So, you have bought a router, and you are aching to test the efficiency of your router by profiling a woodblock end grain. Immediately you realize that you can’t effectively shape the end grain of the woodblock without having something to hold your woodblock in place while you run the end grain through the router. You can solve such an issue if you have one of the best coping sleds for router or shaper. But what is a coping sled for a route
The coping sled functions like a router table jig and holds the woodblock as you work on it. Using this sled, you can produce precise cuts for creating tight joints. The coping sled secures your workpiece in place so that you can cut the end grain efficiently without damaging the wood piece.
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Why Would You Use a Coping Sled?
You will quickly run into some issues when you begin to shape the end grain. These issues might include safety issues and other issues on your woodblock. First, you will quickly run into an alignment issue due to the wobbling of your woodblock. Additionally, kickbacks may occur if you don’t have a reference area while working on the end grain. Another issue is the possible tear-out of the wood’s rear side.
There are several ways to solve these problems. But the most effective and easiest way to avoid these potential issues is by utilizing a coping sled. With it, you can make the shaping of the end grain accurate and safe. Moreover, it can guide your woodblock and keep perfect alignment while you shape the end grain.
You can buy a coping sled bereft of a guide. If you purchase something without a guide, you can use the miter slot of the router table to guide the woodblock.
The coping sled features two fences. One fence is moveable while the other one is fixed. The movable fence allows you to fit various block sizes onto the coping sled. Coping sleds also feature clamps for holding the woodblock, giving it downward pressure. Hence, as you feed the wood block onto the bit, it will not kick back nor rotate. Thus, these clamps allow you to have better control of your cut.
The good thing is that you can utilize whatever coping sled you can buy with whatever router table you have. In this way, you can transition from one coping sleds to another and choose the best for your needs. With suitable coping sleds, you can make stylish doors, rails, finger joints, tenon joints, and lap joints with ease.
Most Recommended Coping Sleds for Shaper and Router
As you search for the ideal coping sled for shaper and router, you will soon discover that you got several options in the market today, which makes the choosing process a bit confusing. Hence, to facilitate the choosing process for you, you can check out the following most recommended coping sleds for router and shaper:
Last update on 2022-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Woodpeckers Coping Sled
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use coping sled that you can set up with ease, you should check out the Woodpeckers Coping Sled. This coping sled is robust and durable and can work well with all router tables. It can secure the woodblock in two ways. Besides, you can set up the wood piece between the adjustable top plate and fence. You can easily adjust it to allow for a maximum of 5-1/2 wide material.
It features two clamps for securing the workpiece and preventing it from wobbling and lifting while you shape its end grain. This coping sled will track along the router table fence instead of along the miter slot. This setup is faster and easier.
Moreover, you will not need to align the fence to make it parallel to the miter slot. Besides, this setup doesn’t necessitate a miter slot on your router table. Lastly, this coping sled is made in the United States.
- Quite easy to use
- Weighs around 7.7 pounds
- Durable and robust
- Comes with two clamps along with two handles
- The durability of the thread of the hold-down knob is questionable
2) Woodhaven 525 Large Coping Sled
Another excellent option is the Woodhaven 525 Large Coping Sled. This coping sled functions well with both the shaper and the router.
Additionally, you can use it either against the fence or track along the miter slot. Using this sled, you can make accurate cope cuts and crosscuts. Moreover, you can make the shaping of the end-grain safe for you.
It will be for your advantage and safety, likewise, to cope using this coping sled. Another thing is that it comes with dual adjustable feed handles that can offer firm control over your coping sled and work.
This coping sled features an 11-3/4″ miter bar made of steel. You can adjust this miter bar and mount it in six various locations for the best positioning or setup. Moreover, you can use this coping sled sans the miter bar positioned against the fence. It can also hold wood stock with a maximum width of ten inches. Moreover, it features a phenolic base that doesn’t distort under clamping pressure.
- Comes with two adjustable feed handles for better control of the sled
- Features a miter bar mountable at six different locations
- The initial assembly is a bit challenging since it comes with different parts, and the instructions might not be that clear.
