Dual-duty Tablesaw Sled
Before you cut the sled parts, align your tablesaw blade parallel to the miter slots. Then adjust the rip fence parallel to the blade and slots. See woodmagazine.com/ sawtuneup for tips on preparing your saw.
Ace the base
This sled can crosscut parts up to 17∕" wide and miter-cut stock up to 3∕" wide. To mitercut wider parts, lengthen the base (A) and miterslot runners (D). The assembly steps remain the same. 1 Cut the base (A) [Materials List, Exploded View]. Saw to shape, round over, and sand the yokes (B, C) [Drawing 1]. Glue and screw the yokes to the base.
2 Saw the miter-slot runners (D) for a snug fit inside the miter slots. 3 Position the saw’s rip fence to center the blade on the width of the base. Place three pennies or washers about 10" apart in each miter slot. Apply double-faced tape on one face of each runner, and lay the runners on the pennies with ends aligned. 4 With the base edge held tight against the fence, press the base onto the runners [Exploded View, Photo A]. Make test crosscuts to confirm the back yoke (B) is 90° to the blade, then screw the runners to the base.
Add a miter-maker
1 Saw the miter-plate base (E) [Drawing 2]. Cut the miter-plate faces (F) 2" longer than listed.
2 Miter-cut both ends of the miter-plate faces to length and glue them to the miter-plate base [Drawing 2]. 3 Raise the tablesaw blade to 11∕8". Center the miter plate (E/F) on the base kerf with the faces 45° to the edges of the sled [Photo B]. Hold the miter plate in position while you cut through the bottom. 4 Cut the miter-plate key (G) to fit the width of the saw kerf in the base. Glue it into the miter plate (E/F) [Photo C].
Switch from cross-cutting to miters in seconds by dropping the miter plate into the sled-base kerf. Pop it out again to make crosscuts.
Tip! Lubricate the runners with paraffin or paste wax to help them slide smoothly inside the miter slots. Tape the base (A) to the runners (D) with the ends of the runners flush with the back edge of the base.
B Align the miter-plate faces (F) 45° to the base edges even base (E) doesn’t rest flat against the back yoke (B). Note: To cut the miter-plate base (E), switch to a circular saw and a shop-made cutting guide. woodmagazine.com/ circsawguide if the long edge of the miterplate
C Glue the miter-plate key (G) flush with the front ends of the miter-plate faces (F). The end of the key will slide inside the kerf cut in the back yoke (B).