The next design I came up with for my router planer was based loosely on some of the designs some fellow woodworkers had posted right here on Lumberjocks. The biggest design change was that I eliminated the sled pictured in the first photo in my last blog entry and used angle iron glides instead.
Now here was a design I really took a liking to right away. This one allowed me to plane much larger pieces without fear of slipping off the edges of the runners because the router moves within the confines of the angle iron glides.
The angle iron glides also allowed the router to slide back and forth (gotta use beeswax on a regular basis to grease the skids, so to speak) and the edges of the iron glides also keep it straighter and truer when planing. The sled was made just wide enough to accommodate the width of the router baseplate, so there is virtually no chance the router will slip out when planing.
However, this process is time consuming and hard on the back if the piece is very large or the angle makes for a long reach. To address this issue, I found working on half the piece at a time, and then switching to the other half when done with the first half, works very well (see photo below). I also found that a larger router works a lot better than the smaller ones (a 1/2” shank router straight bit that cuts a larger diameter is definitely a plus, too). Anyway, this improved design router planer was a lot closer to what I needed than anything I’d found so far.
The photo above shows just one example of a large slab being planed. This piece is almost 3’ at its widest point. It started out over 5” thick and the “wings” on it were so warped, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to save it. The photo below shows this slab as a coffee table top that I’ve gotten a lot of drooling over, but so far I haven’t had a buyer for it.
Next up – Version 1.2.