coping sled advice - Router Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-17-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default coping sled advice

I would appreciate some help. Iím relatively new to routing and my learning curve over the past month has been pretty steep- thanks mostly to reading posts on this forum. Iím on my fourth version of a coping sled. Itís about ready to actually test/use, but before I muck it up I need some guidance/advice.

I am making small boxes (2 x 2 x 6) with three inside partitions, a sliding lid, and mitered corners. They are made from 3/16 popular. This sled is intended to be dedicated to making this box with straight mitered corners AND two 45 deg shallow groves (for inside dividers) in the box. Iím using a 90 deg bit in the table. The sled is intended to ride off the table fence.

The sled is 10 x 10 x ľ mdf. Based on what Iíve seen/read here I have a FIXED bottom fence 3 Ĺ from leading edge, and an adjustable fence at the top leading edge. I can place a 2in wide side against the bottom fence and clamp the side using the adjustable fence. The holding edges of the fences are angled so as the side is clamped, it will be forced against the sled base- at least that is the theory.

So before I actually try to use this thing, Iíve got some questions.
1. I assume the actual cutting position for the bit is as close as possible to the table fence. That would mean the top right corner of the sled is going to be cut away for approximately 3 1/2in, leaving a 6 Ĺ edge to ride against the table fence. Is this going to be stable enough?

2. Should the cutting grove be top right edge or further left from the edge (leaving the full right edge against the table fence)?

3. Is the sled fence arrangement ok (adjustable top, fixed bottom) or should they be reversed?

4. I have two cam action clamps I can use. Should I use both or is one enough? Iím planning on placing it as close to the right edge as possible without interfering with the feather board hold down attached to the table fence. Is this correct (I will not be able to really see the cut) or should I place it a little further from the edge. The 3/16in popular is pretty subject to warping so I need to hold the edge to be cut really flat on the sled. (This is one of the biggest problems Iíve been facing in the other sleds).

5. What is the best way to make a STOPPED shallow grove approx 2in in from each end (for the partitions). I debated making a cut in the sled 2in from the edge, but Iím leaning toward using a 2in (first grove) and 4in (second grove) spacer between the table fence and the sled.

Those are my big questions at the moment, but Iím sure there are more that I havenít discovered yet. Am I thinking straight and am I on the right track or is there a better way to do this?

Sorry for the long post, but Iím not sure I could explain it less succinctly.
Thanks for your help.
(I've got some pictures, but can't get them the browse working)
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 09:43 AM
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I'll take no.4. The rest of your questions, to be concise, safe and correct, would take a book's worth of splainin'.
Clamps are always essential in holding the work.
But, appreciate, the work and its components have 12 degrees of freedom:
Up/down, L/R, in/out and 3 rotational opportunites, CC & CCW.
Will 2 clamps isolate the work on your fixture?

The kicker: Almost any sort of clamp on 1/4 MDF will pretzel the sled.
Whence your substrate is mishapen you cannot predict the accuracy of the cut.
Advice: Try your intended scenario on scrap and learn about the variables form your homework, not on finished project stock.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 10:18 AM
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I'm not sure if this design will be of any help but I have had good luck with it so far. I have since modified it to use 2 toggle clamps approximately 3 inches apart with 1-1/2 diameter pads to hold the stock. I also replaced the base with 3/8 thick Lexan 16 inches long and 9 inches wide. Other than those minor mods it is as you see it in the pic.

When something is advertised as being foolproof there is always a better class of fool that comes along to prove them wrong.

Last edited by Ken Bee; 05-18-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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