Early on, I was always looking for a way to support the sled while working on it. I never liked keeping it attached to the motor chains while I worked on it.
So, I used an extra piece of dowel, drilled a hole at the center/top of the spoil board (the same size as the dowel), and I use a clamp to keep the sled weight off the chains. The dowel is easily removed during operation. Made another hole in the frame to hold the dowel during operation.
While I have never had issues with the gears in my motors (knock on wood,) I keep the sled weight off the motors except during use.
drive a large screw/bolt into the top beam in the center, drill an oversized
hole in the sled and hang the sled from the top beam.
do this right and you get the sled out of the way when loading stock.
make the hole in the sled much larger than you think it needs to be, it’s hard
to find a hole that is a close fit.
I tried that method for hanging my sled and managed to knock it off the screw while putting a sheet of plywood on the machine. Unfortunately the sled actually flipped, pulling out one ring mount/leg and twisting the ring. I got it pretty much straight again, however I need to redo calibration since my attempt to cut a sled resulted in an oval. I’m hoping I didn’t make a $70ish mistake.
If you do a screw/bolt in the top beam have a way to make sure the sled doesn’t get bumped and knocked off the hook.
I’ve used a piece of 1/4"-20 threaded rod long enough to protrude through the top of the sled by a couple inches. That way, when I need to secure the sled while loading and unloading materials, I just screw a nut on the end of the threaded rod to retain the sled. Doesn’t even need to be tightened down, just enough to keep the sled from coming off the threaded rod.
make the screw/bolt long enough to stick through the sled quite a bit, don’t
make it so that the screw is flush with the top of the sled.
a bolt is better than a screw for this reason, and a lag bolt would have the
added advantage of it’s head creating a lip so the sled needs to be lifted off,
not just slid off.
I like the idea of it being out of the way during loading material; however, I have been unwilling to put anything on the top bar as my chain tension system has been in constant flux until just recently.