How to Build a Sled or Boat for a Table Saw

Difficulty: 2 of 5

 

A boat or a sled makes the process of making multiple cross-cuts accurate, fast and safe. Here’s how to make one for your table saw.

 

Always wear eye protection when using a table saw. Follow the instructions that came with the table saw.

Materials:

– Clamps
– Combination square
– Countersink bit
– Drill
– Hardwood
– Pencil
– Plywood
– Screws

Step 1: Cut a piece of hardwood for the miter slot.


First, remove the miter fence. Cut a piece of hardwood to the exact dimensions of your miter slot.
The piece of hardwood should fit perfectly into the miter slot.

Step 2: Choose a boat top and place it over the guide.


Select a top for your boat. Place it so that it rests beyond the blade and over the hardwood guide.

Place the top over the hardwood guide.

Step 3: Mark the center of the guide.


Using a combination square, mark the center of the guide on the boat top and carry the center line back along the board.

Carry the center line the length of the boat.

Step 4: Drill holes through the boat and into the guide.


Using a drill, countersink four evenly spaced holes through the plywood into the guide.
Drill four holes along the centerline.

Step 5: Screw the boat and the guide together.


Use a drill to set the screws in place, attaching the board to the guide.
Set the four screws in place.

Step 6: Cut the boat.


Cut the plywood boat to give you an edge that’s precisely parallel to the guide.
Cut the plywood boat.

Step 7: Measure the width of the handle.


To mark the location for the handle on the boat, first measure the width of the handle.
Measure the handle width.

Step 8: Transfer the handle width to the boat.


Transfer the measurement for the width of the handle to the boat. Use the square to extend the line marking the front of the handle along the width of the plywood.
Extend the line the width of the boat.

Step 9: Clamp the handle to the boat.


Align the handle with the line, and check to be sure that the handle is exactly perpendicular. Using two clamps, clamp the handle precisely against the line. Being sure to keep it flush to the edge. Use a square to check the handle one more time to be sure that it is exactly perpendicular.

Clamp the handle to the boat, aligning it with the line.

Step 10: Drill holes into the boat.


Tighten the clamps and flip the sled over. Drill four evenly spaced countersink holes through the plywood and into the handle.

Drill four holes through the plywood.

Step 11: Set the screws in place.


Set the screws in place to attach the handle to the plywood boat.
Set the four screws in place.

Step 12: Flip the boat over to use.


Flip the boat over, and return the guide to the miter slot. Remove the clamps and use your boat to make quick and safe repetitive cuts.
Return the guide to the miter slot.