Table saw sleds are great tools for cutting wood, especially at home. They allow you to cut large pieces without having to move them around or worry about falling debris.
Sleds are typically made from 2×4 boards, plywood, or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). The sled itself consists of two rails, a crossbar, and a pair of runners. Once you have these parts assembled, you can attach them to your table saw using screws.
What is a Sled?
A sled is a device that holds wood or other materials steady during cutting. Sleds come in two main types: stationary and mobile. Stationary sleds are fixed to the table saw and move along with the blade. Mobile sleds are attached to the table saw using clamps, screws, or bolts.
You can build a sled from scratch or purchase one at a local hardware store. Either way, you’ll want to follow these steps to create a sturdy, safe sled for your table saw.
Step By Step Guide How To Make A Table Sled For Table Saw:
Step 1: Cut Your Materials
The first step is to measure out all the materials needed to build the sled. You will need four 2×4 lumber strips, each measuring 16 inches long by 3/8 inch thick; three 4-inch carriage bolts; and a drill.
The length of the sled should be equal to the distance between the front edge of the table saw fence and the back edge of the blade. If you don’t know how far away from the blade this measurement is, use a tape measure to find it.
To determine the width of the sled, start by marking the center point on both sides of the fence. Then add 5 inches to each side of the center mark to get the total width of the sled.
If you’re building a sled for an older table saw, you may not have access to a tape measure. In this case, you’ll need to estimate the width of the sled based on the size of the blade. For most table saws, the blade measures 12 inches wide. So if you have a 14-inch blade, you’ll need a sled that’s 13 inches wide. And If you’re building a sled to fit your new Craftsman 18V tabletop saw, the sled needs to be 15 inches wide.
Step 2: Assemble the Parts
Now that you’ve measured everything out, it’s time to assemble the sled. Start by drilling pilot holes into the ends of the 2x4s. This will help prevent splitting when you screw the parts together.
Then drive a 4-inch carriage bolt through each end of the sled. Make sure to leave enough room between the bolt heads so they won’t interfere with the blade.
Now it’s time to connect the runner to the crossbar. First, lay the crossbar flat on top of the runner. Drill a hole through the middle of the crossbar. Next, place the runner over the crossbar and align the holes. Finally, insert the carriage bolt into the holes and tighten the nut onto the shaft. Repeat this process until you’ve connected all four runners to the crossbar.
Step 3: Attach the Rails
Attach the rails to the crossbar using carriage bolts. Place the rail across the crossbar, then position the crossbar under the rail. Drive a carriage bolt into each end of the rail. Tighten the nuts on the bolts to secure the rail in place.
Attach the remaining rails to the crossbar in the same manner. Be careful not to overtighten the bolts, as doing so could damage the rails.
Step 4: Install the Clamp
Place the clamp over the top of the crossbar. Align the jaws of the clamp with the edges of the crossbar. Then tighten the setscrews to hold the clamp in place.
Repeat this process to attach the second clamp to the opposite side of the crossbar.
Finally, install the fourth clamp on the bottom of one of the rails.
Step 5: Sanding
Sand down any rough spots on the sled before attaching the wheels. You can do this after you’ve attached the wheels, but sanding while the wheels are still loose makes it easier to remove them later if necessary.
Use a belt sander to smooth out the surface of the sled. If you don’t own a belt sander, you can use a hand plane instead. Just make sure to keep the blade at least 1/8 inch away from the edge of the sled.
Step 6: Attaching the Wheels
The last step is to attach the wheels to the sled. Use a drill press to drill holes in the center of both sides of each wheel.
Insert the axle into the holes and thread the nuts onto the axles. Tighten the nuts until the wheels are securely attached to the sled.
A Video Guide On How To Make A Table Sled For Table Saw:
Can I cut plywood?
Yes! The sled is designed to handle most types of plywood. However, because the sled is made entirely of wood, it may warp slightly if exposed to moisture. To avoid warping, store the sled in a dry area.
How heavy is my sled?
Because the sled is made almost entirely from wood, it weighs about 16 pounds.
What size wheels should I buy?
We recommend that you purchase 12-inch diameter wheels. They’re easy to find and will fit snugly on the sled.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Yes. Before you begin building the sled, check the instructions carefully to ensure that you follow the correct steps. Also, remember to wear safety goggles when working around power tools.
You now have a sturdy sled for your table saw. It should perform well even though it’s made mostly from wood.