Forty Five Degree Crosscut Sled

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FORTY-FIVE DEGREE CROSSCUT SLED

My goal will be to keep Safety paramount because hand and power tools can do serious bodily harm and death if not used properly, therefore these pages are solely for entertainment purposes only from a personal liability standpoint.  Please read the Legal Stuff page for additional information concerning liability issues before going any further.

I have made two sleds for my table saw in the past for constructing turkey box calls and used a couple reference books but mainly researched YouTube videos detailing what other craftsmen had made.  You certainly find very creative and talented people via the internet who are willing to share their projects and ideas free of charge.  My main inspiration for this forty-five degree crosscut sled was a YouTube video by Jay Bates which detailed everything needed to build the sled.

I purchased a 4 x 8 feet sheet of 3/4 inch birch plywood which is an overkill, whereas 1/2 inch thickness would be just fine and a length of 2 x 4 x 8 feet which was too damp and crooked as a snake and opted to use some left over 2 x 4s that were dry, of which one piece was a little short but worked out ok.  The overall size of the crosscut sled is 24 x 36 inches.

It was about all this ole boy could do to transport the birch plywood from my truck into the basement workshop since the ground was wet and didn't want to drag the corner of the plywood in the wet ground.  My shop is far too crowded to rip the 4 x 8 sheet on my table saw which does have an out rigger table but the width of my area is too narrow and had to use a home made saw guide for my Milwaukee skill saw.  After getting the sheet of plywood sized up which I guesstimated the size according to my table saw top and lets begin with a few photographs taken along the way:

The runner strips for the table saw miter slots are 3/4 inch wide x 3/8 inch deep and cut them from a scrap red oak board.  I placed a few pennies in the miter saw track to have the runners off the table saw top and placed Titebond Original Glue on each strip and positioned the base of the crosscut sled on top.  I placed a couple large coffee cans that is filled with solid lead wad cutter bullets harvested from a firing range with permission in Salemburg, NC in 1979; talk about being a pack rat.  Those coffee can lead weights are heavy for certain.

Pix of penny in the track; used three in each track.  After the glue dried overnight, it was time to install the 2 x 4 cross members used to reference the 90 degree crosscut, but first I wanted to add a few screws to the oak sled/runner for extra security:

Drilled pilot hole and countersink all in one operation.  Used 1 1/4 inch shortened dry wall screws.

Table saw blade tilted to forty-five (45) degrees.

Sled was cut in two parts to install the rear and forward support for 90 degree reference.

Band sawing the crosscut side support member.

Crosscut sled supports about ready to install.

One screw is countersunk below the crosscut sled near the saw blade which will be the pivot point allowing you to adjust the angle of the 2 x 4 to a ninety-degree angle from the saw cut made on the sled.  After the rear 2 x 4 is set to 90 degrees, it is clamped in place and screws countersunk in several places.

The sled is flipped over and the screws are installed; first a pilot hole with countersink and then screws driven all the way in.

The sled was rotated 180 degrees and the other 2 x 4 was screwed into place after it was squared to the saw cut made.

The other half the sled screwed in place.  Everything is squared and just clamped in place and installed the screws

Finished sled shown upside down.

Finished 45 degree crosscut sled ready for usage.

When initially adjusting the table saw blade to forty-five degrees, the table saw has a 45 degree angle stop, however, when I relieved the tension on the set screw the blade apparently moved slightly and didn't catch it until after I made the 45 degree angle test cuts below which were off just a hair.  It is best to adjust the blade each time you plan on making a forty-five degree angle cut instead of depending on the set-screw stop which can get saw dust, etc. on it and change your angle setting a little.  My bad on this one, even though it was a test run.  Better to test your cut on scrap before destroying a high dollar piece of wood....grin if you must!

Since the table saw miter slots are not equally spaced from the saw blade, you can rotate the crosscut sled 180 degrees and set it up to make a ninety (90) degree crosscut by setting your saw blade back to 90 degrees and get double duty from this crosscut sled.

This crosscut sled is definitely a must for making 45 degree angle cuts on small boxes, panels and drawer fronts needing a 45 degree fit in the vertical position, etc. which is different from the regular picture frame 45 degree miter cut normally done from a horizontal position.

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 01-27-15.

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