Planer Sled

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Project by whope posted 07-28-2015 11:37 AM 3967 views 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Planer Sled
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I made a couple of changes in the details of the planer sled of Keith Rust (FWW). First the local Blue Box Store’s 1/2 inch plywood was a joke, so I went with 3/4” birch and a pair of oak 1×2s inbetween. The ‘risers’ are also 3/4 oak sticks trimmed down to 1 inch. Most everything else is from what I could glean from the video. I’ll probably replace one of the 4’ bungee cords with a 3’ one.

The whole project, minus the glue-up time and the trip to the BBS, less than a couple hours.

The length is 8’ and the width is just shy of 11”. Considering making a shorter one. I’ve 6’ pieces this time, but the sled is quite big for pieces shorter than that.

Update: Last night I ran 2 pieces of 6’ x 7” 8/4 african mahogany through my planer using the sled. I may go back and make the supports a full 1” to help keep the board in place. I will at some point add cleats or something similar to the leading edge as done by PJ72 as I did have the planer rollers pull the board forward a bit a couple times. (I didn’t laminate the bottom of my sled).

The sled performed fairly well. My shop layout leaves something to be desired. I have a pair of roller stands for supporting in/out ends of the sled. Unless they are perpendicular to the direction of travel, the sled rolls to one edge or the other. Getting the sled back to the other side of the planer was the hard part. Keith’s video addresses this.

Shop improvemets:
- Ball bearing stands similar to what Rockler sells
- Put my planer on a cart instead of using my table saw
- Some sort of return support (such as a length of PVC pipe) or another ball bearing stand

-- Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an axe.

9 comments so far

View fiddlebanshee's profile


208 posts in 3067 days

#1 posted 07-28-2015 11:40 AM

Great job. It is on my list of todos as well as I have no jointer and am not planning to get one at this time because of space and money issues.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View ken_c's profile


324 posts in 3284 days

#2 posted 07-28-2015 03:28 PM

nice job – I made two – a 8 footer and a 4 footer – this design works very well.

View DBordello's profile


132 posts in 1348 days

#3 posted 07-28-2015 08:46 PM

Looks great, I plan to make one myself. Did you run the oak longitudinally? Is the goal to increase the stiffness?

View DMC1903's profile


285 posts in 2449 days

#4 posted 07-28-2015 11:45 PM

Congrats on your build, I too made a planer sled a few years ago. I found it to be very cumbersome and heavy.
After many sessions of frustrations, I dismantled it and purchased a bevel up jointer & a smoother planes from veritas.
Good luck

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3650 posts in 2373 days

#5 posted 07-29-2015 02:30 AM

I’m publicly declaring my ignorance on this sled. How does this work?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Tdazzo's profile


56 posts in 2971 days

#6 posted 07-29-2015 05:57 AM

Don, the idea is: if you don’t have a jointer wide enough for your board, or don’t have one at all, you can use this to level the board and run it through the planer. I haven’t seen one quite like this (nice work Whope) but the basic principle is the cross beams all pivot in the center so using the wedges you can raise either side to provide support for your board if its cupped or bowed or otherwise uneven. Once you level the board, you run the whole sled through the planer to get a flat face. Then you can flip the board, run it through without the sled to plane the opposing face.

That’s more or less the jist. Cheers.

-- "If you can't do something smart, do something right." -- Sheppard Book

View whope's profile


142 posts in 2567 days

#7 posted 07-29-2015 11:26 AM

@DBordello: I laid the oak flat between the plywood as I wanted to keep the thickness down. I figured this would be okay as I was using thicker plywood. It is indeed to improve stiffness.

If I had been able to go with 1/2” ply, my plan was to cut 1 1/2” plywood strips out of the remaining 1/2” ply and put them on edge in shallow dados to keep the weight down and make a slightly thinner sled without sacrificing stiffness. It probably would have made a stiffer sled.

I actually haven’t picked it up since the glue-up. Will need to plane my boards by the weekend.

@DMC1903: It may be heavy, but I can’t afford an 8” jointer (nor a 6”) at the moment. It’s on my wish list. I really don’t have the patience for hand work. I wish I did.

-- Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an axe.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3650 posts in 2373 days

#8 posted 07-29-2015 04:45 PM

Tdazzo—Thanks for the explanation.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View splintergroup's profile


2253 posts in 1344 days

#9 posted 07-29-2015 07:15 PM

This looks very easy to use and effective, nice job Whope! I hope I never need one that long though 8^)

Before anyone asks, the FWW issue is #175, Jan/Feb 2005, pg 58.

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