How to Make a Table Saw Sled (Step by Step with Pictures)

A table saw crosscut sled is a must-have shop jig for a table saw. Learn how to make a table saw sled with this step-by-step tutorial and video.

If you own a table saw, a table saw sled should be on your list of essential tools. Though it wasn’t the very first tool I added, it quickly became a favorite. This sled not only enhances the precision of your cuts but also makes the process safer by minimizing risks like kickbacks and other common accidents.

The primary function of a table saw is to make crosscuts. However, with the right enhancements, it can do so much more. I designed my table saw sled to be versatile. By incorporating a t-track in the back fence, I can easily attach various jigs such as a miter sled, spline jig, hexagon jig, and more, depending on the task at hand.

There are numerous table saw sleds available, from basic models to advanced ones equipped with t-tracks, stop blocks, clamps, and other accessories. My DIY table saw sled is on the simpler side, but the inclusion of the t-track ensures you can customize it with many add-ons.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make a table saw sled, teach you how to set it up, use it effectively, and explore the different additions you can integrate.

DIY Table Saw Sled Video

If you want to see how it is done, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to make a simple table saw sled.

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Table of Contents

  1. The Material you will need
  2. General Questions
    1. What is a Table Saw Sled and What is it Used For?
    2. What Addons Can I Use With this Table Saw Sled?
    3. How to Square a Cross Cut Sled?
  3. How to Make a Table Saw Sled
    1. Step 1: Cut the Base of the Sled
    2. Step 2: Add Miter Slot Runners
    3. Step 3: Make the Back Fence
    4. Step 4: Make the Front Fence
    5. Step 5: Install the Front Fence
    6. Step 6: Make a Box to Protect Your Fingers
  4. How to Use a Table Saw Sled
  5. FAQ

*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!

Materials you will need to build a Crosscut Sled

Table Saw Sled
Plywood (Base) – 600mm x 470mm x 12mm (23.62″ x 18.50″ x 0.47″)
Plywood (Front Support) – 600mm x 90mm x 12mm (23.62″ x 3.54″ x 0.47″)
Plywood (Back Support) – 260mm x 90mm x 24mm (10.24″ x 3.54″ x 0.94″)
Plywood Strips (Runners) 2x – 460mm x 20mm x 12mm (18.11″ x 0.79″ x 0.47″)

Plywood 12mm  –

Table Saw Fence
Plywood Strip – 600mm x 55mm x 12mm (23.62″ x 2.17″ x 0.47″)
MDF Strips 2x – 600mm x 12mm x 3mm (23.62″ x 0.47″ x 0.12″)

Check all the Tools I Use

Table Saw –
Miter Gauge –
Trim Router –
Cordless Hand Drill –
T-track Clamps –
Spring Clamps –
Large Square –
Machinist Square / Speed Square
Marking Gauge

MicroJig GRR-Ripper Push Block – (Grr-Ripper Review)
Table Saw Blade –
Wood Glue –
Sandpaper Sheets –
Straight Router Bit – 6mm –
M6 Bolts, Washers, T-Nuts, Wood Screws –
DIY T-track Bolts

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What is a Table Saw Sled and What is it Used For?

A table saw sled is a flat, sliding platform designed to fit over a table saw’s miter slots, allowing it to glide smoothly over the saw table. Its primary purpose is to provide a precise and safe means of making crosscuts on boards and panels. When used correctly, the sled ensures that the wood piece remains stationary during the cut, thereby minimizing errors.

Benefits of a saw sled

  • Enhances Safety: Using a sled reduces the risk of kickback, by keeping the wood securely in place while cutting.
  • Better Precision: The sled allows for more accurate and consistent crosscuts, especially for larger or oddly shaped pieces.
  • More Versatility: Many sleds come with features like T-tracks, which let attach additional jigs, enhancing the tool’s functionality.

What Addons Can I Use With this Table Saw Sled?

This crosscut sled comes with a T-track on the back fence, perfectly aligned at a right angle to the saw blade. This track allows for the attachment of various jigs. Below is a list of potential jigs and add-ons compatible with this sled. The T-track system offers the flexibility to build and incorporate even more.

Addons and Accessories Table Saw Jigs
  • T-track Clamps
  • T-track Bolts
  • T-Track Hold-Down Clamps
  • Stop Block
  • Spline Jig
  • Miter Jig
  • Hexagon Jig
  • Box Joint Jig
  • How to Square a Crosscut Sled?

