Router ski jig

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Project by rwyoung posted 01-06-2009 02:27 AM 10379 views 25 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Been reading about ski jigs for routers over at and decided to make one and see if I could use it as a thicknessing jig. Worked out great.

The idea is to secure the workpiece to a known flat surface. In this case I am using a sheet of 3/4” melamine laminated particle board (not shown). The workpiece is trapped on all four sides using some 1/2” plywood with sandpaper on the edge. The ski jig is adjusted so the router base is just above the surface of the workpiece. Then the bit is dropped down to mill off maybe 1/8” or 3/32” of material. This is done by guiding the skis so the router floats above the workpiece. Go with the grain if possible. Next pass can take a little more off and so on working both sides until you have the thickness you want. Just like a “real” plainer, last pass should be slight. The key is a light touch and not letting the jig flex during the routing operation as this will change the bit height.

Ski jig can be used to mill slots, route signs, all kinds of stuff.

3/8” truss rod used to suspend plunge router base. 18” long each. Note, router is fixed to the rod, it will not be sliding along the rod.

Skis made from two layers of 3/4” plywood. Started out as about 11-1/2” by 7” and then I made them into trapezoids. The seperation of the slots is a function of the router base.

The jig can flex under the weight of the router but by adding a 3rd rod near the top of the back slot, I can stop the flex. A future modification to the jig will be to add two blocks, one to each ski, near the top on the “back” side for this re-enforcing rod. Right now I can insert one into the slots but at some heights it will hit the router base.

p.s. :
After several discussions with members over at I have ordered some different threaded rod that should be much stiffer than the craptacular stuff from HD.

p.p.s. :
New new ACME threaded rod arrived and it is much more stout than the cheap stuff from HD. I now have a 3’ capacity between the skis. I won’t replace the photos for the jig but I did add a photo of a special bottom cleaning bit I bought from SuperCarbide on eBay. This bad-boy is about 1-3/4” diameter and should clean things up a lot faster than a 3/4” straight bit!

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

15 comments so far

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 2351 days

#1 posted 01-06-2009 03:16 AM

very nice

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View lew's profile


10092 posts in 2443 days

#2 posted 01-06-2009 04:50 AM

Great looking jig. Thanks for the link, too.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View clieb91's profile


3292 posts in 2623 days

#3 posted 01-06-2009 05:06 AM

This look slike a very cool jig. You wouldn’t be able to post a video of it in use, would you?


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View rwyoung's profile


369 posts in 2160 days

#4 posted 01-06-2009 06:33 AM

No video capability. However I suggest you zip over to and search for posts in the “Jigs and Fixtures” area. Lots of posts and some times spirited debate about the use of router skis.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View spike's profile


66 posts in 2617 days

#5 posted 01-06-2009 07:26 PM

cool. this will work great for flattening my cutting boards instead of tearing up my planer with the final pass through endgrain.

View Dusty56's profile


11663 posts in 2376 days

#6 posted 01-20-2009 04:16 PM

looks like a great jig …thank you very much : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


112315 posts in 2265 days

#7 posted 04-11-2009 06:05 AM

cool jig

-- Custom furniture

View tmiller's profile


103 posts in 2001 days

#8 posted 05-16-2009 09:54 AM

I have the same router. After fixing the soft spring on the fixed base I love this thing.


#9 posted 06-13-2009 12:01 PM

I went to the router site and searched for ski jig and got no matches.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View rwyoung's profile


369 posts in 2160 days

#10 posted 06-13-2009 03:27 PM

donbee -

I guess you didn’t try hard enough. Lots and lots of hits. Leave off “jig” and seach for “skis” or use the Advanced search and limit the search only to their jigs section.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

#11 posted 06-13-2009 03:39 PM

OK, now I see what it is.

I used to do that, but anymore I do it with my Legacy Ornamental Mill.
I put the table on the bottom rails and anchor the work piece on it.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View rwyoung's profile


369 posts in 2160 days

#12 posted 06-13-2009 04:07 PM

Many cats, even more skinning techniques. :)

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View Grumpy's profile


19562 posts in 2539 days

#13 posted 11-30-2009 05:29 AM

Looks good.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 1524 days

#14 posted 09-02-2010 05:12 AM

Wow!!! Another great idea!

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


969 posts in 1808 days

#15 posted 02-03-2014 03:27 AM

very nice

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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