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September 18, 2014

25…Bandsaw Crosscut Sled

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin…(1809 -1948) English Naturalist

Cross cut band saw sled

Cross cut band saw sled

Sometimes as woodworkers we face a variety of situations that require some versatility and a little thought. This occurred to me one day while making wood inlay bandings in the woodworking shop. There are times that I feel quite comfortable making crosscuts on the 10 inch table saw using one of my cross cut sleds. However, there are other times when the material is small and I feel better using the bandsaw instead because the saw blade cuts at a lesser speed and also has a narrower kerf. Since I have found great success using sleds (miter sled and dado sled) for the table saw I decided to make a crosscut sled for the bandsaw and I am glad I did.

Band Saw cross cut sled with stop block

Band Saw cross cut sled with stop block

The crosscut sled for the bandsaw took only 10 minutes to build. Scrap MDF was used however, plywood could be used just as well. Just make sure that whatever material you select is flat. A piece of hardwood like maple or oak works well when making a runner that will fit inside the miter gauge slot as it will resist the wear of sliding back and forth. A snug fit that slides is what we want. It is important that the runner is cut to just below the table’s surface as we will want the sled to slide flatly on the bandsaw table.

After the runner is correctly dimensioned we take a combination square and mark a 90 degree line from one edge of the MDF to the other edge. We make sure that this line for the runner is at a location that allows for a good crosscutting operation as we want to allow enough length for the body of our stock to lay. We also want enough room for our stop block to be positioned adequately. The next step is to glue and pin nail the runner alongside of the scribed line that we made on the underside of the sled.

Now, the sled is ready to be run 3/4 the way through the bandsaw blade. Next, we pull the sled out and head over to the workbench where we take a 90 degree drafting triangle or a square and line it up against the bandsaw kerf. We then mark a line square to the saw kerf and this will accurately line up the fence for the sled. Now, it is time to glue and pin nail the fence in place. We want to take the time to allow for accuracy as it will pay off handsomely.

Note: On my bandsaw I currently have a 3/8″ blade with 4 teeth per inch and I am quite satisfied with the quality of the cuts I am getting using the crosscut sled. For small pieces it is much safer than using the table saw. As a bonus I am able to use a lot of my smaller wood scraps more often when using this sled.

Learn about the Bandsaw Rip Fence made in the Shop.
See how the rip fence is used for Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw.

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