I have been working on this for a few weeks now, it has been interesting to say the least. Knowing what i know now, i probably wouldn’t do it again, or maybe i would. It was a fun build. I still need to make a donkey ear and miter fence, But i have ideas about those.
It was a relatively cheap project, the most consisting of the slides and brass/aluminum. I had the plywood from some scrap i scored at work for free. I was originally going to just use UHMW, but upon browsing the hardware store, i saw the drawer slides. I thought that i could make them work, and i did. Here it is.
Here are the main components. It consists of, I used Birch plywood, curly/birdseye maple, sapele, mahogany veneer.
The bottom, which houses the slides
The ramp, (Not sure on the angle here, just did it by eye)
The fixed fence, with the sliding fence attached
The front cap/back cap
The sliding table
The “wedge” for the plane, this is custom made for my Bedrock #606, but can suit my LN #4 1/2 as well.
The drawer slides are recessed 1/4” into the bottom, originally i had a recess in the table as well, but chose to forgo that as i didn’t feel it was necessary. The sliding fence has a bit of adjustment, I’m still getting the hang of the right place to put it to avoid tear out, as well as not causing interference with the plane in motion.
The slider, has a built in fence made of 1/8” thick, 1”x1” Aluminum, set 1/8” into the bottom. This allows the plane to be breasted away from the ramp, as to not dig in and cause issues with movement. There is as well, a strip of brass to act as a “decorative” way to hide the slides.
The sides of the ramp are veneered, I had bought enough to do the whole thing, but chose to leave the top Birch, no need to waste all that good veneer. I also contemplated trimming the base, but I’ll just leave it. I’ve already gone well overboard here :].
The hardest part was figuring out the drawer slides and adapting them to work. I had to remove the outer shell, as well as use two. Originally i thought i could get away with one, but it kept going out of square. I also had to file the built in stops, to allow for more forward travel. In doing so, i had to add new stops, as if the track over extends, the bearings will fall out. Plenty of oil on the balls is a plus as well, keeps things working smoothly.
Another challenge was a means to affix the plane to the slider. I definitely didn’t want to alter the plane, so a LOT of sitting and thinking happened, and finally i settled on a wedge the shape of the side. A tight push into the wedge provides just enough hold.
Needless to say it runs extremely smoothly, with very little resistance from the wood.