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The Panel Cutting Sled is cheap and easy to build but can have a huge impact on your woodworking safety and accuracy.
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Panel-Cutting Sled

Easy-building project for safety and accuracy

Text, photo and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 4-23-2012

The Panel Cutting Sled was no doubt conceived shortly after the table saw was. This is a simple jig that can be made in your shop with minimal investments in money, materials or time. As you will see in this Video Tutor episode this sled is made to fit your saw and the only real option is the accuracy with which you build it.

I used 5/8”-thick particleboard for the Panel Cutting Sled in the video. This is a good choice because the material is flat, stays flat, is relatively strong for this application, it’s easy to cut and it’s cheap. Many years ago I made a Panel Cutting Sled using plywood for the body and that one warped after just a few weeks in the shop before going to the scrap heap. I still have Panel Cutting Sleds from table saws I don’t have any more that are still in perfect condition!

We always use hard wood (oak is my favorite) for the miter slot runner so that it can withstand the normal wear. Softer woods can loosen up in the miter slot quickly and ruin the accuracy of your Panel Cutting Sled. There are several steel and aluminum miter slot runners and they work well but are more expensive but they can be reused.

Video Tutor

As always, take your time, pay attention to what you are doing to be safe and use common sense when changing dimensions of the Panel Cutting Sled. Making it too large or too small will compromise its usefulness and possibly make it dangerous to use.

emember while building the Panel Cutting Sled is to be as accurate as you can. Assemble the three components correctly and your Panel Cutting Sled will serve you well for many years to come.

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