Table saws of all kinds are invaluable tools that you can use for a whole range of different cuts. Many people consider them to be the most important tool in the woodworker’s toolkit, but if you want to unleash its full power, you’ll need to get your hands on a range of jigs and sleds.
One of the first additions you should be looking to acquire is a good sled for your saw that will allow you to make perfectly accurate 90° crosscuts. The good news is, you can make one at home and it will hardly cost you anything. Here are 11 DIY plans that show you how to do it.
1. Basic Table Saw Sled
Here’s a great plan to get started with that will teach you how to make two sleds for your table saw, a basic table saw sled for crosscuts and another one for making 45° miter cuts.
Whatever type of table saw you are working with – anything from a small jobsite table saw to a large cabinet table saw – having these two basic jigs will allow you to make a whole range of cuts with a high level of precision.
This is a really good example of how to present plans, too. The explanations are clear, the photos are useful and there are even some diagrams showing you the pieces of wood you will need to cut out to build the sleds. A very useful resource.
2. Crosscut Sled
In this plan, you learn how to make an alternate version of the crosscut sled for your table saw. As the author explains, a crosscutting sled is one of the most basic additions you need for your table saw to greatly expand the number of cuts you can make. And with DIY plans like this, you can make one at home without the need to spend a whole lot of money.
This is another well-written plan that includes free downloadable diagrams that show you what you need to do. It’s quite a long plan, but there are plenty of useful instructions and well-chosen photos to make it clear how you need to do it. Even for DIY beginners, this should be relatively straightforward to attempt.
3. Easy Table Saw Sled
Whenever you need a simple plan for a DIY project, the Instructables website is a veritable treasure-trove – and that’s where we found this plan for building your own easy table saw sled.
One thing we like about this plan – and many of the others of the same site – is that it is written for beginners, carefully explaining everything without assuming any knowledge. For example, the author of this plan even takes a few moments to explain what a “crosscut” is, rather than assuming that everyone reading the plan will already know.
This makes it the ideal option for anyone just starting out in the world of woodworking who has very little experience. If that sounds like you, this might be the plan you should have a go at first.
4. Small Table Saw Sled
Here’s an interesting plan for making a sled for a smaller table saw like a jobsite table saw or even a mini table saw. It’s also suitable for use on larger table saws like contractor table saws if you need to work on smaller pieces.
This is another well-written plan accompanied by a video that goes into detail about how to ensure you end up with a high level of accuracy.
We also liked the short section at the end about the safety features he added – table saws are inherently dangerous, so anything that can be done to make them safer is always welcome.
And how long does it take to complete? The author had an IT fail when he was filming so he doesn’t know, but he estimates somewhere around only 30 minutes.
5. Super-Precise Crosscut Sled
As this plan explains, while sleds can be highly practical additions to help you make accurate, repeatable cuts, sometimes it’s difficult to line the sled up perfectly square to the blade. Another problem can be lining up two miter slot bars properly. However, by making this crosscut sled, you can solve both problems in one go.
This is a very simple plan to follow, with only four steps. First, attach one miter bar to the sled base then glue and screw a fence to the front and back. Cut the kerf and finally, attach a second fence square to the kerf – and that’s it! An easy way to make a highly useful sled.
6. Simple and Precise Crosscut Sled
Here’s a video that demonstrates how to make a basic crosscut sled for your table saw. In this video, the presenter begins by explaining why he needs to make a crosscut sled for his newly upgraded table saw before talking about how he decided how to set about it.
We like videos where DIYers and woodworkers talk about their thought processes, giving you some insights into what is going on in their heads as they are thinking about to tackle a problem. We find it helps us when it comes to thinking about our own DIY projects leter. We also like the way he takes you through some of the problems he came up against and how he tried to solve them. All in all, an informative video and well worth a watch.
7. Table Saw Extension and Crosscut Sled
This is a useful video to watch. This enthusiastic YouTuber doesn’t just show you how to make a crosscut sled – he also shows you how to make a place to store it on the side while also creating an extension table for his table saw. Of course, if you can do all that in one simple project, why wouldn’t you?
His video is clear and easy to follow, and we love his energy too. It’s fun to watch him work, and it’s also entertaining to watch his creation take shape. Another video that’s well worth checking out.
8. Table Saw Sled in 10 Minutes
This video by Izzy Swan is under 10 minutes long – and in it, he shows you how to build a table saw sled…in under 10 minutes!
This guy is one of our favorite YouTube woodworkers because his videos are always, punchy and to the point but always packed with useful information. He’s also a very talented woodworker and someone most people can learn a thing or two from too. Have a look and see what tips and tricks you can pick up.
9. Easy Table Saw Crosscut Sled
If you like to keep things simple, here’s another plan that should appeal to you. You’ll find a list of the basic tools and materials you’ll need to replicate this plan at home, followed by some simple instructions accompanied by useful photos as necessary.
As with many of the best plans, this gives you a mix of handy directions for help in completing this particular project along with some pointers that will help improve your overall woodworking skill. A great project to attempt, even for beginners.
10. An Improved Crosscut Sled for More Accurate Cuts
Common problems with many crosscut sleds include them being too heavy and hard to store as well as the fact that they often develop an extra-wide saw cut in the fence, meaning you end up with sawdust constantly being thrown in your face. With this in mind, this DIYer decided to try to design a sled that solved all these problems.
There are some interesting techniques in there – the part where he uses playing card was our favorite – but as you can see as you work through the plan and the sled starts to take shape, this is another DIYer who knows what he’s doing. If you want an accurate homemade sled that is built to last, this could be worth trying out.
11. How to Build a Table Saw Sled 101
As you can probably guess from the name, this is another plan that takes you right back to the basics and shows you how to make a table saw sled, even if you have very little previous experience of DIY or woodworking.
Everything is in there that you’ll need, including detailed but simple instructions and a list of material that you’ll need. If we have one complaint, it’s that the photos included aren’t particularly helpful, but this is such an easy plan that you probably won’t need them anyway.
Many versions of sleds – keep it simple
When making something like a sled for your table saw, the key is always to keep things as simple as possible. You don’t need to overcomplicate things, and if you do, you might find that the results you achieve are not what you’d hoped for.
You can easily make a sled for your table saw without trying to do anything fancy, and these 11 plans we found online will show you how to do it.