LumberJocks

Evolution of my router planer #8: Tweakin' it again. Version 2.1

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by TZH posted 554 days ago 1779 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Version 1.2c (had to tweak it again) Part 8 of Evolution of my router planer series no next part

Didn’t know whether to post here in this blog or in the walnut tv stand blog. So here it is. Found I had to tweak my router planer a bit more in order for it to work as well as I wanted it to work. The slabs I’m doing right now were too long for the regular planer, so had to get out the really long rails once again.

Problem with the setup I had already used was the sled didn’t ride the rails as nice or as easy as I’d hoped they would, even with using some wheels/casters as guides. Got some enclosed ball bearings for Christmas and decided to give those a try.

Had to add a spacer to accommodate the bearings so they’d ride on the inside of the rail. One obstacle out of the way, a couple more to go.

The next thing I decided to change was the fact nothing was really holding the rails in place except their own weight. Made for some pretty wishy washy planing. So decided to use the existing pipe stiles to get an even width on the rails.

Once all four of the pipe stiles were inserted and the rails were placed up alongside them, the width was even steven all the way along the 16’ length of the rails. But the pipe stiles stood proud of the rails by about 4 or 5 inches which wouldn’t allow the sled to pass beyond their location. Next step was to either go buy shorter pipe stiles or figure out something else. Chose the latter. Took some big eye bolts and opened the eye to accommodate a 1/2” pipe. Put it into the side of the table, and dropped the pipe stile down into the opening so the “stub” held the rail from moving in toward the other rail.

Sorry the image is way fuzzy. Gettin’ so excited to use this thing, my hand musta moved as I snapped the picture. I’ll try to get another one for the next blog post to give a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Anyway, this last tweak worked great! Kept the rails from moving any at all, and the width between rails remained very constant. Ball bearings helped immensely, but need to make one that runs on top of the rails, too.

Couple more minor modifications, and it should be where I need it to be.

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



8 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

10895 posts in 843 days


#1 posted 554 days ago

I need to get one of those built

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View TZH's profile

TZH

393 posts in 1645 days


#2 posted 554 days ago

Monte, they’re pretty easy, and don’t cost a whole lot – most of the parts I already had. The rails are probably the most expensive. Fortunately, I had some 4×4 steel beams I used, but even 4×4 posts would work. Guarantee when you have one, it’ll become one of the most used tools in your shop.

TZH

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

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

9578 posts in 1195 days


#3 posted 554 days ago

That is one of the nicer router sleds posted. Having the sled stabilized to keep it from racking between the rails hadn’t occurred to me. Bearings under the sled are another good idea. Thanks for posting this one.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Julian's profile

Julian

443 posts in 1195 days


#4 posted 554 days ago

The roller bearings are a great idea. Using steel beams & angle iron is the best option for large slabs. Look forward to seeing how your project turns out.

-- Julian

View junipercanyon's profile

junipercanyon

184 posts in 1198 days


#5 posted 553 days ago

TZH: Just a thought on your set up, which is really cool by the way….and with a little modification, you could make it even more versatile by mounting up your chainsaw to do the planing and be done in one cut. Using the router would be nice on small projects, but for those big slabs, if you just ran your chainsaw down the rails you would be done in seconds. From what I can see from your setup, you can use the rails and sled the exact same way as you are now, you just need to mount your chainsaw to the sled with the bar under the rails, and either make the rails adjustable up/down, or make the chainsaw mounting points adjustable to set your thickness. If I remember right, you mentioned in another post that you had a 32” bar that you don’t use, but if it was mounted to a sled, you might find it to be one of your favorite bars???!! Below are a couple of youtube videos of slabbing with an alsaskan mill that might give you some ideas on how to mount the bar if your interested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uhqrXpNtVyM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hle_HkDLfnw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSAgnygjdyY&feature=related

-- Juniper Canyon Design

View TZH's profile

TZH

393 posts in 1645 days


#6 posted 553 days ago

JC: Thanks for the input. I liked the last design the best of those you provided. My old bones have a hard time pushing anything like what the first two seemed to take from the video. Question for you is do these type of mills accommodate irregular shaped logs like the one in my last photo? I usually try to go with the weirdest shapes possible, so would need to be able to adjust for that. I do have a 32” bar that would work with something like this. Thanks, again.

TZH

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

View junipercanyon's profile

junipercanyon

184 posts in 1198 days


#7 posted 553 days ago

That’s the neat thing about the sled setup you have to start from….all the weight sits on the rails so for just planing off the top of your slabs it wont take any effort. I like the setup in the last video as well, but I was just suggesting a small modification to what you have already built though. The videos were just to give a sense of how to attach the bar to use it on a rail system.

For the purpose of planing the slabs just as you have them in the photos, and using your existing set up exactly as you have it, here is a quick possible modification you could do.
1. Are the rails adjustable up and down? It looks like they are so I am going to assume or suggest that the rails are your leveling/depth system.
2. Add wood blocking to the bottom of your existing wood block roller ends on each side to drop below the rails. If you added 2 more pieces of 2×4s you would be about 1/2” below the steel rails right?
3. Drill a hole through your chain bar at the tip behind the bar tip roller, and also next to the powerhead and screw up through the holes into the wood blocking. Make sure to use a shim or clearance the wood blocking where the chain will make contact with the wood blocking. If you don’t want to drill holes through the bar, then make a clamp system like the alaskan mill has…but I think screwing up through the bar into the wood blocking would be quick and easy though.
4. Now that your chainsaw bar is mounted to the rail system, just attach your power head.
5. Adjust the rails level and to the height you want to cut the slab and there you have it, one cut and your slab is now “planed” level.

Your limitation on what you can cut is going to be what fits between your mounting points on your bar. So with your 32” bar, your going to loose a couple inches at the tip, and a couple inches at the power head so you could probably cut about 28” wide or so??

Now if you want to go even further and modify this setup to cut slabs, all you need to do is make the connection from the chain bar to the wood blocking adjustable or drop the blocking down to what you would anticipate your thickest cut would be and use the rails to adjust your up/down cut depth through the log. Hope this helps give you an idea how to easily use your chainsaw for this task…I think it would save you a lot of time on your large slabs, and once your set up it will be really easy to use.

-- Juniper Canyon Design

View TZH's profile

TZH

393 posts in 1645 days


#8 posted 552 days ago

Good instructions, JC. Thanks. Not sure I’ll give it a try right now, but down the road a bit, it sure is something to think about, cuz the router on large slabs is definitely time and labor intensive.

I also promised a couple photos to replace the blurry one in the OP, and here they are:

And this last one is of the clamping system I used to make sure the rails didn’t move outward while in use.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase