Can I resaw a natural-edge slab and preserve the edges?

Q:

After seeing the wedged-seat bench, above, in issue 227 (September 2014), I knew it would be the perfect project for a 9"-wide natural-edge cherry slab that’s been sitting in my basement for several years. I’ll need to resaw the 3"-thick slab to create the two seat planks, but how can I do that without the bandsaw’s table damaging the natural edges?
—Jenny Sanders, Kirkland, Wash.

A:

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You just need to build a simple right-angle sled from MDF to carry the slab across the bandsaw, Jenny. To do this, cut a fence about equal to your slab in width and length, and then cut a base the same length and about 4" wide. Screw them together with 112 "-long brass screws [Photo A, above]. Secure the slab to the fence with a few dabs of hot-melt glue [Photo B]. After the glue grabs hold, tilt your bandsaw table to the angle needed. Place the sled against the bandsaw fence, and resaw the slab [Photo C]. Add infeed and outfeed support if needed.

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With the cut complete, pop the half-slab off the MDF fence, and then clean up the bandsawn faces with a wide jointer, belt sander, or hand planes.  (To learn more about working with natural-edge slabs, go to woodmagazine.com/slab.)

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