When trying to cut small pieces such as pen blanks in preparation for drilling, I was always uneasy trying to hold the piece in place safely. It was also difficult to get a very accurate cut. This sled was my answer to both problems.
The sled is runs on two strips in the slots on the table saw allowing for a smooth accurate cut. The handle was traced from one of my handsaws and cut out of 1/2" plywood and all edges rounded over with the router. The wing nut on the slot for the adjustment screw is secured with a hanger bolt. The piece being cut is held in place with a toggle clamp.
The sled is very easy to use. Once it is in place on the saw top, either take a measurement from the stop or place a pen barrel on the sled. Loosen the wing nut on the slot and turn the handle on the adjustment screw to exactly where you want it. If you like to have the pen blank a little long to allow from barrel trimming it is easy to see just how much excess you will have. Tighten the wing nut and you are ready to cut. Note that you do not have to take a measurement.
Place the pen blank in the jig and tighten the toggle clamp. Notice that I have replaced the hex nut on top of the clamp with a wing nut to make it easier to make adjustments for correct clamping pressure.
Now turn on the saw and slide the sled forward to make the cut. Repeat as necessary.
The third picture below shows a close up of the adjustment screw. The piece at the right is a metal block drilled and tapped for the proper size all thread rod being used. The knob is something I had and the nut by the knob is used as a jab nut to keep the knob from turning on the rod. This piece is fastened to the main sled body.
The block with the aluminum plate on the front allows for a "Push/Pull" arrangement. Without this you would only be able to "pull" the block back. To give the ability to "push" I ground a nut round and drilled a hole to recess it in the block. When the aluminum plate is in place then the nut can "push" against the plate and move the adjustment to the left. The depth of the drill for the nut is
critical. If the hole is drilled too deep, there is "play" in the adjustment.
Of course the sled can be use to make any small cuts. Notice that I made the adjustment mechanism so it has several inches of travel. After over 50 years of woodworking I still have all ten digits and I want to keep it that way.