Table Saw Sled
Over the weekend I built a sled for my table saw. This is an addition that helps keep work pieces parallel to the blade without the need of a fence, can easily make repeatable cuts, and can support large pieces. Overall, it just makes working on the table saw better.
This sled (30”x18”) will be able to hold large pieces like a 2x2x12 with ease without bending all the while making perfectly measured cuts. I purchased the saw for about $100 years back when Sears was still around, and I picked it for price and minimum space needed. With this new addition, it acts more like a $400 saw and I can store the sled if I’m not using them. I’m ultimately making two sleds (30”x18” & 4’x2’) because I wanted to make one specific for large pieces and the smaller one I’m going to outfit with some angle support such as 45°, 33.3° and others that are commonly used in more detailed or challenging projects.
The sled is only comprised of a few pieces that I either had in the shop or picked up at Home Depot.
1x 3/4in 5-layer plywood 30in x 18in (base)
2x Walnut .66in x .24in x 30in (rails)
1x Pine 1in x 4in x 30in (front fence)
1x Pine 1in x 3in x 30in (back fence)
The construction is basic, use the base and attach the fences (front and back) to it, and use the existing rail slots to align the rail on the bottom of the sled. There are plenty of videos online that gave tips on building a sled. Personally, I wanted something simple yet effective, and some YouTube videos get more complicated than I needed. I quicky saw why these are commonly the first things built when someone gets a table saw. I put it off for way to long, and I highly recommend one for any table saw user.
This sled was the beta version so I could get an idea on how to make the larger one. It’s good to find any hiccups you might run into in a build before starting the final build. I don’t think I will change much for the larger sled either. I will build the front fence with handles and a little thicker, and the Slick Sticks for the bottom, but the one I just built works great so don’t see a need to complicate anything. Slick Sticks are Teflon tape that make anything slide like butter; I heard about them on This Old House.
I give this project 1.5 stars because as it was easy and completed in a weekend. With that being said, the new sled changed how my wife and I use the table saw. Anyone who has worked close to a table saw can testify that it can be a scary thing to be close to. My wife has some projects she wants, and she avoids the table saw; now she can use it safely. I was taught many years ago, being afraid of a tool leads to accidents. This sled lets someone use and get familiar with the table saw, while still respecting it.