Cross Cut Sled

Luckbox72

New User
Eric
I am in the process of building 2 new cross cut sleds. One has just one runner an will be to the right of the blade the other will be a full sled. The issue I have is I glued up 3 pieces of 3/4" plywood 4 inches tall for the back fence. I then routed a dado and installed a t track so I can use a stop block. When I mounted the first fence I went to test and noticed the wood rocked on the back fence. I grabbed my long straight edge and found out I have a small bow in both of the fences. Is there a way to fix the fence? Should I not use plywood for the fence and use something else. I thought once I have 3 piece of 3/4" laminated together I would have a nice straight and stable fence but now I have a bow. I did see a video where a guy used a section of angle iron to go the length of his fence to make sure it is straight. Any ideas?
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Wood moves. That can't be helped. Some pieces we make stay absolutely straight. Some don't. No way to predict it. I wish there were.
Knowing this, I'll build fences and and other jig and fixture workshop pieces I need to stay straight out of laminated or straight lumber. When the inevitable warping occurs, off comes the fence and back to the jointer for truing up.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
I typically use MDF for cross cut sled fences. It's straight and stays straight. I still layer it by two or three 3/4" pieces thick.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
If you have a jointer, you can straighten your fence that way. If not, you can also straighten it with a table saw, rip it straight. Even plywood moves some, although less than solid wood. I would be optimistic that if you can get it straight, it will stay at least pretty straight. For perfectly straight, you need to use metal, maybe plastic - but that moves more from temperature than wood.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Here's an interesting video by Marc Spagnuolo about building a cross cut sled. I built mine 8 years ago using his design but used a 2 x 4 for both fences but I could probably have used baltic birch plywood glued together to make 1.5". Anyway the fence is still square to the blade as far as I can tell with a framing square and I've never been able to find a realistic definition of "perfectly square or straight" let alone measure it.

 

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