Router Table Coping Sled

A-ways back, I came up with a coping sled for my stacked rail and stile bit.  It was seen here, and included in Episode 18 on SS TV.  I know for a fact that I came up with the concept out of my own head, but I guess I’m not the only one (either that, or I have incredible influence on the industry (yeah right!))

Woodpeckers have recently upgraded their earlier model of a coping sled to this highly refined version:

Woodpeckers Coping Sled

Woodpeckers Coping Sled

It has a number of impressive features, including a very secure hold-down (twin screw clamping), a side support to hold the workpiece firmly and flush against the guide rail (which is perpendicular to the router table fence, and a clear perspex guide that passes over the top of the router bit (a concept that I also had in my early design).

Two handles are provided so you can both push the jig against the router table fence, while guiding the workpiece through the router bit.

As you can see from the adjustment range of the lefthand side support, it can handle pretty wide stock – certainly wide enough that beyond which the coping sled wouldn’t be needed anyway.

Side View of Sled

Side View of Sled

A jig such as this sled is very important when routing the end of a long, thin section, such as the endgrain of a rail.  Without it, routing the thin end of a piece can be a very dangerous activity – kickback (and significant damage to the workpiece) being highly likely.  In the past, I’ve occasionally resorted to using a sacrificial board as a surrogate backing board and guide and support, but it is a poor substitute for a jig designed for the job.

There is no reason when using this jig, why you can’t still have a backing board to minimise tearout either.  If I was to do that though, I would consider adding extra holddowns (such as a Woodpeckers toggle clamp, or the Incra Pivot Holddown Clamp to secure the backing board.  These clamps are easily added to the track in the guide rail (and I’d suggest would make a good permanent upgrade).  The only thing you would need to do is ensure the backing board edges were parallel.  As the backing board became chewed up, you’d simply remove it, and cut off the damaged end on the tablesaw, and keep using it until it became too short!

Woodpeckers Coping Sled

Woodpeckers Coping Sled

The jig gets its name from its most common application: “Cope and Stick” constructed doors (or as we more commonly call them these days, Rail and Stile)

The jig is available in Australia through Professional Woodworkers Supplies.  I’m not sure of its price as yet (and it is so new as not to actually be on their website as yet, but give them a ring to purchase one!) Update: it can now be found on their site here.  Price is $275

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the review.

  2. These photos look like a game of “find the router bit”. Took me a while to work it out, not being familiar with the Incra fence 🙂

    regards,
    Jill

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