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How to Build the Ultimate Table Saw Sled (Free Plans)

February 11, 2022 8 min read

This table saw sled came to me in a dream.

And like all dreams, reality came crashing down when I learned a version of it already existed (oh cruel world).

Still, this version of the multi-sled is cheap, easy to build, and gives you accurate and repeatable cuts with very little set up time.

This is one of the most versatile table saw jigs in my shop. You can use it as:

  • A tapering jig for angled rip cuts and crosscuts from 0° to 180°
  • A straight line rip jig in place of a jointer (no jointer? Read this)
  • A crosscut sled in a pinch (though I recommend having a dedicated crosscut sled)

And the added stop block and hold down clamps make repeatable cuts a cinch.

(Side note: We just upgraded the stop block with a brass knob that has a knurled head 2.5x bigger than the old one. It allows much more surface area to hold onto and crank down on.)

table saw rip jig

If you're making modern furniture with lots of angled leg parts, this is the sled for you.

I’m going to walk you step-by-step through how to build it — and I promise it’ll save you TONS of time down the road.

For exact dimensions and measurements, download the free plans!

MATERIALS

  • ¾ inch baltic birch plywood: You can also use MDF, but I love the durability of baltic birch
  • Strip of hardwood for the miter slot runner
  • Wood glue
  • CA glue (a.k.a. Super glue)
  • Screws: around ¼ inch long
  • T-track: Full cut list available in plans
  • 5-minute epoxy
  • T-bolts: ¼ x 1 ¼ inch
  • Hold down clamps
  • The Katz-Moses No Deflection Stop Block: Optional, but this really sets you up for repeatable cuts. Plus, it now has a bigger brass thumb screw for super-tightening capability.

HOW TO BUILD THE MULTI-SLED

STEP 1: BUILD THE FENCE

build fence

STEP 2: CUT OUT THE BASE

cut base

STEP 3: CUT THE RUNNER

cut runner

STEP 4: ATTACH THE RUNNER

attach runner

STEP 5: CUT THE EDGE

cut edge

STEP 6: CUT GROOVES IN THE BASE

grooves in base

STEP 7: CUT GROOVES IN FENCE

grooves fence

STEP 8: ATTACH THE T-TRACK

t-track

STEP 9: FINISHING TOUCHES

finishing touches

STEP 10: ASSEMBLY

assembly

You’ve got your plans and materials ready.

Throw out the tobogan. We’re building a sled.

STEP 1: CUT AND GLUE UP THE FENCE

cutting wood on a table saw crosscut sled

Cut the three pieces of plywood for the fence (dimensions in free plans).

Unlike most crosscut sleds, this fence rests on the flat face of the plywood with the edges perpendicular to the base.

painting wood glue on a board

Cover the faces completely with wood glue and put them together. If you like, throw in a few finish nails to keep the boards from sliding around.

Clamp the pieces together, doing your best to keep them square, and set aside.

TIP:
Tamar from 3x3 Custom has a great trick for making sure your fence stays flat as the glue dries.

clamping sled fence

When you clamp up the pieces, use a level on one side as a sort of caul. You’ll get a dead-flat fence that’s a perfect reference for your stock.

Alternatively, the wing of your table saw can work in a pinch as well to keep your glue up flat.

STEP 2: CUT OUT YOUR BASE

cutting plywood on a table saw

The exact dimensions are up to you, but I cut mine to fit my table saw (about 32x20 inches).

BIG NOTE: Make sure to cut your base a little wider than the final dimensions.

Once the miter slot runner is attached, you’ll run the sled through the table saw to get a zero clearance reference edge.

I set mine up so the sled rides to the right of the blade (from the user side), but do whatever suits you best.

STEP 3: CUT THE MITER SLOT RUNNER

sled runner in miter slot

I use a hardwood strip for my runner because that’s what I have lying around the shop — but you can use aluminum or plastic as well.

When inserted in your miter slot, the runner should:

  • Fit snugly, but still slide back and forth easily
  • Sit just below the height of the table

Most table saw miter slots are ¾ inches wide and ⅜ inches deep. Cut your runner a little bigger than these dimensions.

