This is my take on a design by TZH of his router planer. I got the honor to tour his shop in the Rocky Mountains of beautiful Colorado a couple weeks ago and saw his setup. The gears in my machinist head started turning ( or grinding) immediately. I came up with this version using off the shelf parts available to anyone. I looked into making the rails with round shafts and linear bearings, but the cost was too high and rigidity was not good enough. The material used is extruded aluminum from the 8020 brand. The cross rails slide on UHMW pads on the bearing blocks. I figured that would be low maintenance with gobs of sawdust. I designed it to be built by any joe woodworker with a drill press or a steady hand drill. The tooling plate can hold any number of tools. By bolting a router to it with a dust collection hose and a long handle, I plan on facing down large tabletops. My other plan was to bolt a skill saw to it, lock down one axis and it becomes a panel saw. The locking handles can stop movement on either the x or y axis to make long straight cuts, dado’s, etc. The upright rails will be bolted to the sides of the 4×4 legs of the work table( not pictured). I will drill a series of holes 3/4” apart for the 10’ rails to sit on pins. Each tool will have it’s own plate to bolt to the carriage. I will make these from scrap aluminum I have , but they could by made from a stout hardwood.
All parts pictured quoted at $833. The work table with 2 layers of 3/4 4’x8’ mdf will cost around $100 or less. So for $930 you can have a router planer capable of 4.5’x 10’ travel, and a panel saw. Or I could spend $1500 on a panel saw and $2-4000 on a big planer that still can’t plane my tables.
Does anyone have any ideas for other tools that could be bolted to this contraption?
If anyone wants the parts list to build a similar one, I can forward it to you, It may be a while till I have the dough to build this. I did just get a SCM planer, so I will be tinkering with that in the mean time.
-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother. www.coloradobeetlekillfurniture.com