Router Sled

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Project by Matt posted 01-13-2016 01:24 PM 4128 views 19 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project came to a head after I realized the importance of using a Table Saw vs a Miter Saw to make an end grain cutting board. I was set out to create my first end grain cutting board after seeing everyone’s awesome creations and after a monumental failure cutting my first glue up into 1 inch blocks 10 inches wide with my miter saw I realized just how much deflection my saw really had. The Blocks glued up and with one flat side laying on the clamps and the others having about a 3/16 of an inch difference from the thinnest piece to the thickest. After reading the Wood Whispers article about planing End Grain I decided I didn’t need to ruin my planer and should build a cheap router sled.

Materials are 3/4” MDF, 1×2 1/2” Maple, Oak Scraps, Aluminum Angle from Home Depot and Machine Screws.

This was actually a really easy build and it was a combination of a few difference sleds, such as Kevin's, bues0022's and the simplicity of indychip's.

This will most likely get a few modifications in the future but the way it currently stands it works just as advertised. I will have to experiment with different bits as the straight flute bit left some lines in the final piece even after sanding.

Here is the cutting board.

Look foward to your feedback and comments, Thanks for looking.


-- The more sawdust I make more I dont want to go to work! Is it worth it?

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#1 posted 01-13-2016 02:10 PM

Looks good Matt.

-- Custom furniture

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 595 days

#2 posted 01-13-2016 02:36 PM

Good looking sled. Looking forward to seeing the cutting board

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View bigJohninvegas's profile


181 posts in 880 days

#3 posted 01-13-2016 04:38 PM

Nice sled, I like the metal runners. I have a similar sled I use for planning boards that are wider than my 13” planer.
I run all my end grain boards through my planner, safely. All you need to do is mill a piece of 2×4 or other scrap to the same thickness as your board and glue it to the end of the cutting board. I leave it about a 1/4” long at both ends.
This will prevent the end grain from blowing out the back as it goes through the planer. Then trim it off with the table saw.
Just looking at the photo of your sled again.
The boards held with the two Irwin clamps.
Make one of those at least as thick as a slice of your cutting board and glue it on. Long grain of course.
Make shallow cuts it will go through the planer fine.

-- John

View RJ2's profile


150 posts in 3204 days

#4 posted 01-13-2016 07:17 PM

Can freehand curves be done without hickups?


View gimmo's profile


39 posts in 1301 days

#5 posted 01-13-2016 07:26 PM

posting this as a possible cure for your deflection problem. This may not be the cause but just in case. Anyway it is good to know how to align your table saw.

-- Stan, Southville, Ky

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2285 days

#6 posted 01-13-2016 10:01 PM

Nice work. It will be a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Kevin May's profile

Kevin May

73 posts in 1733 days

#7 posted 01-13-2016 10:18 PM

Been there, done that. Posted my router sled a few years back. Your concept of building looks like it would work well. By the way, a bowl bit works best for me.

-- Kevin May "Making wood useful and fun!"

View 3F_Workshop's profile


7 posts in 282 days

#8 posted 01-14-2016 12:40 AM

That is a really smart way of building a router sled. Love it.

-- Nathan

View Jeff2016's profile


70 posts in 283 days

#9 posted 01-14-2016 12:59 AM

Nice sled! I like the aluminum rails idea.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View oldnovice's profile


5648 posts in 2786 days

#10 posted 01-14-2016 05:02 AM

To eliminate any deflection, try 80/20 or T Slot extrusions

1”×1” extrusion, deflection characteristics available from manufacturer’s Web sites

These will easily hold a 3HP router without deflection and there are linear bearings available.

You can find these extrusions and accessories on eBay or make your own wood bearings as wood slides beautifully on these extrutions. I have built a number of items, like my clamp rack, with these extrusions; not shown on this site as they are not made of wood.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View RJ2's profile


150 posts in 3204 days

#11 posted 01-14-2016 12:58 PM

Ignor my original question , did not have my glasses on . Thought that was an X-Y track, now I see the rails are screwed down and not on rollers. I imagine with the adjustment of motor in router base it would have actually qualified for a X-Y-Z capable .
Back in 70’s college shop class , we called that design DADO Track Jig , mostly for doing shelf slots in cabinet sides , and Bookshelfs.


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