An Evening in the Shop #4: Flattening Boards - Mods and lessons learned

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Blog entry by ChunkyC posted 10-18-2011 04:49 AM 1461 reads 2 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Flattening Boards part II Part 4 of An Evening in the Shop series Part 5: Shop Maintenance Day »

Power Cord management: The best way to run the cord would be to tie it up from from overhead and let it “follow” the router. I don’t have a good way of running the power cord overhead At least a way that doesn’t somehow involve using an extension cord. E-Cords aren’t good idea for many reasons but I can’t afford any voltage drop to my tools being that I only have one circuit in the shop. So I attached a 3/4” EMT one hole strap to the side of the sled to get the cord in check. Now it doesn’t catch on work bench, as much.

Improved Dust Containment: I added a piece of 10mm coro to the back of the sled to cover the gap when the router is close to me. It helps quit a bit but I still get chips flying out the front, the side I’m standing on. I’ll live with that I guess because I don’t want something poking me in my tummy.

Dust Collector Hose Management: Works AWESOME! A much shorter hose and tie up. No more fighting the hose!

A Clear Base: This is actually the first base that I built for this version of the jig. I set it aside until I could get the dust collection worked out and what ever else before committing my only piece of 1/4 plexiglass.

A couple of lessons learned.

1) Wax, wax and wax the rails. I knew this but for some reason it was a low priority for me. Yes, I’m a moron. The sled glides now like it’s on ice.

2) I’ve tried lots of “techniques” for routing the board. Across the grain, down on edge and back up the other and just back and forth indexing on each pass. The back and forth and indexing on each pass is by far the easiest to do as I only need to index the sled 3/4” each pass. You get a climb cut going one way, and a “normal” cut back the other. But what I’ve found to work best for me and yields the best surface finish (if you can call it that) is to take a full 3/4” climb cut pass and then a 1/4” return “normal pass.” I find it very difficult to keep the router from pulling it’s self into the board on a normal pass. Granted, the climb cut tends to push the router back at me, but my thumb on the rail of the sled and against the sled keeps it in check.

3) You’ll need shims, lots of shims. What I do is take the edges that I cut off when I straight line the boards and cut them to about 5”-6” long. I have a 5 gallon bucket full of shims, just visible in the last picture in the upper left corner.. The best thing, if I don’t use them, they’re already cut into small pieces so that they take up less room in the burn barrel. The thicker edges get cut up for stickers so that I can stack the lumber.

Thanks for reading!


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

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