3) Woodhaven 526 Medium Coping Sled
The Woodhaven 526 Medium Coping Sled is another excellent option if you’re looking for a coping sled for your router or shaper. You can use it either in your miter slot or against the fence. With this coping sled, you can likewise achieve precise coping and crosscuts with a high level of safety.
It is a versatile tool that can provide you with toggle clamp capability. You should try to cope without using this coping sled. It also comes with two feed handles that are adjustable. These handles can provide you with firm control of your work and the sled.
Moreover, it comes with a steel miter bar that you can adjust. Plus, it comes with six mounting locations for optimum placement. You can utilize this coping sled sans a miter bar.
This coping sled can hold up to six inches wide stock. Like the abovementioned large coping sled, this one comes with a phenolic base.
- Weighs nine pounds for additional sturdiness and durability
- Comes with a steel miter bar and a fence
- Features adjustable feed handles
- The initial assembly is a bit of a challenge
4) Rockler 921727 Rail Coping Sled
The Rockler 921727 provides you with a versatile coping sled that is comfortable and easy to use. It offers a firm grip, and it comes with enhanced round and tall handles. It also provides smooth sliding.
This coping sled comes with a phenolic base that is 3/8″ thick. This phenolic base stays rigid and flat while it offers a smooth gliding surface for your workpiece.
Its reference edge is also smoothly running. Moreover, it comes with an elevated guide allowing you to see what you are doing. Its guide runs around two inches above the table of the router.
- Offers one-handed operation of this coping sled
- Tool-free adjustments for the toggle clamp
- Can handle up to five inches wide workpiece and 1-1/4″ thickness.
- You can replace its sacrificial block .
- A bit light
5) Fulton Rail Guide Coping Sled PRO
The Fulton Rail Guide Coping Sled PRO is wrought in wood fibers. You will see that its sled’s surface got laminated for a smooth feel. It weighs around 3.75 pounds, allowing you to handle it with ease. This coping sled does not utilize the miter slot. Instead, it utilizes the router fence. Hence, you won’t need to make an adjustment on the fence relative to the coping sled.
This coping sled comes with a guide made of acrylic plastic material. Hence, it is transparent. You can see this guide positioned two inches over the base. It references your router fence. With this guide, you can run the wood piece attached to your coping sled sans cutting the sled. Moreover, this clear guide protects you from flying debris.
The adjustable fence and the large clamp will stabilize your woodblock, preventing it from moving even a bit. Thus, you can work safely and come up with accurate coping cuts. This adjustable fence features an abrasive strip that is attached to the holding side of the block, trapping the block firmly.
The Fulton Rail Guide also comes with a sacrificial block. Hence, you don’t need to find wood scrap. This sacrificial block helps avoid tear-out, which is a common issue when you profile end grain.
- Assembly is easy
- Comes with an adjustable toggle clamp
- The package comes with a sacrificial block
- Comes with solid safety features
- Features an abrasive strip for firmly holding your block
- Features a thick base
6) MLCS 9548 Coping Sled
The MLCS 9548 Coping Sled is another excellent option that will allow you to effortlessly cut small and narrow cuts. You can also use it to make cross-grain rail cuts. During the cutting process, you can keep your fingers safe and away from the rotating blade.
It also features a dual fence that you can adjust. This dual fence comes with a clear base. The dual fence and clear base provide this coping sled with extra rigidity and strength.
This coping sled comes with the following dimensions 6-1/2″ by 16″ by 3/8″ thickness. With this, you can cut block up to 4-3/4″ wide. Its clamp is a 500-pound clamp (dual holding).
- You can reposition both handles
- Comes with a clear base
- Allows for single-handed control of dual pad clamp
- Clamp’s holding capacity is up to 500 pounds
- Its clamping pressure might cause the flexing of the base
You can shape the end grain of a woodblock using the router. Yet, shaping the end grain might prove difficult, especially for beginners. As mentioned above, you might encounter several issues that might prevent you from making those needed accurate shaping and routing.
However, if you have the best coping sled, you can skirt around these issues and make shaping the block’s end grain quick, safe, and easy. You only need to choose the best shape and size of coping sleds for your coping needs.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker and carpenter who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.