What Is a Table Saw Sled Used For?

Last modified on May 18, 2022
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Since a small area is registered against the fence, using the table saw’s fence for crosscuts is exceedingly dangerous. It’d be easy to twist the workpiece, causing a kickback or, at the at least, destroying it.

So, what is the purpose of a crosscut sled? A crosscut sled is used to create crosscuts on a table saw, as the name indicates. That description, however, just scratches the surface.

On a table saw, you use a crosscut sled to achieve accurate, repeatable crosscuts. Perfect, in our opinion, because the cuts are dead-on without any tear-out and are quite safe because to a well-designed sled. A typical crosscut sled includes a 90-degree blade, a zero-clearance kerf, and backer support through the blade on both sides of the blade (vary according to the size of the crosscut sled and back fence of the saw).

A sled’s flexibility may be increased by adding stops and clamps, which can be used to cut different angles or even rip small parts. By fastening a stop block (a small piece of wood) to the sled’s fence, you may easily crosscut multiple parts of the same length. A sled, like a miter gauge, can travel in a single miter slot, but many designs employ two miter tracks.

There is substantially less danger of kickback than with a miter gauge since both the workpiece and the offcut travel with the sled and are supported by a fence transverse to the blade. As the blade departs, both the workpiece and the offcut will not have blowout.

It’s pretty unusual for a woodworker to construct many crosscut sleds for various applications. One for large parts, one for small parts, and potentially one for cutting the sides with the blade slanted 45 degrees if you create boxes.

Although most crosscut sled designs do not allow for the use of a blade guard, you should always use your riving knife. Polycarbonate guards are included into several miter sled designs. Many designs incorporate features like designated hand grips or a windowed cage that totally encloses the blade as it leaves the back fence to keep your hands away from the blade.

Why Use a Sled on A Table Saw?

The phrase “crosscut” refers to the method of cutting through wood. There are two main forms of cuts, rip cuts and cross cuts.

Rip cuts is when we make a straight cut, parallel to the grain. A table saw can handle this sort of cut with ease.

Cutting across the grain of the wood is known as a crosscut. This is a more difficult and riskier cut to make. They can still be done cleanly and safely with a Miter Saw and the added support provided by a Crosscut Sled.

A crosscut sled’s goal is to replace a miter gauge with a more practical and safer tool for cutting accuracy.

Do You Need a Crosscut Sled if You Have a Miter Saw?

No, but it’s beneficial to have it.

It’s worth taking the effort to put up a crosscut sled just for the sake of safety.

While the miter is ideal for angle cuts, it lacks flexibility. Sleds let you cut wood in any direction without it slipping. Additionally, they make a variety of other jobs, such as shoulder cuts and finger joints, much easier.

Crosscut Sled vs Miter Saw

You can cut at a variety of angles using a miter saw. This makes ideal for cutting doors and window frames, window casings, and other things.

A miter saw typically comes with a miter gauge, which is a device that holds your woodworking item at a specific angle.

In contrast, a crosscut sled is intended to fit into the miter gauge slot. It allows you to produce a fixed and exact angled cut again and over again after it’s been set up.

When it comes to cutting wood securely and correctly without it slipping and sliding, a crosscut sled outperforms a miter gauge.

Best Table Saw Sled Dimensions

The sled may be made in whatever size you wish. The size of the wood you’ll be dealing with will, however, decide the exact size you select to create it.

You’re on the correct track if the length of your sled is more than the width of the wood you’re cutting.

At the very least, you should create two sleds. One enormous one for significant bits of work. Then there’s a scaled-down version that’s perfect for those little jobs.

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