Re Coping sled Plans


I got some really good advise from all that replied. Everyone had good points that I pondered on. So here is my plan. I am going to put in a miter track. I will not weaken the working surface because I am going to have a 5/8" particle board under the 3/4" melamine to give it strength. in the 5/8" I am going to cut out a 6" +/- hole to steady the routor housing and in the 3/4" I will cut out a 2" hole and drill the mounting screw holes.I was going to put in a base plate made out of plexi glass, but I am not to sure about making the cutout right for it( I still might change my mind on this one). I am making a large work area, its going to 22" wide and 42" long. This way I don't need to worry about any thing, e.g. cabinet door, to be over balanced on the one side. I am not sure how far to place the miter fence away from the center of the routor, but some research has shown me that about 5" seems to be average. The one reply made me change my mind for the simple fact if I am cutting a rail or stile , it is nice to be able to control it more as far as it getting pushed out of the way. I am going to construct a coping sled out of 1/4" by 6" solid oak. Fence wise, I am going to make a Homemade one as well.I will try to post pictures after I am done on the binariay site.
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Unnecessary and a chip catching PITA. Referencing to the fence or bit itself is so easy it's almost a crime to complicate it.
I worked with shapers and their fences/miter gages for many years, then I saw my first "Router Workshop" show and realized how much effort I was wasting in an otherwise simple process.
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I understand what you mean George and agree with you, but in my case I have a right elbow that is not the best and I need something to help me stablise the work as best as I can. George wrote:

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Just curious as to your reasoning, George. While I agree a miter slot is not "necessary" on a router table, what are the complications of using one to guide a coping sled? It's a pretty simple operation actually.
Do you cope hardwood rails on a shaper using only the fence to guide your coping sled?
Just trying to understand.
Chuck
George wrote:

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Nope, but on the router table, I do. The complications of a miter gage are its adjustability, which normally means de-adjustability as well. A square of floating floor with a fixed 90 degree doesn't de-adjust. The same with a 1" channel for the collar will do great dados or dovetail slots for small shelves. Don't have to worry about different diameter cutters if you reference the fence to the bearing on the cutter, and then the cope to the fence, either.
I have a splendid Delta cast-iron sled for the shaper, purchased before I de-emphasized hardware, but it'll eat aluminum channel and MDO tops pretty fast.
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Thanks for the info, George.
Sure agree with you about coping with a miter gauge. I think the OP had in mind a coping sled that was guided by the miter slot, rather than a miter gauge. Nothing to adjust or misadjust there.
I would say that adjusting the fence to the cutter for coping is about the same effort as adjusting the work in the coping sled to the cutter. One could make a reference stick based on the coping sled to cutter distance. Once made (2 minutes?) it would mean henceforth the work could be adjusted in the coping sled in about 3 seconds or less. A lot more time than than will be spent adjusting cutter height. Most folks probably don't have more than a few coping cutters for their routers, and those will often have identical cutter diameters, so this should be a reasonable alternative to using the fence.
Just to make sure we're all on the same wavelength, when we talk about coping, we're usually talking about removal of a substantial amount of cross-grain material from paneled door rail ends.
Thanks again for responding.
Chuck
George wrote:

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Well, there's the fit of the sled in it, and the leverage on the piece caused by distance from the reference point of the groove, to name two rather important ones which are non-players in a fence-referenced setup.
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Have to wonder how our woodworker is going to keep the sled against the fence if he has trouble keeping it to one side of the miter slot. I'm not sure I follow the leverage point, George. If you mean the cutter will push the work, that's less of a problem using a miter slot guided sled than one that is held next to the fence freehand I would think.
My own perspective is that the benefits of a miter slot guided coping sled, or a sliding table, on a shaper can also be reaped with a router table. The need may not be as great from a safety perspective, but there are benefits as well from greater workpiece stability.
But I think we're getting deep into nuances here. Undoubtedly, museum-quality work has been done using both techniques. Since most router tables probably have both fences and miter slots, my recommendation is that folks try it both ways and do what works best for them.
Appreciate the exchange of views.
Chuck
George wrote:

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Sorry I haven't replied back for a few days, been busy. I know all of you have said, and I have also seen on different websites, that the coping sled should be made out of 1/4" material for the base. There is one person on Ebay selling a homemade one made with a 3/4" base. Is this recommended?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&itemu86395877&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:PIC
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Any slop in the slot is magnified by the distance to the cutter from the slot. Longer the distance, greater the possible error. Home-made rigs being what they are, that 3/4 by 3/8 piece is likely to work loose faster than a solid piece of goods is to compress. Not loaded the way a tablesaw sled is loaded, after all, directly against the direction of travel.
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bdeditch wrote:

My apologies if this has already been mentioned, but:
If I may make a suggestion, get yourself a decent router lift.
I use the Rousseau 3000 series. A little expensive, yes, but once you use one, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.
A lift allows you to change bits from above the table, and depth changes are as easy as turning a crank from the top side. Rousseau also supplies templates for cutting the top. There are also plans for these on the 'Net.
Whatever you do, have fun and work safely.
G
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