Well I finished by crosscut sled. A very fun project and I can't wait to put it to work soon.
Some notes about the construction. The front and back of the sled are made from two 3/4 inch pieces of ply. I glued them up last night and cut them to final dimension today. The dimensions of the fences are 4 ¼ tall by 36 ½ inches wide. The lower sections on the sides are 2 ½ inches tall. Also note that I made the highest portion of the top within the miter slots. The main reason for this is so that I am always aware of where the blade is. As long as I keep my hands on the lower sections I will be away from the blade. The higher area over the blade also prevents me from cutting the sled in half. That would not be a good thing. The base is ½ inch ply that measures 36 ½ inches wide by 30 inches deep. I set my table saw fence to 1 foot when connecting the base to the slides thus giving me just over 2 feet of space left of the blade. This extra length will come in handy when cutting large shelves or panels that extent well past the edge of my table saw top. I can cut a 3 foot shelf with ease and safely with the extra length.
Tips for the slides. You can either buy real nice slides from places like Lee Valley http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43455&p=65247 or you can use a hardwood. I used red oak for the slides and fit them to my miter slots by hand planning them down. I left them just a little snug. Not so snug that they would not slide but just a little bit of stickiness to them. Why? Because once the sled is attached and I wax the slides up they will slide like butter. I would hold off shaving the slides until you have put wax on them and tried that first. Once I put wax on my slides they moved like magic. The problem with shaving the slides first is that you may cause them to be a little loose. This will lead to inconsistent cuts on the sled and possibly making the sled bind a little on the blade.
Hope the information that I have provided is both educational and helpful. I look forward to hearing about your crosscut sled in the comment section of this blog. They are a lot of fun to build and a very useful tool to have in the shop.
Any questions about this post or anything else please contact me through the contact me section of this website.