Cope Sled Choices

Shop-built and storebought options for a shaper cope sled. July 28, 2006

I'm in need of a cope sled for a Ritter R-11 shaper for cabinet door rails. I've looked at Ritter's least expensive sled (R10TESA) and Weaver's air tenon fixture, which is less but looks like it may be better. Any thoughts?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor B:
Making a cope sled is not difficult. I used a piece of 1/2" aluminum, a piece of wood for the track guide, a toggle clamp and a wood fence to clamp against. The aluminum can be worked with your wood tools, it is just a little denser. I cut it to size with a table saw, jointed one face, planed it flat and ran it through the wide belt, then eased the edges with a router. Way fun! I used the handle from a concrete trowel.

From contributor C:
I made a coping sled for my Ritter easily enough also, although I used a bandsaw to cut the 1/2" jig plate aluminum rather than the TS. Make sure it is precisely the same thickness (in my case, 1/2") as the bushing you will use on the shaper spindle. Mine has an angle iron across the top to mount the hold-down clamps which come in handy for some larger pieces. The 3/4 x 1/2 slot piece is removable from the bottom, so I can use the jig to run curved door panels with it off a live 1/2" thick bearing and 1/4" thick bushing under the cutter. This same setup will do the curved rail to accept the panel with the stacked cutterhead and just the 1/2" bearing. I like the heft and precision of the shop-made jig much better than the manufactured models I have seen. Cheaper, too.

From contributor R:
I have been using the Weaver for a long time and love it! Well worth the money!