Intro: 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
Step 1: 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...
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...
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...
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.