took them out of the clamps the next day after that I flatten one side of each fence on my jointer and then I cleaned up the opposite face on the table saw You can clean up both faces on the table saw here if you don’t have a jointer And next I needed to cut the fences to final width I cut one end of the long back fence square on the miter saw and then I mark the other cut using that sled base The length of the short fence really doesn’t matter here. So I just cut each in square and then the last step for now was to put a round over on all the exposed edges for a little bit of creature comfort while I’m using the sled The next I switched to making and mounting the runners a my old sled had hardwood oak runners which worked out great So I’m gonna be using hardwood again I grabbed a small piece of maple and some of the plywood off cuts for this step and The key is to get a fit as tight as possible that will still slide easily in the miter slots First I use the plywood to make a few test cuts and dial in that right sizing Then I ran the maple board through to cut my runners to width After that I just did the fence to 3/8 of an inch and flip the runners on edge and ran them through for their final thickness I took the runners to the sled base and laid out and drilled three countersunk holes in each one You’ll notice the runners are a little bit longer than the base and this is gonna make mounting it to the bottom a little bit easier And next I use the miter slots to position the runners I took little stacks of two washers and laid them along the miter slot this way I could drop the runners on top of them and raise the runner above the tabletop surface I set my fence at 24 inches Which will give me two feet to the right of the blade and one feet to the left of the blade for my finished sled then I put a few dabs of super glue on the runners and Set the base on top with some weight on it and let it set After a couple minutes, I flipped the sled over and secured the runners permanently with number six 5/8 of an inch screws.
I Cut the runners delight on the base and then gave the table saw sled a test run And it was a little sticky in spots. So I used the tip from the Wood Whisperer to fix it I put pencil marks on the runners and I ran it back and forth to see where it was rubbing With a little sanding and some trial and error I got to slide nicely with no slop Before mounting the fences I wanted to add a handhold to the end of the sled for a little more ease of use and I used a one and a half inch Forstner bit to establish the ends of the hand slot and I did with any dad joke enthusiast would do I think I’ll name him Fred a Little work with the jigsaw connected the handhold and gave Fred a sweet Daft Punk look I guess sometimes you get lucky And on that note if you like woodworking DIY projects and dad jokes, go ahead and get subscribed My old table saw sled was bare-bones and I just used a scrap clamp to the fence for my repeated cuts an Integrated stop block is gonna make this a lot easier.
So I’ll be embedding a Kreg mini track into the fence here And using some supplies from wood craft. I’ll make my own stop block Instead of running the track all the way across the back of the fence I’m gonna leave a 2-inch space where the blade will come through the fence. This is gonna keep my zero clearance intact It’s gonna keep the blade away from the track and give me a little practice on stop data as while. I’m doing it. I Took the fence over to my router table and I made marks where the track would stop on either side of the blade I use a blue tape to help with tear out since the grain was running in the wrong direction But it really gummed up my bit.
So be careful about that I marked the width of the cut and then I lined it up and made my first pass. I Used these stop marks that I made on the fence along with the opening of my moveable router fence Which I had set to the size of my bit So when I got it to my first mark, I could stop knowing that that would leave me right at that line To get the groove on the back side I had to make a plunge cut and I snuck back up to that line and then plowed out the rest of the cut After I had those two complete I moved the router fence back to get my full width groove and repeated the process now this worked perfectly in the track fit right in I Finished it up by squaring up the end of each slot with a chisel for a nice clean Look if you had a three quarter inch router bit You could go ahead and just do this in one pass and that of two as well While I was at the router table I added an eighth of an inch by eighth of an inch recess to the bottom of that back fence This is going to give the sawdust a place to go when you’re making repeated cuts So it doesn’t build up between the workpiece in your fence.
I Had to cut down the mini track to fit into each side and I just did that over at my miter saw Just make slow cuts here, but it is aluminum and you can cut it with carbide tip blades Then I test fit the track and round it over the edges of each end with a file To keep them from catching on anything once they’re installed For simpler version of mounting this track you could also just use multiple passes on the table saw or a dado blade To make a groove the length of the fence If you don’t have a saw with a blade break then this is probably a much quicker option At this point I start putting the fences on the sled The front fence is basically just to hold the sled together once it’s cut so I’m lined up the fence on the far edge So I could give Fred a solid base to stand on And then I drilled and attached the fence with one and a half inch screws next I raise the blade up and I cut through the front fence in the base until is about three inches from the back of The sled now I’ll use this cut line to set the back fence.
