How to Make Your Own Cross-Cut Sled How to Make Your Own Cross-Cut Sled

What You'll Need
Lengths of wood
Dado Rail
tape measure

A cross-cut sled is a device which can be used in woodworking to move your wood towards and away from the blades of a saw. The cross-cut sled is designed to be able to move along a table in a steady line, and you need to make sure that you have it in a level line. These woodworking tools are sold by many companies, but these are very expensive, and you could have a better solution in making your own cross-cut sled. This will cost you less, and you should be able to make it to your own specifications.

Step 1 - Prepare the Wood

Take your lengths of wood, and carefully measure the area in which you want to sled to go. Measure the wood so that you know how much you need. You can use a number of different types of wood, such as MDF, plywood, or balsa wood, depending upon what is cheaper in your area. You should be able to manage this easily. Cut the wood to the right lengths, and lay it out on a flat surface.

Step 2 - Add the Dado

Take some dado rails, and cut out the base. You need to compare this with your bar, so that you have only a few centimeters of the base which is not covered by the dado rail. This will hold the wheels of your cross-cut sled. Add two small lengths of dado rail flat on the surface of the dado, so that the wheels slide up and down. Place the board over the edge of the rail.

Step 3 - Add the Wheels

Take your four wheels, and place these onto the corners of the board. The board should be rolled upside down, so that you can screw in the wheels. These wheels should be slightly hanging over the edge of the board, so that you can roll the wheels along the dado rail, and the edges will be held by the edge of the rail. This will ensure that the machine moves evenly while the saw is being used. Run the wheels along the rail several times in order to ensure that there are no problems with the movement, which only one test run might fail to spot.

Step 4 - Install the Sled

Take your dado rails, and screw them into position in the place where you want the cross-cut sled to go. Hold this into position while you screw it down, so that it does not move around too much. You should then place your cross-cut sled on one side of the dado, and roll it up and down. Take your sled, and place a piece of spare wood on the top of the sled, so that it is overhanging it facing towards the blade. Start the blade, and move the sled slowly towards the blade on the sled. You can then cut the wood to ensure that it is trimmed as you wish.

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