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Router Table Accessories, Woodpeckers

Review: Woodpeckers Coping Sled

Review: Woodpeckers Coping Sled

Design8.8
Features9.1
Performance9.2
Ease of Use9.3
Value for Money8.4
9 out of 10
What's Hot?
  • Accurate, safe cuts time after time
  • Well designed and well-made from quality materials
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Made in the USA
What's Not?
  • Nada
Bottom Line If you're looking for a well-made (in the USA) coping sled that allows you to make safer, more accurate joints on your router table, the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 is an excellent choice, producing perfect joints time after time. In terms of price, it sits in the middle ground and in our opinion, the only reason you would spend another $100 on something like the Infinity Tools Pro sled is to get the increased stock width capacity of 7" but in practice the Woodpeckers' 5-1/2" gives you enough capacity for any project you're likely to be taking on, making the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 the sled to go for. buy-now-amazon-button4
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Introduction

A coping sled is used when profiling the end grain of a narrow workpiece on the router table – for example when creating cope and stick joints or rail and stile doors, lap joints or tenons.  A coping sled holds the work, giving you better results with a higher degree of safety.

As all Woodpeckers tools, the COPESLED1 Coping Sled is a well designed piece of woodworking kit, constructed from quality materials. It’s built on a phenolic base, a material used frequently in woodworking jigs for its durability and stability, and should last a lifetime. It’s one of the best on the market and currently retails at $126.

Accuracy and Safety

Routing the end grain on a narrow piece of stock on a router table without a coping sled is both difficult and can be dangerous. The torque of the router cutter on the stock can easily cause it to kick out on you and destroy your work piece – and possibly a finger tip. You can use a miter gauge, but, even so, a narrow end grain piece tends to wobble a little when it passes the fence gap creating a poor joint, because the miter gauge does not hold the stock firmly enough. The workpiece needs to be held rock steady to counteract the amount of torque generated by the large cutters used for making a raised panel for example.

The Woodpeckers COPESLED1 has a unique hold down assembly that uses a dual system of side and top down pressure which keeps the board firmly in place preventing any rotation due to the router cutter torque.
The sled registers against the fence – not by the base but by a clear acrylic guard on top. When moving the sled across the table it is easy to see what you are doing because your view is unobstructed. The guide tracks across the router fence rather then a miter slot and bridges the fence gap so there is no wobble as the stock passes the gap.

You push the sled using the two large handles mounted on top so your hands are well out of the way of the cutter. The top guide has the added benefit of putting another layer of protection between you and the spinning bit.

Video: The COPESLED1 in action

The video shows just how easy it is to use the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 and how securely it holds the workpiece. You can see how the operator’s hands are safely out of the way at all times as he produces a series of perfect joints.

Routing end grain has never been so easy or so safe. The Woodpeckers COPESLED1 will last a lifetime and retails for $126. buy-now-amazon-button4

Using the COPESLED1

Using the Woodpeckers sled is simplicity itself.

  1. Position sled with top guide against the fence
  2. Slide stock into sled until it sits against fence (with sacrificial scrap wood to prevent tearout)
  3. Slide side plate in until it sits firmly against the workpiece and tighten clamps
  4. Position top clamps centrally over workpiece and tighten down
  5. Produce perfect joints safely and effortlessly

Repeating the cut on the next workpiece simply involves loosening the side and top clamps, sliding the piece you’ve just finished out and sliding the next one in. It’s fast and easy and gives perfect results.

A couple of points concerning the sled’s capacity:

  • Stock up to 5-1/2″ wide can be accommodated (less the width of the sacrificial piece if you use one)
  • The depth of the top guide determines how large a cutter you can use – with the standard guide fully extended the base sits exactly 1″ from the face of the router fence allowing you to use cutters up to 2″ in diameter
  • A deeper guide is available as an optional extra to accommodate larger diameter router bits

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a well-made (in the USA) coping sled that allows you to make safer, more accurate joints on your router table, the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 is an excellent choice, producing perfect joints time after time. In terms of price, it sits in the middle ground between sleds such as the Infinity Tools Professional Coping & Crosscut Sled which costs in the region of $230 and cheaper sleds retailing at around $75 which generally don’t produce a good enough result. In our opinion, the only reason you would want to spend almost another $100 on the Infinity Tools sled is to get the increased stock width capacity of 7″ compared to the Woodpeckers’ 5-1/2″. In practice 5-1/2″ gives you enough capacity for any project you’re likely to be taking on, making the Woodpeckers COPESLED1 the sled to go for. buy-now-amazon-button4




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Chester is older than he likes to admit, a lifelong woodworker with a special interest in everything related to routers, router tables and router lifts in particular. His aim in life is to own everything made by the Kreg Tool Company, and his doctor says he's most likely addicted to anodized aluminum.