- Hits: 14294
The table saw is agueably designed for ripping wood, that's really whate it is best at, but that doesn't mean it can't be used for other things equally well. For many woodworkers, the tablesaw is first stationary tool they purchase because it is so versatile. Out of the box, they will rip and cross cut (with the appropriate blades) and even cut dado, with a small modification to the throat plate.
With many table saws, the mitre gauges are pretty standard and have small surface that accepts wood for cross cutting, still they work ok. For someone who is doing a lot of cross cutting and wants perfect repeatable results, a crosscut sled is the answer.
These are relatively easy to make requiring only a few items, such as a good quality plywood base (I simly used a quater sheet of plywood that was 2 feet by 4 feet), a couple of decent quality mitre blanks and lastly a couple of flat boards that can be used for the front and back. The front stabilizer board only needs to be flat on the bottom the inside and outside should be reasonably flat but since this is only to stabilize the sled, it's not important that it be abslutely flat. The back stabilizer board DOES need to be pefectly flat on the bottom and inside as well, so selecting materials for this is very important.
If you have access to thick plywood that is 2 inches thick or better, that is ideal, otherwise you will need to hand pick something that is flat. I found a piece of construction grade, kiln dried 2x6 that was 8 feet long that looked like it would work. When I got it home and cut it in half, one half was off a tiny bit, but the other side was perfectly flat, just what I needed, and it was dry so it's not going to move around on me.