I flip the sled over and I drilled countersunk holes all along that back edge and I made an extra one here at the end which I’m gonna use to put my first screw in to do some adjustments Then I flipped the sled back over and I clamped the fence into place squaring it to that cut line as best. I could I secured one screw in the near-end and put another screw in that extra hole that I drilled on the far end and Now we can really fine tune in this fence I’m gonna be using William ings five cut method but a little bit of a simplified version I numbered all four sides of an 18 by 18 inch piece of plywood and then I ripped off a small portion on each side Rotating the freshly cut side onto the fence after each cut When I got back to side one where I’d made my first cut I cut a little bit larger strip this time.
I Used my calipers to measure the front in the back of this strip I did a little math on my shop notebook here and I saw that I had 48 thousands of air from front to back but this is going to be multiplied over for cut So the air over the length of my strip was only actually 12 thousands Now using william ings method you would do some math and get the adjustment to make it the other end of your fence but instead of doing that I’m just going to a 12,000 adjustment at the exact length of my strip.
I Made a mark where the screw was on the near side of my fence and that’s the pivot point This is gonna move in once I take out that other screw and I made another mark at the end of the strip and this will be my adjustment point I clamped the point of a small scrap of wood against my adjustment mark then I removed the screw on the far side and I moved that fence back just a little bit and my strip was thicker at The front and I cut on the right side of the blade so to correct it I needed to move the right side of the fence backwards I used a .012 feeler gauge and I put that right on the corner of the scrap block and then I snugged the fence up right against it I clamped it down and I pre-drilled and put a screw in one of those other countersunk holes on the other end Make sure you don’t use the one you used before it’ll move the fence right back into place.
I repeated the five cuts again, and I took some new measurements I was able to cut the air down by about 75% and it got me down to three thousandths or 16 and 3/4 and that ends up being only about eight thousandths or one a hundred and twenty Eighth of an inch over four feet and that is plenty good for all the work that I’m going to be doing. I clamped a level to the fence just to help resist any small movements while I was screwing it into place Then I secured the fence in all of those countersunk hole locations except again leaving that initial adjustment hole open Next I grabbed my t track and I secured it into place and started making the stop block now The stop block is just a simple design that I got from Jay Bates.
He used this on his miter saw station It’s a small block of wood with a spline on the back the spline is gonna help keep the block from Rotating when you’re locking it down and this will help from throwing off the measurement that you just set for it. I used the sled to cut a small scrap block and cut a little spline, which I fine tuned to fit the track using some sandpaper Then I mark the block for the spline cut and I lowered the blade to cut a groove for it using these layout marks I cut a groove for the spline using the crosscut sled And once I got it fine-tuned just right.
I put a dab of glue on and lock the spline in place now you can see it’s a great fit with no slop and you can see that little eighth inch offset of the base and that will allow for sawdust to clear under it just like the fence I took the stop blocked at the drill, press and I drilled a hole in the middle of the spline I’m using a knob and T bolt from woodcraft like I mentioned earlier so to make room for the t-bolt I marked it on the back and chiseled it out with my wood river socket chisels I’ll have links down below to the track the hardware and these chisels and more Wood craft has a ton of great woodworking hardware and tools so go check them out They probably have something that you need for your next project With my new stop Block in place.
I could make the safety feature for this sled I cut two blocks to four by three inches, and then I glued them together and round it over the edges I used an 87 tops baseball card as a shim since that’s about all they’re worth these days and Attach the block to the back of the sled over the blade exit point My blade can’t cut higher than the safety block So as long as I keep my hands on top of or to the side of this block I know that they’ll always be safe of the blade This is a nice upgrade to my old table saw sled and I’m really looking forward to spending some time With Fred the sled making some cool projects If you want free plans to build your own there’s a link right down below that you can go check out you want to check? out some more shop projects I got them right there and YouTube thinks you’ll like that one as well until next time guys.
Get out there and build something awesome.