Evolution of my router planer #3: Version 1.2

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Blog entry by TZH posted 10-20-2010 10:31 PM 6375 reads 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Version 1.1 Part 3 of Evolution of my router planer series Part 4: Version 1.2a »

Movin’ right along, here’s Version 1.2 of my router planer.

Because I’d made the router sled larger in order to accommodate larger pieces, I now needed to design something bigger for the sled to ride on. That’s when I came up with the idea of using longer piping for the end poles and cross rails (instead of the 12” pipes and the plywood cross rails shown in my first design). The photo below shows my first attempt (my “beta” version) at this new design.

As you can see, this first “beta” version looked pretty wierd. I thought if I made it triangular in shape, I could manipulate the widths of the slabs I worked on while still allowing me to work on thicker pieces, as well. I didn’t like this one at all because even with my newer sled design (not shown in these photos) that used angle iron as the runners, I couldn’t keep the sled on the rails when I needed to. So, I came up with the following version, Version 1.2:

This one worked much better than the triangular configuration. The slab in the photo started out at about 8” thick and was planed down using this version to a thickness of about 5”.

With this design, I found that having the extra height afforded by the 48” corner posts was a real plus, but adjusting the height was really hard to do to get it straight and level on all four sides because of the cross rails. The stop collars (see below) had to be in almost perfect alignment in order to get the most exact cut/plane with the router, and that was very hard to do with the cross rails in place. Plus, the flanges the corner poles went into weren’t the best quality, so the poles went cattywampus in different directions which made it that much more difficult to get the height adjustment correct.

It’s not that it couldn’t be done. Rather, it was just more difficult, frustrating, and time consuming to get the height exact. So, once again it was back to the drawing board.

Next time – Version 1.2a.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

5 comments so far

View toolferone's profile


55 posts in 2819 days

#1 posted 10-21-2010 03:38 AM

Since you have some height adjustment in the router could you drill holes in the 4 posts for pins to go through to hold the cross pieces up? Of course you will need to drill all 4 verticals the same which will require another jig for your drill press to index the pipes with.

Also, what router bit are you using to route the slabs and how deep do you go with each pass?

-- Tom

View TZH's profile


553 posts in 3133 days

#2 posted 10-21-2010 05:09 AM

toolferone: I believe you could, in fact, drill holes to hold the cross peices up. But I think that would be a lot of work to get them all the exact same. I even thought, at one time, of using vertical 2×4s and drilling holes in them, but decided I liked the sliding effect of the sleeves over the 1/2” pipe instead. I even considered using slotted shelving brackets at one time, but settled on this method as the best one for what I needed. As far as the router bit is concerned, I’ve been using different size straight bits and cutting no more than 1/8” to 1/4” deep each pass. On the fireplace mantels, I use a 1/2” shank straight bit and go a little deeper on the pass because the sheer weight of the mantel keeps it from moving as I make my passes with the router.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View ArtistryinWood's profile


107 posts in 3680 days

#3 posted 10-21-2010 03:20 PM

Try this for the friction/wear issues, I’ve used it on several jigs works great and lasts.,110,43466


-- It seem's to me i could live my life, a lot better than i think i am. Andrew, Midland, Ont.

View swirt's profile


2729 posts in 2965 days

#4 posted 10-21-2010 04:37 PM

Nice improvements. I like the sled in the angle rails. Could you put a knob on each end of the acrylic so you could slide it back and forth just by one end? I’m not sure if the weight of the router and led is enough to keep it down without your help.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TZH's profile


553 posts in 3133 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 05:15 PM

ArtistryinWood: Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to try that.

swirt: I don’t see why you couldn’t put on knob on each end. It would certainly make it a lot easier to move the router back and forth in the sled. To address your concern about keeping the router down without your help, I’ve pushed the router back and forth using only one hand and one handle of the router with no problems. The only time I think there might be a bit of a problem keeping it down is if too much of a cut is being tried. With less deep cuts, I’ve never had that problem.


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

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