How to Build a Table Saw Miter Sled
Has there ever been a time that you’ve struggled to cut a perfect miter joint? Believe me, there’s no need to feel alone. All of us have had our challenges with the miter joint at one time or another. This woodworking article and video show how to make a precision crosscut known as the table saw miter sled.
So, let’s say that we want to build a woodworking project like a picture frame and we are looking to create four dead on miters joints. What’s going to be the woodworking tool of choice? We could use a table saw miter gauge or a miter saw for cutting our joinery. We could use a fine handsaw and block plane. I think you’ll agree that they are a number of ways that a woodworker can cut miter joints for our wood projects. However, what’s the best method for getting outstanding results? Have you ever considered the dedicated table saw miter sled?
For my money I’ll use the table saw miter sled with a quality saw blade any day because an accurate miter sled gives the woodworker a greater amount of control over the material being cut. The centralized miter fence needs to be accurately set to 90 degrees when the the miter sled is being constructed. Since you’ll be making both a left miter cut and a right miter cut, you are guaranteed a joint that will add up to 90 degrees every time. This is provided that the material is properly secured and and also provided that there is no sawdust or debris between the material and the fence that it rest against. The perfect miter joints are predictable and duplicatable when a woodworker uses the table saw miter sled.
Perhaps you already have a table saw miter sled. If you do not have one, it’s not a problem because they are simple to build just like other cross cut sleds. Just take your time and enjoy the process. Before long you too will be cutting miters for your wood projects efficiently and confidently every single time. You will quickly notice an increased quality to your woodworking when you make a decision to build this saw sled. A dedicated table saw miter sled provides the woodworker with a tremendous advantage. This advantage is called accuracy.This woodworking tutorial walks you through all the steps of building the table saw sled.
Your materials on hand may differ from mine and that’s OK. Use what you have available.
(The following are the materials that were used to build my table saw miter sled.)
1/2″ Baltic birch plywood is used as the miter sled base. The runners and handles are of hard maple. Paraffin wax is applied to the bottom of the miter sled to allow for a better sliding action.
The table saw miter sled can also be used as a cross cut sled by leaving space between interior miter fences and the fence closest to the woodworker. A SketchUp model for the dedicated table saw miter sled has been created for your convenience. Access Google’s 3D Warehouse for the Table Saw miter sled plan. (Google offers a free acount if you do not already have one.)
Let me know how the dedicated table saw miter sled works out for you. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to build a better miter sled, then I’d love to hear about it. If you have any pictures of your miter sled that you’d like to send just click “Contact“.
This episode is part of the Let’s Build Series