Band Saw Sled for Small Pieces of Wood...




About: Daddy-O...

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 -

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.



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    8 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 3

    Very interesting! Dumb question: I don't get the black markers........are those just measurement markers??

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 3

    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.


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 3


    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.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    (psst... spiderham... I get a free class every time I write an Instructable... Don't tell anyone...)