A Box-Maker’s Sled

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Precise crosscut and mitering capability make this table saw jig twice as nice

I enjoy making small boxes. Coming up with different designs is just as challenging as the actual construction work. One thing that doesn’t change is the requirement for precise cuts. A tiny gap may not be an issue in a large project, but it can be painfully noticeable in a small box. I rely on this table saw sled for making perfectly square and mitered cuts in small parts. The sled has a single runner that can be used in both table grooves. In one groove, you’re cutting at 90°. In the other, you make 45° bevel cuts. In both applications, the jig’s base and fence provide zero clearance with the saw blade. In addition to reducing tearout, this feature makes it easier to align precise cuts.

My table saw has a right-tilting blade. If your saw’s blade tilts left, you’ll need to relocate the runner to slide in the saw’s left groove when making the first cut. Be sure to make the initial 90° and 45° cuts in your jig with the same sharp, finish-cutting blade you’ll have in the saw when putting the jig to use.

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