Then dial it in with a hand plane or a planer. It’s good to check often to make sure you don’t take off too much.

using a hand plane

Since this sled only uses one runner, err on the side of too tight rather than too loose.

TIP:

To find where your runner’s getting stuck,
mark the sides with pencil and slide it back and forth in the miter slot.

Any spots where the pencil lines get rubbed off need to be taken down.

And if you take off too much, veneer is a great way to add a couple thousands of width.

STEP 4: ATTACH THE RUNNER TO THE BASE

Take 5-10 small coins that fit into the bottom of your table saw’s miter slots.

I use pennies because they’re small, but you can use anything — yen, euros, doubloons, bitcoins.

pennies in miter slot

Disperse the coins evenly along the base of the miter slot and place the runner on top. It should sit slightly above the height of the table.

Now lower your table saw blade below the throat plate.

Adjust the table saw fence so when you lay the long edge of your sled base against it, the opposite edge passes the blade.

plywood on a table saw

THIS IS IMPORTANT. Don’t glue the base to the runner unless you’re sure there’s enough overhang to cut a zero clearance edge.

Adjust the table saw fence until it’s dialed in, then lift the base to expose the runner..

Run a line of CA glue along the top of the runner strip (don’t get any on the table).

applying ca glue to a runner

Now set the right side of your base against the fence and lower it carefully onto the runner.

Put something heavy on top to make sure the runner and base adhere to each other across their length, and give it a minute to dry.

gluing a table saw sled

Now flip the sled over. It’s time to add screws and really secure the runner.

NOTE:
Drill pilot holes in the runner!

drilling pilot holes

If you split the runner with a screw — you’ll have to make a new one. And this is very, very annoying.

Also, countersink the screws so they don’t drag along the bottom of your miter slot.

I use my square and a pencil to mark the centerline of my runner, then a center punch to guide my drill for the pilot holes.

Screw the runner to the base, making sure the screws aren’t so long they’ll poke through the top of the sled.

STEP 5: CUT THE ZERO CLEARANCE EDGE

Flip the base over and place the runner into the miter slot, pulling the sled back from the blade.

Raise your table saw blade about ⅛ inch higher than the base, turn it on, and push the sled through. Make sure the runner is riding in the miter slot for the entire cut.

cutting plywood on a table saw

Once you complete the cut, your sled has a perfect reference edge. Don’t drop it on this edge!

TIP:
I recommend using a dedicated crosscut blade if your sled is made of plywood.

This will lead to the cleanest cut with minimal tearout — making for a perfect reference edge.

Read more about which table saw blade to use here.

STEP 6: CUT GROOVES IN THE BASE FOR THE T-TRACK

cutting a groove with a dado stack

I use a dado stack to cut the grooves, but you could also use a router.

Cut your grooves to the width of your t-track (usually ¾ inches).

Try to get the depth so your t-track sits flush with the top of the sled base, but a little lower is fine.

grooves in a piece of plywood

I cut two dados across the length of the base and two across the width.

The exact placement isn’t critical, but check the free plans to see where I cut mine.

STEP 7: CUT GROOVES IN FENCE

marking lines for grooves

KEEP IN MIND: Your fence is going to sit on the smooth surface with the plywood edges perpendicular to the sled — so cut these grooves on the smooth sides.

You’re going to cut two grooves along the length of the fence:

  • A ¼ inch wide groove all the way through the width of the fence (for the t-bolts)
  • A ¾ inch wide groove for the t-track that holds your stop block

Cut the groove for the t-bolts with a plunge router and an edge guide.

I square up the fence on the table saw to give my edge guide an accurate reference.

ripping on a table saw

Don’t try to hog out the groove all at once. Use the depth stop on your plunge router to cut ¼ inch deep at a time, flipping the fence over and working from both sides.

I also recommend using an upcut spiral bit to evacuate sawdust effectively. Bits&Bits makes my favorite (and you can get 15% off with code JKATZMOSES15).

