LaymarCrafts Woodturning Hints & Tips

Log Cutting Sled for the Bandsaw.

For many years I have cut Logs of all shapes and size Freehand on the Bandsaw and have had a few hairy moments, but nothing to serious until a few weeks ago I had a moment that I prefer to forget, not sure what actually happened but the Log went one-way and my Left Hand went for the Blade, my luck was in as the force of the catastrophe had broken the Blade and I only suffered minor Skin Grazes.

As I wiped the Blood away and applied numerous Band Aid I cursed myself for being so Stupid and made the decision there and then to NEVER ever cut a Log freehand ever again.

The Sled in the picture below is my solution to problem and one that is easy to make and that works very well, the design is based around a Ratchet Cargo Strap fixed to a MDF Sled.

The Sled is in two parts the section to the left of the Blade is fixed with two countersunk Screws to the Bandsaw Table and has a cut out where it fits around the Blade, the right-hand section slides backwards and forwards, guided by a baton running against the edge of the Bandsaw Table.

The Fixed section is made from the same thickness of MDF as the movable portion so that it supports the Log as it moves by the Blade of the Bandsaw.

The base of the Sled was made from 20mm ["] MDF this was cut to a width equal to the distance from the Blade to the edge of the Bandsaw Table plus 20mm, for the Guide Baton, for my Machine this equaled 290mm [11"] the length was 480mm [19"] which was not quite the length of the table but I have a restriction on the back wall and this fixed the length I could accommodate but at the same time made a very convenient stop.

On to this base I attached two pieces of 6mm  ["] MDF generally as shown in the sketch below, this allows for a recess into which the Strap will sit and therefore give a solid base for the Log to sit on, I now fixed the Nylon Strap of the Ratchet to the Baseboard using Woodscrews and Washers.

It is important that you use sufficient fixings as the Strap will be under a great deal of force in use, I in fact doubled the Strap over then made six holes through it using a soldering iron [Nylon Webbing will melt if heat is applied] this made neat holes for the Woodscrews to pass through.

I then fixed a piece of Hardwood approximately 40mm x 30 mm with a another piece of MDF [shows up Green in the Photo above] this served two purposes, firstly it allowed me to bolt the Ratchet Arm to the assembly and also left a gap so that you can get in to release the strap tension.

Examples of the Ratchet type Cargo Straps used for this Sled, you will have to remove the Hooks [if fitted] and possibly the Straps, if you do this you will need to seal off the Cut End, I used a Cigarette Lighter but a small Blow Torch or any small Naked Flame will melt and seal the ends.


The Strap I used is 25mm [1"] Wide and was cut to a length of approximately 800mm [31"], the Spool that the Strap winds onto will determine the actual length you can use,  for my set up I can accommodate something like a 300mm [12"] diameter Log which is more than adequate for me, any larger and I would generally cut with a Chainsaw anyway.


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Last update 06 May 2008
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