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Router Sled Table to Flatten Slabs

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Project by AZWoody posted 02-28-2016 09:00 PM 4101 views 20 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a shop full of slabs, some of which are too big for my jointer and/or planer. So, I had to either buy some larger tools or use what I had on hand to come up to a solution.

I wanted to make a router sled that would let me flatten my slabs but not let me take up my workbench and would also let me mill longer and wider than my work bench is.

I decided to use uni-strut as it’s very rigid and I could use the rails as tracks for a sled. I then used 1 1/8 plywood ripped and then glued together to make the main frame. For the legs, I had some scrap pieces of 2×2 red oack and I screwed adjustable feet so I could get the rails to parallel.

The router is a Triton TRA001 and it has a lot of power. I had a Woodpecker router table insert, so I used that as the base of the sled and for the cutting bit, it is a Woodstock 1 1/2” flat bottom carbide bit.
The rollers are use on farm equipment around here. They are twine rollers for baler needles and they ride perfectly along the uni-strut.

The whole carriage can be raised up or down, depending on the thickness of the lumber I’m using.

This is also hinged so I can fold it up to the wall to get it out of the way. After making it and using it, I will open it up a bit and make it wider. Right now, I can do a slab that’s a little under 3 feet wide I believe and up to maybe 7 feet. I want to be able to do a full 4 foot wide by 8 foot slab. It shouldn’t be too hard and the construction is rather simple.

From the photo, you can see that it makes a very smooth cut and with only some sanding, can remove and of the milling marks. Overall I’m pleased with this and will soon start getting to work on some larger projects for the home, rather than the shop.





13 comments so far

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

352 posts in 920 days


#1 posted 02-28-2016 10:31 PM

Great project for oversized slabs. I want to build one of these someday but not this big.

Would love to see in action.

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1371 posts in 1489 days


#2 posted 02-29-2016 12:59 AM

Yes… a video is needed!
I am curious if the middle unistruts flex when you add weight to it? I use unistrut all the time at work, short and long channels.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 684 days


#3 posted 02-29-2016 02:09 AM

There is a slight flex on the heavier pieces but tomorrow I’m going to add a couple of the heavier gauged uni-strut in the middle spaces and that should hold it. I’m surprised but where I doubled up the 1 1/8” plywood, there is very little sad when loaded.

I guess I”ll have to do a video but i have to set up a fan or something better. This thing makes a lot of shavings and even more dust. I also want to make some kind of handles guiding it easier.

View Vince's profile

Vince

1111 posts in 2889 days


#4 posted 02-29-2016 10:22 AM

Nice setup

-- Vince

View jciccare's profile

jciccare

21 posts in 727 days


#5 posted 02-29-2016 12:42 PM

Could you suggest a source for the guide rollers? I browsed McMaster's web catalog but found none with that concave profile.

-- Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. (Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu)

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 684 days


#6 posted 02-29-2016 05:19 PM

The rollers I bought were from a tractor dealer here in the area. It’s from a Case/New Holland baler and it’s called a Rope Guide Roller. Part #87690629.

There are dealers in most areas so you should be able to go to one or call and they can get them for you.
The pack I had, had 2 bearings per package.

View Dodis's profile

Dodis

14 posts in 1372 days


#7 posted 02-29-2016 06:43 PM

Just in time! I have several mesquite slabs to plane down when I start some projects with them. All too wide for my regular planer.

And I did a quick search and found another source for the bearings too (and many more types)
The BIG Bearing Store

Mike “Dodis”

-- Mike "Dodis', TxCity, Texas Gulf Coast

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 684 days


#8 posted 02-29-2016 06:51 PM


Just in time! I have several mesquite slabs to plane down when I start some projects with them. All too wide for my regular planer.

And I did a quick search and found another source for the bearings too (and many more types)
The BIG Bearing Store

Mike “Dodis”

- Dodis

Make sure to double check the width on the groove on those. Wire balers usually are a narrower guide bearing versus the twine bearings as the twine is a lot thicker.

The rail on the uni-strut is 3/8” wide so the bearing has to be able to fit over that. If the bearing is made for a wire baler, which aren’t made anymore, it might only be 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

View jciccare's profile

jciccare

21 posts in 727 days


#9 posted 02-29-2016 07:43 PM

Dodis, thanks for the BIG Bearing Store link. In their “Radial Ball Bearings” category I found a RM2-2RS V-Groove CNC Radial Ball Bearing 3/8” that will work on steel angle, which I currently have more of than Unistrut.

https://www.thebigbearingstore.com/rm2-2rs-v-groove-cnc-radial-ball-bearing-3-8/

-- Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. (Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu)

View bhacksaw's profile

bhacksaw

161 posts in 1284 days


#10 posted 02-29-2016 10:38 PM

Love it, want it.

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1371 posts in 1489 days


#11 posted 03-01-2016 06:31 AM

Another option for moving the router sled is Unistrut Trolleys. I had to use unistrut & 2 trolleys to hang my 16’ kayak from my patio ceiling when in studio apt. Works perfectly! But does come with a price tag.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View devann's profile

devann

2200 posts in 2152 days


#12 posted 06-16-2016 07:31 PM

That’s a sweet looking solution to your problem. Appears well thought out.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

583 posts in 281 days


#13 posted 09-16-2016 12:30 AM

Thanks ’Woody. I’ve seem quite a few blogs on “router planers” but this is the first I’ve seen with bearings. I like the concept and will definitely file this away in my bag of tricks for future jigs.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

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