    There are a few ways to ensure your crosscut sled is perpendicular to the saw blade. When building a saw sled this is one of the most important steps for achieving accurate and precise cuts.

    1. Use a Large Square – simply align the square with the saw blade, secure it with a clamp, and then attach the fence. While this method may not be the most precise, it’s suitable for most woodworking projects.
    2. Use the 5 cut method – this technique involves making five separate cuts on a single piece of wood. After the final cut, measure the off-cut’s width on both ends. Any difference indicates how much your sled is out of square, helping you make precise adjustments. This method provides a higher level of accuracy for those who seek perfection in their woodworking.

    Let's Start Building!

    Building a table saw cross cut sled involves making the sled base, the front and back support, and the front fence. This sled is specifically built for the DWE7491RS table saw. All the parts can be cut on the table saw – you don’t need a miter saw or any other tool for that.

    The entire build is made of plywood (including the runners) and the sled fence is a combination of plywood and MDF. I am using homemade t-tracks but you can also use aluminum tracks (do not use steel tracks as your table saw blade would not be able to cut through).

    You may as well use materials like aluminum or plastic for the runners as they resist expansion from workshop humidity.

    Cross-Cut Sled Properties:

    • Material: Baltic birch plywood, MDF strips
    • Total Dimensions: 600mm x 470mm x 90mm (23.62″ x 18.50″ x 3.54″)
    • T-Slot Addons: DIY T-track bolts, Slot Clamps

    How to Make a Table Saw Sled

    Step 1: Cut the Base of the Sled

    Trim the sled’s base to your preferred dimensions. I’ve chosen 600mm x 470mm, which is a bit smaller than the saw table’s surface, but it’s adequate for most woodworking jobs.

    Table Saw Sled Cutting Base

    Mark the spot on the sled where you’d like the blade to slice through. Move the fence so that it is aligned with the baseboard and secure it in place.

    Table Saw Sled Blade Position
    Table Saw Sled Base Lock Fence

    Step 2: Add Miter Slot Runners

    Cut two strips from plywood for the sled runners, measuring 460mm x 20mm x 12mm each. Ensure the runners’ thickness is slightly less than the miter slot’s depth. This ensures that, when affixed to the bottom of the sled, the runners don’t touch the slot’s base.

    While trimming the strips, use a push block. It’s the safest method and allows for precise, incremental cuts to achieve the perfect width. The runners should glide effortlessly within the slot, free from any side-to-side movement. You can bevel the edges of the runners for an even better slide.

    How to make a table saw sled - Cutting Runners
    Table Saw Sled Runners Width

    Lay some washers in the miter slots, then place the runners so they stick out slightly above the table’s surface. Spread glue on the runners, then lay the sled’s base over them. Use the fence to ensure the base is square to the blade. If desired, you can also secure the runners using screws.

    TIP: Before inserting any screws, pre-drill the holes. Failing to do so might cause the strips to expand, making it a tight fit for the runner in the slot.

    How to make a table saw sled - Crosscut Sled Base Attach Runners
    How to make a table saw sled - Crosscut Sled Base Fix Runners

    Now, the base is set up. Slide the sled back and forth several times to check its movement. If it doesn’t glide smoothly, sand down the runners until it does.

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    Step 3: Make the Back Fence

    Cut two plywood pieces for the back fence and glue them together (260mm x 90mm x 24mm in total). Then attach it to the base using both glue and screws. Slide the base through the blade, halting just shy of the front edge of the sled.

    NOTE: The back fence does not have to be perfectly square to the blade. Its primary role is to act as a supportive bridge, connecting both parts of the sled together.

    How to make a Crosscut sled - Crosscut Sled Make Back Fence
    How to make a table saw sled - Crosscut Sled Attach Back Fence
    How to make a crosscut sled - How to make a Crosscut Sled Cut Through

    Step 4: Make the Front Fence

    The front fence, measuring 600mm x 55mm x 12mm, features a T-track. This is created by routing several grooves into the plywood and affixing two MDF strips to them. Use both glue and screws to secure the MDF strips. Then, cut a bevel on the fence’s front edge to facilitate sawdust removal.

    Finally, reinforce the fence with a larger plywood panel.

