Woodworking is almost impossible without making use of a table saw sled. Every woodworker has to make use of a table saw sled in the course of woodworking or furniture making.
As a tool, it is best to make perfect square crosscuts. Asides from that, you can also use it to make 45-degree miter cuts. The importance of a table saw sled cannot be overemphasized and as such, it is essential you know how to build one.
In this article, we shall be running through the steps needed to be followed to build a table saw sled successfully. You only have to get the necessary materials, follow the steps carefully, adhere to the safety instructions and then you are good to go.
Materials Needed To Build a Table Saw Sled
The correct materials will help you build a table saw sled faster. A number of the necessary materials needed include:
- A 3/4″ plywood
- Particleboard or MDF as an alternative.
- A glue
Steps to Build a Table Saw Sled
- You Start By Cutting The Pieces
Once all the materials needed have been gathered and carefully marked, you can go on to begin cutting the pieces. If you are working on a crosscut sled, then you can make use of nine-ply birch or flat plywood as the case may be. At this stage, you also have to make sure that the fence of the sled squares well with the blade.
Here, you will begin cutting the plywood into pieces for the stiffener, the blade cover and the fence and trim them carefully to fit.
As you do this, gradually clamp mating faces and hold together making use of the glue. Make this look very smooth and keep layers intact while doing so. When you are done doing this, you can now go on to make use of your table saw to cut the pieces into smaller sizes of about 1/4″ each.
- You Then Begin to Assemble
After you must have cut the plywood into pieces and clamped them together, you cut the hardwood into strips and make them into runners.
Go on to make the 1 x 4 hardwood into small pieces of about 1/6″ each and connect them to the sled base making use of a glue. You will need to wait for it to dry before you go on assemble the parts. Scrap off hardened glue and clean off any glue left in any of the parts.
Before you complete the assembling process, try sliding the sled in the slots to be sure it goes through. If it doesn’t, then you have to recheck the runners and make sure everything is right with them. When you notice darkened spots, sand them up and remove excess wood.
- Add The Stiffener and Square The Fence
Here, you will have to place the stiffener in the front boundary of the sled base, and you either glue it or screw it depending on what design you opt for.
Make sure the blade of the saw is set to 3/4″ and adjust carefully to allow the base into the blade of the saw. Once you have attained 3 inches from the back, you can stop cutting and start finishing.
With the stiffener attached, the back edge and the fence as to be aligned. To do this, you will have to square the fence and screw it carefully. Screw the lade cover as well and make sure it is positioned in place.
- Add The Stop Blocks and Finish
This is the final stage of the whole process, and it requires that you add stop blocks. These stop blocks are what help to shield the table saw sled from losing while being used.
To add stop blocks, add a piece of wood to the base of the sled while screwing it. Also, make sure the blade is half covered and protected by the fence.
If you were able to follow through till the last stage, then you should have succeeded in a building a good table saw. If you missed it at any point, you don’t have to worry. Just re-visit the steps and follow them carefully. Hybrid table saws are getting more popular these days. Check this review on the best hybrid table saws and the benefits.