Wynmatic has developed a smaller version of its Cope-Avator, which clamps a workpiece to produce coped rails for door construction. The new product, the Mini-Coper, has the capability of handling work pieces up to 7" wide and 1-1/4" thick.
"The Mini-Coper has a bit more of a broad appeal because it is less expensive than the Cope-Avator and it will do most of the work people do as far as accommodating widths," says Wayne Gregoire, spokesman for Wynmatic. "Most of the work that is done on coping is done on wood that is about 2-1/2" wide. It's made so it can be used on a good router table as well as a shaper because the base is only 1/2" thick instead of well over 3/4" thick on the bigger unit we make."
The Mini-Coper does not need a miter slot. Instead, the Mini-Coper's polycarbonate "see-through" guide runs against the fence of the shaper or router table.
"Miter slots, even when they're working properly, have a certain amount of play in them generally. More importantly, they need to be lined up with your fence or else you'll have a problem pushing something across guided by the miter slot and indexed by the fence. The two have to be perfect. Here you could have the fence at an angle to the miter slot and it wouldn't really matter," says Gregoire.
The Mini-Coper's base is made from 1/2" aluminum with a durable plastic (UMHW) bottom.
The tool uses two De-Sta-Co clamps, one for the workpiece and a smaller clamp to hold down a backing board. Wynmatic recommends using UHMW polymer as a backer because it improves the quality at the end of the cut by preventing blowout.
"Another important point is that any clamp of any size can distort a base that is not substantial," adds Gregoire. For example, "if you use 1/4" plywood for a base and attach a cross board, the clamps can distort the base slightly and you'll have a different depth of cut across the wood.
"The Mini-Coper glides very, very smoothly and that is the key to having that material on the bottom so you don't get any herky-jerky movement. What you want to do is find a comfortable feed rate so you can just run the material through. You want to cut this in one pass, only because you'll lose your quality of fit if you do anything else."
The Mini-Coper, which also features cushioned grips to encourage the safe placement of hands, sells for $395.
The Cope-Avator, which accommodates wood up to 2-1/2" thick, sells for $795.
Contact: Wynmatic Inc. 12771 Gordon Dr., Eden Prairie, MN 55346. Tel: 952-944-7053. www.wynmatic.com
This article originally appeared in the November 2009 issue.