Workshop Tip: Refresh the zero-clearance surfaces in your crosscut sled


Whenever you make the primary reduce with a brand new crosscut sled, you create zero-clearance help across the blade, stopping chipping on the underside and again fringe of the workpiece. As time goes on, these slots are likely to get expanded by wider blades, bevel cuts, and so forth. You possibly can refresh the zero-clearance help on the bottom and entrance fence by attaching sacrificial layers of plywood or MDF utilizing double-sided tape, however that reduces the efficient slicing top of the blade.

I constructed this crosscut sled a pair years again, and it addresses this downside. The sled building is customary; the place it differs is that each the bottom and the entrance fence have replaceable inserts. You possibly can add these options to an present sled.

base strips and fence inserts for crosscut sled

The sacrificial strip within the baseplate is held in with double-sided tape. I saturated the rabbets within the sled base (mine is MDF) with skinny cyanoacrylate (CA) glue and sanded them clean so that they’d grip the tape. So as to add this slot to an present sled, take it aside, reduce rabbets alongside the within edges of the bottom, and reassemble the sled fastidiously.

I made my insert strip vast sufficient to accommodate a wide range of single-blade cuts. If you would like yours to accommodate a full dado set, you’ll have to widen it accordingly.

I make a stack of strips forward of time, from arduous maple, planing them to suit the slot with somewhat allowance for double-sided tape, so the strip finally ends up flush with the highest floor.

crosscut sled

The hardwood or MDF fence insert plate is held in a 1/4-in.- deep pocket with brass screws. To measurement and place the fence insert correctly, you’ll have to make some take a look at cuts to see the place the blade cuts at full top in your noticed, each at 90° and 45°. (For those who do get the positioning improper, brass screws gained’t injury the blade.) Like the bottom strips, I make a bunch of fence plates forward of time so that they’re useful after I want them.

—LEO LITTO, Austin, Texas

Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fantastic Woodworking subject #299

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