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Router Sled for Flattening End Grain Cutting Board

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Blog entry by Mauricio posted 1024 days ago 5668 reads 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I glued up a cutting board with a table saw that was not properly aligned. As a result I had a glue up that was relatively flat on one side but way out of whack on the other side.

The flat side was a huge pain to flatten with my little Ryobi belt sander even with 40 Grit belts. The rough side needed about 1/8” of wood that needed to be removed over most of the board. This is no joke with hard maple. It would have taken hours.

My lumber dealer referred me to a cabinet shop that would rent me time on their drum sander. But as I thought about it, one of the things I love about woodworking is the problem solving and the satisfaction you get from overcoming these obstacles. So I decided to make a sled for flattening the board with my router and a straight bit.

Here it is. It was so simple and quick to make. I cut the rails for the sled and jointed them perfectly straight with hand planes. This doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect because its a cutting board and after all you will end up perfecting the flatness with the belt sander. Glue and Brads attaches the rails the the 1/2” plywood bottom of the sled. The “Slide Rails” on the bottom are just 2”x4”s that I cut down enough so that the straight bit would reach the board. I put on some aluminum tape to make the rails slippery. I also put in a couple of cauls between the slides and the cutting board so that I didn’t cut into the slides as I went back and forth.


The belt sander in the background looks on in shame…

Besides that I just drilled a whole in the sled and attached the router to the sled with double stick carpet tape. Easy and quick.

And here is the flattened board. It still takes a fair bit of sanding to finish it off. Next time I do this I will use a different router bit like one of these http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=1520&filter=router%20bit

Also if I end up doing this kind of thing a lot I will need to figure out how to make the bottom of the sled transparent because it is hard to see what you are cutting.

Hope this serves as inspiration for someone else.

Thanks for looking,

Mauricio

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch



9 comments so far

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1791 posts in 1694 days


#1 posted 1024 days ago

Make your sled out of clear lexan, you can get it at any big box store.

You might conside tuning up your table saw as well. That is a great

solution to a difficult problem.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View JRL's profile

JRL

104 posts in 1042 days


#2 posted 1024 days ago

Mauricio,
I’ve been looking for this kind of solution!!
It’s a new favorite—thanks.

-- Jay in Changsha

View rrdesigns's profile

rrdesigns

477 posts in 1689 days


#3 posted 1024 days ago

Great idea. I’ve been wanting to buy a drum sander but the cost is getting in the way. I’m going to try this idea and see how it goes. Thanks.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View 308Gap's profile

308Gap

332 posts in 1506 days


#4 posted 1022 days ago

I have one of these stores near me for plexi but you can order online also. They even make templates.

http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/category.php?bid=49&PHPSESSID=201107032149181604657816

http://lumberjocks.com/TZH/blog/18754

-- Thank You Veterans!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11605 posts in 2191 days


#5 posted 1021 days ago

”The belt sander in the background looks on in shame…” ROFLMAO !!

Thanks for making my day with your comment and especially for this great project : )
Nice board for Mom to enjoy !!

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11605 posts in 2191 days


#6 posted 1021 days ago

308Gap , great site …thanks for the link : )
I looked into a 1/4”x8”x12” piece of PolyCarbonate and it would cost $10….that should be more than enough of a “window” to see what I was doing with the sled and the PC is supposed to be stronger and more impact resistant than the other choices. : )

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6693 posts in 1654 days


#7 posted 1021 days ago

Thanks all for looking and commenting. 308Gap, thanks for the link, I like it, I may order something. Especially since I now need to make a cutting board for my house.

It really hurt to give that think away and not be able see it and touch it. But if felt good about my first project for Mom.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View 308Gap's profile

308Gap

332 posts in 1506 days


#8 posted 1020 days ago

Its a strange way but you can find old salt water aquariums made of plexi for cheap also on craigslist, sanded plexi can be used in alot of projects. The stuff cuts and glues easy.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View 308Gap's profile

308Gap

332 posts in 1506 days


#9 posted 1020 days ago

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