Kevin Brady's Band Saw Log Sled

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Project by garbonsai posted 04-24-2013 05:50 PM 6942 views 50 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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.

12 comments so far

View Diggerjacks's profile


2330 posts in 4195 days

#1 posted 04-24-2013 06:02 PM


This is an impressive jig

I like it

Thanks for all the links

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3912 days

#2 posted 04-24-2013 07:52 PM

Nice one, looks sturdy.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View XrayJay's profile


273 posts in 3035 days

#3 posted 04-24-2013 10:08 PM

That is one of the nicest band saw log sled’s I’ve seen. Great job!

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View Grumpymike's profile


2480 posts in 3371 days

#4 posted 04-24-2013 11:01 PM

Now there it is … the one I’ve been lookin for.
Thanks for the post.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3746 days

#5 posted 04-25-2013 01:00 AM

Check with Tech Services at the place that sells your bandsaw to see what weight they feel is safe for your table trunions. They do break easier than you might think!

Nice log sled.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View jaysonic's profile


219 posts in 3198 days

#6 posted 04-25-2013 02:13 AM

Very nice!

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 2949 days

#7 posted 04-25-2013 05:03 AM

Great jig. I see one in my future

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 3011 days

#8 posted 04-25-2013 12:47 PM

@gfadvm: Great idea. I’m going to give them a call as soon as I have a chance. Thanks!

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 2954 days

#9 posted 04-25-2013 02:23 PM

I appreciate your sharing this, Digger. I’ve been trying to come up with an easy way to move the log over, the thickness of the next board, so that I don’t have to unfasten the log from the sled. Does that make sense? I’ve thought of shims the thickness of the desired board, which are added one at a time. Ah! I might just have answered my own question….

-- --Dale Page

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 3011 days

#10 posted 04-25-2013 02:30 PM

@bannerpond1: If you read through Kevin Brady’s site, you’ll see that there’s no need. Basically, you clamp your log into the sled with just enough overhanging the edge to give yourself a flat surface after one pass. Then, you unclamp the log, rotate it 90° so that the flat surface is now resting on the sled, reclamp it, and make a second pass. This gives you two perpendicular, flat faces. Unclamp the log, toss the sled aside, and set your resaw fence so that the distance between the blade and the fence is equal to the thickness of the boards you want. Now run your log through the bandsaw as many times as you want boards, with one flat face against the fence, and one flat face against the table. Make sense?

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View garbonsai's profile


154 posts in 3011 days

#11 posted 05-02-2013 08:16 PM

@gfadvm: Called Grizzly. They didn’t have an answer as to what the weight limit of the table/trunnions is/are, but I was told that if I’m doing 12” logs that are 24-36” long, I shouldn’t have a problem. Granted, that doesn’t take into account how green (or not) the wood is, what the wood is, etc. But the service tech said he’d never heard of anyone bending a table or a trunnion, so…

-- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3746 days

#12 posted 05-03-2013 12:14 AM

garbonsai, Good thing you checked though. Yours probably has the cast iron trunions like my 17”. Have fun making lumber from firewood! You’ll find some amazing stuff!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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