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Workbench and router sled

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Blog entry by LJackson posted 03-24-2015 03:08 AM 2868 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While chatting with someone here, there was some interest in what I’m doing. So, here’s what I’m doing. I’m building a workbench, out of 2×4s.

Unfortunately, I’ve only recently learned about a thing call “moisture content,” the fact that 2×4s aren’t as dry as hardwood lumber, and will therefore tend to warp as they do dry unless you do something about it, and what to do: sticker them.

The result is as you see: not a straight, flat, or square board in the picture. Not even the near pipe clamp, which is partially hidden under the workbench, but is about as straight as a banana. I can’t fully close that gap between the two sets of glued-up planks, so I’m going to screw them into the runners and hope they stay.

I found if I tried to pull the gap closed, the plank would pull up, which is why I’ve got the C-clamps there. I need them to be flat more than I need them seamless. At the end I’ll route an even channel in the voids and fill it with some more wood.

To flatten the whole top, I’m using The Wood Whisperer’s technique as illustrated on YouTube . The sled I’m making, however, is a different design, more like this one here .

Here is the base, with holes drilled for my router’s plunge base, and a hole for the massive straight bit.

Here are two pieces that will cradle the pipes.

There aren’t any holes in them yet, because I didn’t think when I purchased the 3/4” pipe that this isn’t the diameter of the outside, which I calipered to 1 5/64”, but I’m going to purchase a 1 1/16” forstner bit.

Four pieces will be holed out to that size all together, the other two being attached to the pipe ends to keep the pipes at a constant width apart from each other.

Here is one of the pipes.

Here is my router, with the massive bit installed, and the plunge base. I like this router.

So, the pipes will span the width of the workbench, and they will ride along some extruded aluminum 80/20 that I purchased for the task. This is only one inch square, and I now realize I should have gotten something larger that doesn’t flex so easily. I’ll have to brace it somehow.



8 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7180 posts in 2045 days


#1 posted 03-24-2015 03:47 AM

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

387 posts in 2245 days


#2 posted 03-24-2015 04:12 AM

Hey, that’s quite a project. I see the problem you have putting the two halves together. Nice twist. You could proceed by glueing up two or three boards at a time to the stack on the right, the one that’s not twisted. Otherwise you’d have to plane or joint the edge of the twisted stack to glue it to the other half, otherwise it will have a tremendous ammount of stress in it if you have to clamp it with that much pressure.

How much did the 80/20 cost you?

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View LJackson's profile

LJackson

295 posts in 1062 days


#3 posted 03-24-2015 12:51 PM

I paid $24.26 each for the 80/20. It’s this stuff .

But, there are alternatives that I have found since. I never liked the ordering process for 80/20. Their full product line is not available online, and it is difficult to search for a specific profile through Amazon. Other sources for extruded aluminum include Orange Aluminum and Parco . I have not purchased from either, but their prices are slightly less, and Parco in particular has a full line of shapes.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#4 posted 03-24-2015 01:02 PM

A couple bad thing about a large bit for flattening: bit must be perfectly perpendicular to the sled or you have a. Inch of ridges. And, I don’t know if I’d use a bit that big outside of a shaper. Just throwing that out there.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View LJackson's profile

LJackson

295 posts in 1062 days


#5 posted 03-24-2015 02:43 PM

Well, it is the same size bit The Wood Whisperer used.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 954 days


#6 posted 03-24-2015 02:57 PM

Gotcha

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

387 posts in 2245 days


#7 posted 03-24-2015 04:14 PM

The big bit is fine so long as the cuts are shallow. Plan on multiple passes. Thanks for the Al info, I’ll look into that.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View ruddhess's profile

ruddhess

117 posts in 678 days


#8 posted 03-26-2015 12:40 AM

Glad you put your stuff up here for us to see. Seems like a lot of folks are laminating workbench tops for the first time right now.

Not that it will help you too much now, but I just glued up a 21” wide bench slab myself recently. I ended up getting a bunch of 2 X 10’s (ending up with 4-1/2” to 4/5/8” thickness) and ripping them (as close to) down the center with my circular saw so that one side was “relatively” flat – that way I had a “relatively” flat side to put down when I glued them together so that they ended up closer to flat during the glue up. But I also drilled 5/8” holes all along the thing and bolted the thing up with 3/8” all-threads – that seemed to work fairly well for me – and I can bore the holes out a few inches to accept iron ‘holdfasts’.

‘waho6o9’ advice of cauls is spot on – I now wish I had used cauls in my glue-up. But there is something addictive about making workbenches and I fear this will not be my last one! So “next time” . . .

-- Rodney, Arkansas

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