LaymarCrafts Woodturning Hints & Tips

Multi Function Baseboard, Sled and Carriers Pt. I

This Article will be in three parts with the first two parts covering several Holders for various items used to Decorate, Form, Copy or Drill Items held in the Lathe.

The third part will detail the Baseboard and Adjustable Pivot plus Copying Template Holder.

The System has been developed over the years and born out of numerous one off jigs I have made to serve a single need, this system is an overall improvement in as much as it is more flexible and has the potential for expansion and additions as they are required.

Sled Base

The Sled Base is the basic module that will carry/support all the components for the various Tools as detailed later and here in the first part of this article.


84mm 134mm 200mm 145mm 30mm 40mm 54mm 70mm
3.30" 5.27" 7.87" 5.71" 1.18" 1.57" 2.12" 2.75"

The Dimensions given above are those for my particular requirements and the materials used and therefore are meant as a guide only, the Sled base is formed using 25mm x 25mm and 50mm x 30mm Box Section [1" x 1" and 2" x 11/8"].

Before you start you will need to determine a number of factors so that you can work out the exact dimensions for the Sled. the Dimensions in brackets below refer to my set up.

The reason for having this information will be come clearer as each part of the article is detailed.

With all the components cut to size you now need to carefully mark out and Drill all the necessary Holes as this will be more difficult if done after the Sled is assembled, except the M8 Drilled and Tapped Hole in the Platform, for the Router/Drill Holder, this is best carried out after the assembly of the Sled.

This Picture shows the Sled which in my case has been Welded together although if you have a large enough Brazing Torch it can easily be Silver Soldered or even be a Bolted Assembly.

The M12 Screwed Rods are removable, although there is no problem with them being fixed, and these support such items as the Ball Cutting Jig, the Router/Drill Holder, a Dremel Holder and the Drilling Guide all described later in this article.

The 14mm Hole in the front and rear cross members is for the Pivot/Adjustment Bar and the two 10mm Holes in the front cross member are for the Copying Guides.

The two M12 Holes, with a M12 Nut below [Inside the Box Section], at the Rear of the Sled are for possible future additions or a guide handle.

The Bolts in these two holes are their purely to stop them filling with Shavings and Dust when not being used.

Pivot/Adjustment Bar

Next you need to make a Pivot/Adjustment Bar for setting up the Jig for Turning Balls, Decoration of Arcs i.e. Bowls and for the Drill Guide.

This works in combination with the Pivot Block that will be detailed in Part IV and it is advisable to make these two items at the same time as they need to fit together.

Pivot/Adjustment Bar

You will need a length of M12 ["] Screwed Rod about 300mm long and a piece of Mild Steel 60mm x 25mm x 8mm [2" x 1" x 3/8"] welded to one end and drilled with a 7mm [5/16"] Hole generally as shown above.

This passes through the Central Hole in the Sled and has a Nut and Washer at the Front and at the Rear this will be the means of Adjustment and Locking to any Radius.

Router Holder

The Sled will take a Holder for the Router or Drill , although the Drill has limited capabilities in this instance, for Decorative Embellishment of Turned Items whether carried out with the Pivot Bar or the Freehand Guides.

In the picture you can see how the 43mm Holder fits into the Sled to which it is bolted with an M8 Set Screw.

The Horizontal Centre Line of the Holder and therefore the Centre Line of the Router Cutter must be at the same height as the Centre Line of the Lathe.

In my case this is 200mm and the Holder from Base to Centre Line is 135mm + the Sled 41mm and the Baseboard at 24mm.

The 84mm x 60mm platform plate that supports the Holder is welded onto the 50 x 30 Box Section cross member and is only 10mm thick and therefore I had to Shim it up by 1mm to attain the correct height before Welding it in place.

These Holders are available in numerous styles and designs and I cannot remember where I got mine from but it was certainly the simplest to adapt to fit the Sled.

<<<< The Holder is made of Die-Cast Aluminum and has three holes through the bottom of the unit [not to clear in the picture as I have blocked these off with some blind grommets].

These Holes suggest that it may be part of a Drill Based Lathe? in each of the sides it has a "T" type slot for possibly bolting down onto a support base or frame, the Holder is, I believe, manufactured by Zyliss.



The Sled can be fitted with Follower Guides for Copy Turning, using a profile as a guide or Freehand Decoration , these are fitted to the Sled in place of the Pivot Bar using the two 10mm Holes.

Each Follower was made from pieces of 50 x 30 Box Section cut in a triangular shape as shown, into the long edge you need to drill two 10mm holes to match those in the Sled.

Now with a 140 mm length of M8 Screwed Rod fixed in place by a M8 Nut either side you Weld the inner Nut to the Box Section and the Screwed Rod into the Nut, once this is cooled down you then remove the outer Nut.

You will need as many of these as the number of Follower Designs you wish to make, I have three at this time, the first is a Pin Follower, for this drill a hole through the top of the Box Section as close to the front as possible and in the middle, i.e. along the same Centre Line as the Centre Line of the Sled. Into this fit a suitable length of say 5mm Rod and Weld or Braze in place.

Another version of this is to use a length of M6 Screwed Rod, fixed in the same way, onto which you can place a Small Ballrace type Bearing trapped between two M6 Nuts at the required height.

This will give you a very smooth and precise operating Profile or Straight Line Follower when using the Profile Guide or Template.

My third is a Knife Edge Follower for Profiles and Templates with Fine Detail, for this Cut a Slot into the Centre of the leading edge of one of the guides from above and Weld/Braze into position a profiled piece of Steel to form a Rounded Knife Edge.

You can make as many different designs as you require to suit your particular needs.

Part II of this Article.
Part III of this Article.
Part IV of this Article.

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