Picture of Band Saw Sled for Small Pieces of Wood...

Made with the Laser Engraver...

I had a need to cut multiple dowels and didn't have access to the table saw right away.

I drew a simple sled - a foundation design for more enhancements and sizes - which I could burn and assemble with glue.

I built this at TechShop San Jose - www.techshop.ws
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Step 1: Hello MDF, My Old Friend...

Picture of Hello MDF, My Old Friend...

It's made from 1/4" MDF - one of my favorites for laser cutting and assembling.  Great for Jigs! Cheap!

The height of the fence is 1/4" in this case - this was enough to address the 1/4" dowels I needed to cut.  I can easily upgrade this to a higher fence/sled for larger stock - 1/2" dowels, for example.

Step 2: Cut the pieces...

Picture of Cut the pieces...
I designed it with a slew of mortise / tenon pairs to make it easy to align the sled pieces.  If the laser burns hot, you can still get a nice 90degree fence with the alignment help these provide.

I hadn't thought of it, but this fence could be easily modified to cut at various angles.

Here's the Corel Draw 5 file for the pieces.  I won't put power/speed settings here - those'll vary with the laser.

Step 3: Then Assemble them...

Picture of Then Assemble them...
The tenons are mostly the same.  The one on the front of the sled base has a wedge, as does the one at the rear of the sled base - where they attach the runner to the sled.  This keeps us from having sharp edges.

I used a bit of yellow glue and clamped-up the pieces.

Step 4: And keep your fingers safer...

Picture of And keep your fingers safer...

I estimate it cost about 15 cents for all the mdf - very cheap indeed.  It's easy enough to make this out of scraps.

Careful when you cut the dowels - do NOT pull the sled back through the band saw blade to prevent pulling the blade out of alignment or off its track / wheel.

Since it's so cheap, cutting all the way through the sled is fine, if it fits your needs.
chipper352 years ago
Very interesting! Dumb question: I don't get the black markers........are those just measurement markers??
togo1919 (author)  chipper352 years ago
I used a bunch of them just to assure alignment between the runner, sled base, and fence.

Often, folks will cut the end of the sled off and I wanted to make sure there were still plenty of tenons left if this was done.

togo1919 (author)  chipper352 years ago

When the laser cuts through the MDF, it burns the wood. The dark 'markers' are the tenons that are cut out.

The MDF is 1/4", and the tenon width is 1/2". I turn them on their sides to insert them between the sled base and fence.

Make sense? If not, I'll make sure to show assembly details next time.
This is a good idea, are you willing to share your vector file with your post?
togo1919 (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
Okay. I've added the vector file now...
togo1919 (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
Oops! Will do that a bit later today.
spiderham2 years ago
It looks great but you can clamp a scrap board to the saw's miter guide for the same effect and you get the added bonus of angle adjustment.
togo1919 (author)  spiderham2 years ago
(psst... spiderham... I get a free class every time I write an Instructable... Don't tell anyone...)