Couper Sled

A cutting sled is used for safe, accurate and repeatable cuts using a low-cost, portable table saw. The saw's cutting top is improved using metal angles that are c-clamped to the table's sides. The saw table itself is secured to an immobile workbench.

The cutting sled is constructed using half-size MDF. Such a large size is required to support the wood panels used for the cabinets. (The desk's table top is too large and was final cut using a different technique.)

The cutting sled has rails that fit into the table saw's miter slots and allow back-and-forth motion parallel to the blade. The saw blade is raised into the newly-built sled to cut the slot through which the blade slides. After this slot is cut, a right-angle fence was built into the sled. Double-stacked two-by-two wood strips on each side of the sled provide rigidity and handle grip. A top strip of wood directly over the cutting slot functions like a safety fence.

The cutting pieces are secured on the front, back and cut-side using wood blocks that squeeze the piece in place.

C-clams on each side of the metal angles and a two-by-two strip beneath the sled act as stops to limit sliding range. The clamps near the operator prevent the sled from being pulled back too far. Clamps on the opposite end of the metal angles along with a wood strip beneath the sled prevent the saw blade from reaching beyond the sled's fence. At no time during the cut is the table saw blade exposed to the operator.

This post is a description of my own construction techniques. I do not offer woodworking advice or safety recommendations. Attempting to imitate my methods may be hazardous and result in injury or death.
Cutting Sled Front.  C-clamps prevent sled from being pulled back too far.  Wood strip beneath sled stops it from being pushed too far.  Panel is secured and flush against fence.  Blade is at rear of sled.Detail of C-clamp and Block.  Used to limit front-to-back motion of sled.Panels Secured.  Wood blocks on the front, back and cut-side secure the piece.Cutting Sled Rear.  C-clams prevent sled from being pushed too far.  Metal angles extend the table saw top and support the cutting sledFence.  The fence was constructed after the saw blade was raised into the newly-made sled.Fence Detail.  A construction triangle is used to positon panels for reproducible cuts.Start of a Cut.  Saw blade travels in a predictable path for accurate and reproducible cuts.  End of a Cut.  The saw blade never reaches beyond the sled's fence.
February 08th, 2011 Publié par Jon Jaroker Classé dans: Construction

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