What type of saw do you actually use? A miter saw, table saw, or just a circular saw? It is very good if you are able to have several, as different types are better for different tasks.
However, that is not what everyone thinks. People often make huge mistakes, mostly, because they are badly informed, or are just afraid.
Recently, I talked to a guy that makes furniture for his house and to be honest, I was disappointed because of that talk.
Well, I couldn’t believe that many people still stick to their circular saws. Don’t get me wrong, circular saws are great tools, versatile and the best pick to start with, but if you are serious about woodworking you can’t use only this type. If you don’t have a circular saw or need a new one I suggest that you read my review of the best circular saw under $50 and best circular saw under $100.
Circular saw has its limitations, which is why other tools such as the table saw should be considered.
It is true that a miter saw is designed to make crosscuts, as well as miter cuts (angle cuts). Check out my review of the best cheap miter saw.
However, a miter saw is limited in the length of crosscut that it can make. So if you are trying to crosscut large sheets of wood, like plywood panels you can be left short if you only have a miter saw.
The answer is a table saw with a crosscut sled.
Many contractors or DIYers don’t want to use a table saw because they believe that a table saw isn’t portable and can’t make crosscuts.
In fact, this is only partly true, but those issues can be solved easily and you can enjoy the benefits of this great saw.
There are table saws that are portable and can be easily transported to the job site. Check out this review of the best budget table saws. Plus, with a simple crosscut sled, you will be able to make a perfect crosscut.
Why is a crosscut sled needed when making crosscuts on a table saw?
Kickback! Making crosscuts on a table saw freehand (without a sled of some sort) can be very dangerous! You are at risk of the table saw kicking back the wood at you or if you are holding the wood tight dragging your hand that is holding the wood into the blade.
Cross cuts with a table saw without a sled should not be attempted. Watch the video to see why you never want to freehand a crosscut on a table saw.
How to make a crosscut sled for your portable table saw?
This is not very complex process and with just patience and will, you can successfully make it. In addition, these are the steps that can be used as a guide in making the sled.
Firstly, cut two runners with 1/2 ‘’ length so it will fit the saw perfectly.
After that, pick the plywood you are going to use.
It is thick and hard, so it is the best choice for making a sled. You can choose 1/2 ‘’ or 3/4 ‘’ depth for this.
Next, attach the rails to the plywood. Put the plywood against the fence, in order to make the right angle once the glue dries.
When the glue is completely dry, use screws just to secure it better. Make the pieces you have previously cut perfectly straight.
Draw how would you want to put the main piece, and cut the wood following the lines you have drawn.
Round the edges on that piece, and pre-drill the locations where the edge piece would be located.
Use glue and let it dry before you put the screws in.
Use a square and go over the table saw to make sure the cut is perfectly straight.
And that’s it, you have built your crosscut sled, and you can start using it immediately. I know this sounds complicated, that is why I would suggest you take a look at this video, just to get a visual of what you need to do.
If you want a paper plan for a crosscut sled you can get some here.
However, there is always an easier way – you can just buy the sled. Here are several great products that you should consider. A commercially made crosscut sled can often be safer than a homemade sled especially if you are new to woodworking and have cobbled together something less than perfect. The main safety issue is that a home made sled does not work well with the bladegard whilst a commercially made one does.
Buy a crosscut sled
You are not sure if you can do this in the right way? Can’t you just buy it and skip this process? Luckily, there are many quality models on the market that will help you.
Rocker table saw crosscut sled
Rocker table saw crosscut sled - Rating
This crosscut sled allows you to make perfectly accurate cuts and it has an error-free setup. It is the best pick for miter cuts and crosscuts as the aluminum fence and the smooth-sliding components will provide precise operation. The only consideration is that if you have a smaller table saw that it can be heavy on the side of the sled and may unbalance your table.
You will need to pay a bit more for this one, and you can check the latest price for the Rocker table saw crosscut sled here on Amazon.
Rockwell RW9266 - Rating
If you are looking for a sled that is ideal for crosscuts, you must consider this one. It has a cutting groove for quick adjustment, and room to safely place your cuts. Not the most accurate sled but ideal for the Rockwell Bladerunner saw.
Plus, you will spend less money on this one. Check the current price for the Rockwell RW9266 here on Amazon.
Crosscut sled drop off platform
Crosscut sled drop off platform - Rating
In case you already have a crosscut sled, this platform will do the job. It provides zero-clearance support on both sides, offering clean and accurate cuts. The best part – it is very easy to use. It can help balance the weight of the rocker table crosscut sled mentioned above.
It is sold separately, which means you are not obligated to purchase a crosscut sled, and you can check the price for the Crosscut sled drop off platform here on Amazon.
To conclude, a table saw is a must-have if you are serious about woodworking. Plus, combined with a crosscut sled, you can achieve anything you can imagine. However, you need to choose if you want to build the crosscut sled or buy it.
What is your opinion about this? What would you rather do? Feel free to leave a comment.
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