Yet Another Coping Sled

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Project by rmac posted 11-02-2018 10:40 PM 3491 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It looks like one of my next projects will be the frames (sashes?) for the three-panel window shown in the last picture. It also looks like I’ll need a coping sled to keep things under control while routing the profiles on the ends of the rails and the muntins. So I took what I thought were the best ideas from several different sleds and made the one shown here.

Everybody says the base needs to be thin (so you don’t have to extend the router bit too far above the router table) and stiff (so it doesn’t bend when you clamp down on the workpiece). So I made mine out of some 1/4” aluminum plate. I also made the sled’s fence out of aluminum because I wanted to make double-dang sure it was straight and square to the base. Then I made the sliding thing that holds the workpiece against the fence out of aluminum, too, because I had a piece left over from making the base!

The clamp that holds the backer board in place does double duty as a handle when the sled is in use. The toggle clamps that secure the workpiece came from Harbor Freight.

I didn’t like the clear plastic gizmo that rides the router table fence on some of the sleds I saw because it seemed like it would be in the way sometimes and maybe tricky to make adjustable. So instead I set up the two wooden “ears” to ride the along router table fence. I made these out of wood to avoid disaster in case they accidentally come in contact with the router bit, and I made them easily replaceable so I can simply make different ones as needed to adjust the distance between the sled and the router table’s fence.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

7 comments so far

View swirt's profile


6277 posts in 4097 days

#1 posted 11-03-2018 01:14 AM

Very clever design.

-- Galootish log blog,

View htl's profile


5472 posts in 2284 days

#2 posted 11-03-2018 03:31 AM

That’s down right beauty and heavy duty to boot, nice job!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4185 days

#3 posted 11-03-2018 04:04 AM

Thanks, guys. Can’t wait to try it out. I used epoxy to secure the threaded studs into the base that hold the “ears” and the clamping knobs for the sliding part. Don’t want to crank down on those too hard before the epoxy has had time to cure.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 3303 days

#4 posted 11-03-2018 02:51 PM

Super smart. I love the “ears.”

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4185 days

#5 posted 11-03-2018 04:11 PM

Thanks, kocgolf. I got the basic idea for the “ears” from Stumpy Nubs's Multi-Sled, but thought it would be better if they were replaceable instead of fixed like Stumpy’s.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View JRAP's profile


137 posts in 3074 days

#6 posted 11-03-2018 08:03 PM

Really nice.
How did you cut the aluminum plate(s)?
And how did you make the slots in the aluminum plate on top?

-- -- Jim, Cumberland,RI -- Life is all the other stuff you do when you're not in the shop. -

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4185 days

#7 posted 11-03-2018 09:41 PM

JRAP: To cut out the aluminum plates, I used a metal-cutting band saw where I could, and a handheld jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade for the ones the band saw wouldn’t handle. (The band saw only has about a 3” throat, so there are some cuts it just won’t do.)

To cut the slots, I started by drilling a series of holes to get rid of most of the material. Then I used a vertical milling machine to finish the slots and to clean up the rough edges left by the band saw and the jigsaw. Before I got the band saw and the milling machine, I did similar work with the jigsaw, a drill, and a file. That’s not as quick, of course, but 100% doable.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

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