A coping sled is used when profiling the end grain of a narrow workpiece on the router table – for example when creating cope and stick joints or rail and stile doors, lap joints or tenons. A coping sled holds the work, giving you better results with a higher degree of safety.
As all Woodpeckers tools, the COPESLED1 Coping Sled is a well designed piece of woodworking kit, constructed from quality materials. It’s built on a phenolic base, a material used frequently in woodworking jigs for its durability and stability, and should last a lifetime. It’s one of the best on the market and currently retails at $126.
Accuracy and Safety
Routing the end grain on a narrow piece of stock on a router table without a coping sled is both difficult and can be dangerous. The torque of the router cutter on the stock can easily cause it to kick out on you and destroy your work piece – and possibly a finger tip. You can use a miter gauge, but, even so, a narrow end grain piece tends to wobble a little when it passes the fence gap creating a poor joint, because the miter gauge does not hold the stock firmly enough. The workpiece needs to be held rock steady to counteract the amount of torque generated by the large cutters used for making a raised panel for example.
Video: The COPESLED1 in action
The video shows just how easy it is to use the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 and how securely it holds the workpiece. You can see how the operator’s hands are safely out of the way at all times as he produces a series of perfect joints.
Using the COPESLED1
Using the Woodpeckers sled is simplicity itself.
- Position sled with top guide against the fence
- Slide stock into sled until it sits against fence (with sacrificial scrap wood to prevent tearout)
- Slide side plate in until it sits firmly against the workpiece and tighten clamps
- Position top clamps centrally over workpiece and tighten down
- Produce perfect joints safely and effortlessly
Repeating the cut on the next workpiece simply involves loosening the side and top clamps, sliding the piece you’ve just finished out and sliding the next one in. It’s fast and easy and gives perfect results.
A couple of points concerning the sled’s capacity:
- Stock up to 5-1/2″ wide can be accommodated (less the width of the sacrificial piece if you use one)
- The depth of the top guide determines how large a cutter you can use – with the standard guide fully extended the base sits exactly 1″ from the face of the router fence allowing you to use cutters up to 2″ in diameter
- A deeper guide is available as an optional extra to accommodate larger diameter router bits
If you’re looking for a well-made (in the USA) coping sled that allows you to make safer, more accurate joints on your router table, the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 is an excellent choice, producing perfect joints time after time. In terms of price, it sits in the middle ground between sleds such as the Infinity Tools Professional Coping & Crosscut Sled which costs in the region of $230 and cheaper sleds retailing at around $75 which generally don’t produce a good enough result. In our opinion, the only reason you would want to spend almost another $100 on the Infinity Tools sled is to get the increased stock width capacity of 7″ compared to the Woodpeckers’ 5-1/2″. In practice 5-1/2″ gives you enough capacity for any project you’re likely to be taking on, making the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 the sled to go for.