Woodsmith Tips

Cut-Off Sled Hold-Down

Photo One of the problems using a cut-off sled is that as the workpieces get shorter, your fingers get closer and closer to the blade. To solve this problem, I simply added a hold-down to the sled, like the one you see in the photograph at right.

Since the small workpiece is secured tightly to the sled, it provides greater safety. And it also ensures that you'll be able to make a more accurate cut.

Drawing To make this modification, just drill a 5/16″ hole at one end of the sled that will accept a short piece of threaded rod. The location of the hole depends on the type of hold-down you’ll be using. It just needs to be located close enough for the hold-down to secure a small workpiece firmly in place.

Next, install a 5/16″ T-nut on the underside of the sled. Use a Forstner bit to make a counterbore to recess the T-nut. This will prevent the T-nut from hanging up as the sled is pushed along the table.

Now, all that’s left is to slip a hold-down over the threaded rod, add a star knob, and the modification is complete. When you need to cut larger pieces all you need to do is to remove the assembly.

Good Woodworking,

Phil Huber
Online Editor, ShopNotes

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