Making a large crosscut sled

Five years ago I built a giant crosscut sled for my old saw based on some plans I found in Fine Woodworking.  It was an accurate sled, but it had a few deficiencies I wanted to improve on this time around.  It could cross cut work pieces up to 42″ wide, but in 5 years I’ve never cut anything wider than 32″. So, while the extra capacity was theoretically a good thing, it let to a sled that was heavy and cumbersome to use. The weight issue was magnified because I used 3/4″ MDF for the base, because that’s what the plans called for.

After  a lot of thinking and a  few minutes doodling in SketchUp , I came up with the sled below. The base is 1/2″ thick MDF, the runner is quarter sawn ash, and the fence is  2″ square soft maple. I haven’t weighed it, but I doubt it weighs more than 15 lbs, so it is much easier to move around the shop than it’s predecessor. As I’ve done several times previously, I glued the runner fast to the base, but fastened the fence with loose fitting bolts to allow for some adjustment. When I checked it last night with the 5 cut method, it was square to 0.001″ per foot.




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