How to Use a Cross-Cut Sled on the Table Saw

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Cross-cut sleds can be used on a table saw to cut square wood properly. Make perfect lines for woodworking with help from a professional remodeler in this free video.

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Hi, my name is Chris Palmer. In this segment, we are going to talk about how to use a crosscut sled on the table saw. You've probably done a lot of ripping on your table saw, but to tell you the truth, it's just as valuable as a crosscut tool as well. To do that safely and accurately, take the time to build a crosscut sled. The crosscut sled rides in the slots on the table. You build it so the fence is perfectly square to the blade so all you have to do is register your work against the fence, push it through the blade and you're guaranteed a really nice, clean square cut. Here's the underside of my crosscut sled. I have these runners that are attached to a piece of three quarter plywood, and on either end of the plywood are these blocks that hold it together basically, and this is my fence. It's a nice, sturdy piece, so the cut hasn't gone all the way through. So, that holds the whole mechanism together that sled rides in my miter slots on the table saw. As you can see, it is perfectly square to the blade. So, if I put a squared edge piece against this fence, I'm guaranteed to get a perfect 90 degree cut. Also, always check that your blade is square to the table, every time you use the table saw. It's a good idea. So, my face has been jointed, and I know it's nice and straight, and now I'm ready to square up the ends. It's a really good idea to put a couple stops on this side of the crosscut sled, because as you push it through that blade is coming out exposed to where you're working. So essentially, this is a no hand zone on the backside of the fence, and I put a couple blocks there to help remind me of that, to keep my fingers away from that area. So, the workpiece is against the fence. I'm holding it in place with my fingers. I'm well away from the safety zone, and I'm ready to cut. If you want to do any kind of angled cutting or mitering, it's very easy to screw a guide to the fence as well, at whatever angle you want, get a scrap piece of wood and screw to the sled itself. Remember to predrill and remember to use a screw of the appropriate length that isn't going to go through and scratch your table, set your angle against your original fence and you can make repetitive accurate cuts by indexing your workpiece against your temporary fence. Also, if you want to cut a lot of small pieces, a good way to keep your fingers out of the game is to screw this toggle clamp to your sled as well, put your workpiece in place and clamp it down with a toggle clamp and you can keep your fingers way far away from the blade and cut very small pieces. Again, remember to use the appropriate length screw like a 5/8s in this case so you're not scratching your table and a toggle clamp is a great thing to have on hand. I'm Chris Palmer. That's how you use a crosscut sled.

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