Leave around 2 inches uncut at either end to reduce flex in the fence. I cut this groove slightly off center to leave space for the t-track.

routing a groove

Once the groove’s cut, make sure the t-bolts can easily slide through it.

Now cut the groove for the t-track about ¼ inch back from the front of the fence.

cutting a dado groove on the table saw

If you’re using my stop block, cut this groove a little shallow to accommodate the height of the stop block (exact details in plans).

STEP 8: ATTACH THE T-TRACK

t-track in grooves

Now it’s time to cut all the t-track for your sled.

You can cut aluminum on any tool you use for woodworking…

HOWEVER: If you have a SawStop, aluminum WILL trigger the brake cartridge unless you bypass the safety feature. Make sure you’re in bypass mode, or use another machine.

cutting t-track on a table saw

Don’t worry about pinpoint precision. The t-track doesn’t have to be the exact length of each groove.

Again, if you have a SawStop, make sure the t-track is set back from the cutting edge of your sled. If your blade so much as grazes the aluminum, it can set off the brake cartridge.

Once your t-track is cut to size, coat the bottoms with a bit of epoxy.

I use Total Boat 5-minute epoxy (10% Discount code: JKATZMO). It’s quick, easy, and works super well.

applying epoxy to t-track

Place the t-tracks into the dados and screw them down. Give it a quick wipe down to make sure no epoxy hardens on the top of your sled.

At the cross sections of the dados, just leave a gap so your t-bolts can pass from one track to another.

STEP 9: FINISHING TOUCHES

a man sanding a table saw sled

Once the epoxy dries, your multi-sled’s ready to use.

But I like to give it a few finishing touches to make sure everything’s up to snuff.

  • Give it a light sanding to make the surfaces extra smooth.
  • Use a block plane to chamfer the edges of the fence (it’s nicer on your fingers)
  • Give it a light finish with spray lacquer

Most importantly, wipe down the bottom of the sled with a healthy slather of paste wax.

rubbing down a table saw sled with paste wax

This keeps your sled sliding smoothly — and stops it from scratching up the table.

STEP 10: ASSEMBLY

All that’s left is putting this baby together.

Slide the t-bolts into the track, slip the fence over them, and attach the tightening knobs.

THE ULTIMATE TABLE SAW JIG

Congratulations. You just built one of the most useful table saw sleds imaginable.

While a lot of tapering jigs can only angle one way, this multi-sled lets you cut from 0-180° in any direction with complete repeatability and accuracy.

And with the added hold down clamps and stop block, it’s guaranteed to speed up your workflow and improve your results in the shop.

What are you going to build with the multi-sled? Let us know in the comments below!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @katzmosestools and check out my YouTube channel

And as always, STAY SAFE IN THE SHOP!

Jonathan Katz-Moses
Jonathan Katz-Moses


4 Responses

Alistair D Cahill
Alistair D Cahill

September 10, 2022

After watching a how to video making a saw sled i was most impressed by the Moses stop block which i want to purchase when i make my first saw sled but to the best of my knowledge not available in the UK.
Why do you Americans have the best tools compared to the UK.
As well as the block i was most impressed by the way countersunk holes are drilled using a combined drill and countersink,in the uk we have to use a seperate drill and countersunk bit.
Looking forward to getting this tool along with other bits hopefully as a birthday present.
All the best
Al

Mike
Mike

February 14, 2022

Hi Jonathan, I bought and use the original stop block. Are there any plans to sell the brass nuts so that I can upgrade my stop block? Thanks

Jorrit Bakker
Jorrit Bakker

February 14, 2022

I seriously doubt that you can use bitcoins to raise your runners!
Besides that, great post as usual.
This thing is going on the ToDo list :)

Hermie
Hermie

February 13, 2022

Hi Jonathan, Awesome tip. Indeed, I too find a lot of value in the purchase of your universal stop block. Very well made piece of accessory to my own customized sled. Your videos on YouTube are quite impressive too.

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