Router ski jig

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Project by rwyoung posted 2034 days ago 9914 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 2269 days

#1 posted 2034 days ago

very nice

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View lew's profile


9958 posts in 2361 days

#2 posted 2034 days ago

Great looking jig. Thanks for the link, too.

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

View clieb91's profile


3254 posts in 2541 days

#3 posted 2034 days ago

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 2078 days

#4 posted 2034 days ago

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 2535 days

#5 posted 2033 days ago

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


11639 posts in 2294 days

#6 posted 2019 days ago

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

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

View a1Jim's profile


112002 posts in 2183 days

#7 posted 1939 days ago

cool jig

-- Custom furniture

View tmiller's profile


103 posts in 1919 days

#8 posted 1903 days ago

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


#9 posted 1875 days ago

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 2078 days

#10 posted 1875 days ago

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 1875 days ago

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 2078 days

#12 posted 1875 days ago

Many cats, even more skinning techniques. :)

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

View Grumpy's profile


19334 posts in 2457 days

#13 posted 1706 days ago

Looks good.

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

View EMVarona's profile


436 posts in 1441 days

#14 posted 1430 days ago

Wow!!! Another great idea!

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

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


969 posts in 1726 days

#15 posted 180 days ago

very nice

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

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