    How to make a Sled for Table Saw - How to make a Crosscut Sled Front Fence T track
    Make T track in Front Fence
    How to make a table saw sled - Crosscut Sled Front Fence

    Step 5: Install the Front Fence

    Start by loosely fixing the right side of the fence with just one screw. Use a large square to adjust the fence so it is perpendicular to the saw blade. Once you’re satisfied with its alignment, temporarily hold the end of the fence in place with a clamp. 

    Flip the sled upside down and fix the fence with multiple screws. After that, run the sled through the blade once more, cutting into the fence.

    How to make a Crosscut Sled for Table Saw - How to square a table saw sled
    Table Saw Sled Front Fence

    NOTE: Make a test cut to see how precise are your cuts.  If needed, you can easily adjust the fence by loosening and retightening the screw.

    Step 6: Make a Box to Protect Your Fingers

    Safety comes first. Add a protective box to the section of the front fence where the blade emerges. This box will act as a shield, ensuring your hands and fingers are safe from unintended contact with the blade.

    To build this safety box, gather a few plywood pieces. Assemble and glue these pieces into a box shape. Then, attach this box to the fence, ensuring it covers the area where the blade cuts through.

    Safety Box for Table Saw
    Safety Box for Crosscut Sled

    And this is what the finished Table Saw Sled / Crosscut Sled looks like.

    How to make a Crosscut Sled - How to Make a Table Saw Sled
    Finished table saw sled
    Table Saw Sled T track bolt

    How to Use a Table Saw Sled

    A table saw sled is primarily designed for making cross cuts. However, with added jigs, it offers more versatility: from crafting picture frames with a miter jig to creating splines on boxes using a spline jig, or even shaping hexagons with a hexagon jig.

    The steps below describe more in detail how to use it to make crosscuts.

    • Setting up the Sled: Place the sled on the table saw.
    • Positioning the Workpiece: Lay your workpiece on the sled, ensuring it’s flush against the front fence.
    • Adjusting Blade Height: Elevate the blade to your desired cutting depth.
    • Securing the Workpiece: Set the stop block and use clamps to hold your workpiece firmly in place.
    • Making the Cut: Turn on the table saw and carefully guide the sled to cut the workpiece.

    Always wear appropriate safety gear, like goggles and ear protection.

    How to make a Crosscut Sled for Table Saw - How to use a table saw sled
    How to crosscut on a table saw


    To sum it up, a crosscut sled for your table saw is essential. Having both a large sled for substantial tasks and a smaller one for swift cuts will significantly enhance your workshop. Plus, the capability to continuously add on accessories and enhancements makes it even more versatile. Getting it up and running is straightforward. Once it’s set, you’ll quickly realize its value for your work. 

    Build a DIY Table Saw Sled

    Woodworking Jigs I used to build it:

    These are the tools and jigs I have used to build the saw sled. Not all of them are necessary but they make the building process easier:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I’ve got you covered with all the essential info – check out the FAQs below to clear any doubts.

    Should I get a crosscut sled?

    Absolutely. A crosscut sled is one of the most beneficial jigs for a table saw, significantly enhancing user safety and precision in cuts.

    What is the difference between a crosscut sled and a miter gauge?

    A crosscut sled provides a large flat surface to support the workpiece, ensuring precise perpendicular cuts, whereas a miter gauge is a smaller tool that slides in the miter slot of a table saw and is primarily used for angled cuts.

    What is the ideal size of a crosscut sled?

    While there’s no one-size-fits-all, a sled the same size as your table saw usually suffices. However, keep in mind that larger sleds, while they can handle bigger tasks, become heavier and can be harder to maneuver.

    What is the best material to make a crosscut sled?

    It’s essential to choose strong and flat materials. Birch plywood, MDF, and HDF are all reliable choices for crafting a sturdy crosscut sled.

    What are T slots good for in a crosscut sled?

    T slots, or T-tracks, in a crosscut sled, are beneficial for versatility. They allow for easy attachment and adjustments of jigs, hold-downs, stop blocks, and other accessories, enhancing the sled’s functionality and adaptability to different tasks.

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    About the author, Lukas
    About the author, Lukas

    Meet the creator of AllFlavor Workshop! As a passionate DIYer and woodworking enthusiast, Lukas is always looking for ways to make things himself rather than buying them off the shelf. With a keen eye for design and a knack for working with wood, Lukas enjoys sharing his craft with others and helping them discover the joy of building. Whether you're an experienced woodworker or a novice looking to try your hand at a new hobby, you're sure to find plenty of inspiration and tips on AllFlavor Workshop.