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Evolution of my router planer #1: First Version: 1.0

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Blog entry by TZH posted 10-19-2010 06:02 PM 4423 reads 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Evolution of my router planer series Part 2: Version 1.1 »

One of the things I found out very early on in my type of woodworking is that the slabs I use in my projects are often in dire need of planing. The problem with this is the thickness planer I had was not large enough to accommodate the width of most of these slabs. So, I began reviewing my old book and magazine libraries and surfing the Net to try and find something else that might meet the need for the type of work I planned to do.

The results of my search were mixed. The very first option I found, and the one I decided to use as my baseline, was a design for a router planer in one of my old WOOD magazines (April/May 2005):

While the design in this issue was excellent for thinner pieces, I needed something that would also be height adjustable because many of the pieces I was working with were a lot more than 2” thick. So, I designed a small router planer using pipes and plywood height adjustors based loosely on the Wood maganzine design.

VERSION 1.0

This first router sled I designed used aluminum tracks with a clear plexiglass bottom (see photos below). The movement of the router back and forth over the piece was controlled by using the router handles rather than separate handles as in the design in WOOD. Width adjustment was made by opening the table the router planer was mounted on (width adjustment on this table was minimal, so I knew I’d need to come up with something bigger sooner or later).


The concept worked great! The sled needed some work, however. With this design, the router sled was too “wishy-washy” in its movement back and forth, and there was too much of a chance that it would slip off the plywood cross rails if I got careless and wasn’t watching what I was doing close enough. As a result, I went to a “track” sled:


This version worked much better than the first one, but it was still too small to handle the larger slabs I wanted to plane to a flat surface. So, back to the drawing board. Next up – Version 1.1.

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Wood-Renaissance/361417090585685



9 comments so far

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2363 posts in 1571 days


#1 posted 10-19-2010 08:11 PM

Nice design, I’m curious to see some of these “large slabs”, they must be massive not to fit your router jig!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View swirt's profile

swirt

1946 posts in 1660 days


#2 posted 10-19-2010 08:25 PM

May only be version 1 but it is still pretty cool. I see the pipes are holding up the guide rails on the sled, but I can’t tell what is holding them up on the pipe. Is it just a threaded flange that you screw up and down?

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View TZH's profile

TZH

429 posts in 1828 days


#3 posted 10-19-2010 08:33 PM

Manirario, I’ll be posting photos in upciming posts for this series of blogs. Yes, some of the pieces are very large. I actaully flattened an 8’ fireplace mantel using the larger router planer that will be shown.

Swirt, I used stop collars on this version. I’ll be using 1/2” pipe clamps from here on as they are so much easier to adjust. Photos and explanation to come.

TZH

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Wood-Renaissance/361417090585685

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2466 posts in 1779 days


#4 posted 10-20-2010 01:39 AM

cool design!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2376 days


#5 posted 07-04-2011 04:48 PM

How thick is the “plastic” base on your jig in photos 1&2 ?
I was thinking about using 1/4” x 8” x 12” Poly Carbonate as a “window” to mount my router on and to be able to see what I was doing.The PC would be able to be installed on any size “sled” that I needed to make.What are your thoughts ?
Thanks : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TZH's profile

TZH

429 posts in 1828 days


#6 posted 07-04-2011 05:10 PM

Dusty56: the plastic base in the photos is 1/4” thick (just like what you were thinking of using). I used plexiglass (assume it’s the same as PC), and it works great. So, basically, you’re idea is exactly what I did. I’ve made several refinements since this first version (please see later installments of this blog), and I’ve found this jig is now the most used tool in my shop. I can plane just about any size or shape piece to make anything from pedestals for tables and benches or flat surfaces for bases and tops. I’ve even done fireplace mantels with it. Good luck with yours, and go create some sawdust!

TZH

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Wood-Renaissance/361417090585685

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2376 days


#7 posted 07-04-2011 05:30 PM

Thank you for the feedback…your plexi appears to be quite a bit thicker than 1/4” in the photo , that’s why I asked : )
I’m going to look into the plexi versus poly and see if there are any differences other than the spelling .LOL

edit : Looks like the polycarb is stronger than the plexi , but scratches easier and may discolor over time with exposure to UV rays , depending on which brand you purchase , and of course is more expensive.
Thanks and have a great day : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TZH's profile

TZH

429 posts in 1828 days


#8 posted 07-04-2011 06:20 PM

Dusty56: I think the reason it looks thicker in the photo is because of the aluminum runners I was using at the time and also the overall length and width gives it that appearance. I started out with my “sled” concept using the router base in the runners, but found the base was wearing pretty badly, and my control was still an issue. So, I went with a smallish plexi plate like what you are thinking, and voila – I had me a planer. I’m still undecided which lubricant works best for sliding in the sled and on the rails, and I think I’ve decided on carwax. I was using beeswax, but the buildup was getting to be a bit much to stay ahead of. The carwax seems to last awhile longer and is more slippery than the beeswax. Thanks.

TZH

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Wood-Renaissance/361417090585685

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2376 days


#9 posted 07-04-2011 06:48 PM

Hahaha I’ve got plenty of car wax…might as well put it to use on something !
I think I can see the aluminum now.Thanks : ) I guess it was an optical illusion on this end.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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