|Project by garbonsai||posted 04-24-2013 05:50 PM||5500 views||50 times favorited||12 comments|
Last fall, I took down 10 or so ash trees that had fallen victim to the Emerald Ash Borer. The trunks made their way to the sawmill to be turned into slabs and planks, and the rest of the tree got cut up for saleable firewood. Splitting face cord after face cord by hand, I had ample time to pull out potentially interesting pieces of wood in anticipation of completing this project—a bandsaw log sled—and using my recently acquired bandsaw as something more than a cup holder. I did some noodling around on Google looking for plans, and eventually stumbled upon Kevin Brady's design for a rip sled (he also provides a PDF of the plans—more on that momentarily). I wanted something that didn’t require running screws into the log to secure it to the sled (and I hadn’t seen anything like swirt's pipe-clamp based variant), and this fit the bill perfectly.
The PDF plans linked above, while accurate (as least as far as I could tell/remember), were missing quite a few dimensions. That’s less of a complaint and more of an observation—the plans are free, and you can suss out anything that’s missing by measuring the drawings with a fine ruler and multiplying by whatever scale they’re at. If anyone wants copies of my more-or-less completely dimensioned plans, let me know. I formed the handle by copying the angles and dimensions from a hacksaw which turned out to be a very comfortable fit for my hand. Thanks, Craftsman!
The first time I used the sled, I got terrible, wobbly results, and I realized my bandsaw needed some tuning. I got it “used”, and I don’t think the previous owner had ever a) used it or b) tuned it. After that, things went pretty smoothly. A ratchet makes quick work of tightening and loosening the lag bolts that hold the log in place. The second time I used the sled, the t-nuts into which the lag bolts were secured basically fell out of the MDF headpiece and tailpiece. If you look at Kevin’s plans, you’ll see those t-nuts aren’t captured, which means they’re going to work their way loose sooner or later. I created two new faces for the headpiece and tailpiece, sandwiching the t-nuts between a piece of 1/4” plywood and a piece of 1/2” plywood, and securing those to the original MDF faces. A definite improvement.
The only other ding I’d give the sled is that it’s large. Like, 48” long large. Taking the headpiece and tailpiece into account, you can still fit an incredibly long log on there. Long enough that even a younger guy like myself has trouble lifting it, and I worry a bit about the bandsaw flexing under the weight, even with the roller stand there to catch the outfeed. I’m thinking about cutting it a bit shorter to lighten the load. We’ll see though.
Anyway, thanks for looking, and thanks to Kevin for making the plans freely available.
-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.