Panel cutting sled, Process Improvement, Scott bookcase
Comments 2

Table saw extension and panel cutting sled – Scott Bookcase

One of the things I am working on is upgrading my shop. I recently constructed a new workbench. On my last furniture project, I made a tenoning jig and in preparation for my next project, the Scott bookcase, I am doing a couple of things to make cutting the panel sides more accurately and with safety in mind.

Extension for my tablesaw
The side panels for the top of the Scott bookcase will be about four feet in length. One of the things I want to do is to be able to cut this long length on my table saw using a panel cutting sled. A safety issue would pop up when cutting long lengths of wood with my old panel sled. I would always have to put weight on the end of the wood going through the blade to keep the wood from tipping off the end of the saw table – very dangerous while making a cut. So, today, I made an table extension for my table saw which will eliminate the possibility of this tipping.

The first try. The table extension cut to size with legs test fitted. I think they are too skinny.

Much better. These legs are 2×4 material cut down to 2 1/2 inches.

I will be adding some little shelf like things to the legs so I can store my saw fence and miter gauge when not in use. And, I am already thinking about improving this design. There is too much unused space under that table, so I am thinking about a small cabinet or something along those lines. Yet another woodworking project!

Panel cutting sled
My old panel cutting sled was a copy of one that Norm Abram designed. It served me well for for more than twenty years. But over this period it warped a little and was sized for my old Craftsman table saw. Since I upgraded to a Jet table saw a few years ago, the panel cutting sled did not fit my new saw. So, since the Scott bookcase will have a number of panels to cut, a new sled is in order.

Plywood parts. The panel sled will be made from these two left over
pieces of plywood, joined with biscuits.

Glued up. My new workbench is handy for this task.

Already, my new workbench has been very useful. It is extremely stable and the box beams have been handy in drilling holes for screws. With my old workbench, I would always have to hang a board off the side of the table to pre-drill for screws. This was necessary to keep the drill bit from digging into my workbench top as it exited the wood. With the new workbench, I simply move the two box beams slightly apart making this process much easier. Also, in the photo above, I have flipped the box beams over to the melamine side so that any glue that I missed during clean-up will easily come off. Note in the last photo, the long strip of wood in the background. This piece of maple from my first panel cutting sled will be attached to the new sled tomorrow and I will also add the runner for the miter gauge slot on my saw.


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  1. Well, I'm impressed! Will follow this piece of furniture through to its completion. Your shop is really coming along.

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