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Coping style sled for table saw

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Forum topic by pfleming posted 03-17-2016 03:02 PM 697 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pfleming

76 posts in 675 days


03-17-2016 03:02 PM

Good morning guys, I have a little dilemma that I was hoping someone might have dealt with before, and may be willing to give me a little more insight into fixing. My wife has me building picture frames here lately, and I use molding around the outside edge. Due to the limited number of retailers in the area, I’ve been making my own molding on the router table, then cutting it to thickness on the table saw. The problem is that when the stock (I’m using pine 2×4”) starts to get a little thin, it’s hard to keep it on the same plane as I’m feeding it through the table saw. The ending result is molding that, if used from different cuts, may be a slight bit different in thickness from one piece to another. So far, it hasn’t proven to be an issue for the wife, but the OCD in me has come out, and I’d like to come up with a way to hold the stock in one place, then make the cut. What I’m thinking is something along the lines of a coping sled for a table saw. Maybe 24” long, have it riding a miter bar in one slot, have the holding clamps in a couple of t-tracks that run side to side, and have it running right up to the blade on one side. That way I could use my rip fence to set the thickness I want my molding to be. I figure if I lower the blade, press the routed molding against the rip fence, then clamp the molding against the sled, I could move the sled in the miter track and remove the human error (for the most part) that’s causing a lot of my issue. What do y’all think? Has anyone ever made something like this, or thought about the need for it at all? I tried looking on Google, but there was no pictures that I could see. Thanks in advance for any tips, tricks, or advice.

-- Patrick, Mississippi


8 replies so far

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

815 posts in 380 days


#1 posted 03-20-2016 09:24 PM

pfleming,

I have not made nor used a ripping sled. Whenever I rip moulding free, the work piece is wide enough to avoid the problem you are trying to solve and the moulded edge is against the fence. Sometimes I place a feather board just in front of the blade to keep the stock against the fence and use a push stick to complete the cut.

The ripping sled you describe sounds like a workable jig to me and reminds me of sliding tables on larger commercial table saws. There are several issues come to mind when using the ripping sled, which you may have already considered; nonetheless:

I would think that once the stock is clamped in the jig, moving the fence out of the way would make for a safer cut. A stop block clamped to the fence rail between the fence and the jig would allow the fence to be exactly repositioned against the stop block for the next set up.

Attaching a cut-off support (same thickness as the bed of the jig) to the saw table (perhaps with double sided tape) on the cut-off side of the blade would support the ripped-free moulding. Without a push block attached to the rear edge of the jig to push the cut-off past the blade could leave the cut-off with an uncut nub at the very end of the moulding and allow the cut-free moulding to remain next to or to contact the spinning blade. A few test cuts after the jig is built would reveal whether the jig mounted push block or cut-off support are needed.

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pfleming

76 posts in 675 days


#2 posted 03-20-2016 11:12 PM

JBrow,
I hadn’t even thought of the height difference, between the table and the stock, when using a sled, I’m glad you brought that up. The reason I wanted to keep the fence in the same place is to make sure my thickness stays the same every time. I guess I know that I need to use wider stock, I just hate to waste any stock at all. I can always thin rip the last bit into thinner pieces and put a simple routed edge on it. That will allow me to still use the stock without risking safety to save a dollar. It would definitely be a doable jig to make, if I really wanted to take the time to figure out all the do’s and don’t of the safety aspect of it first. I think I’ll just use wider stock and forget the sled :0) It’s really only the last couple of cuts I’m having issues with anyway. Thanks for the input, it was very helpful!

-- Patrick, Mississippi

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2382 days


#3 posted 03-21-2016 12:12 AM

This is my shop made adjustable taper jig. Is this what you need?

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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pfleming

76 posts in 675 days


#4 posted 03-21-2016 10:56 AM

Actually Jim, that night be exactly what I need. With a stop block on it, one hold down would probably be enough for a safe cut. What are the dimensions of your jig?

-- Patrick, Mississippi

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Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2382 days


#5 posted 03-21-2016 01:10 PM

It is about 24” x 18” but any size will work. I made it to cut tapers with the blade tilted when making stars. Mine is made of 3/4” MDF so it is quite heavy and stable. You can notice that this sled is mounted to the miter slot. The fence is not used at all.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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pfleming

76 posts in 675 days


#6 posted 03-21-2016 01:54 PM

That’s what I’m looking for, one that rides in the miter slot. The only reason I’d use the fence is to keep the thickness of my moulding would be the same on every pass, otherwise it won’t line up just right in the miters. Nice star by the way.

-- Patrick, Mississippi

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Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2382 days


#7 posted 03-22-2016 02:29 AM

This is a photo of the underside of this sled. My saw has a “T” slot (see photo) so I installed a washer with a bolt , as shown, so that the heavy sled will not fall on my foot as I pull it way back toward me. I am sure you could do this same thing if using hardwood as a runner instead of the aluminum “T” track I used here.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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pfleming

76 posts in 675 days


#8 posted 03-22-2016 02:47 AM

Very nice idea!

-- Patrick, Mississippi

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