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Router thicknessing sled

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Project by swirt posted 02-01-2017 02:29 AM 2246 views 19 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed to remove a lot of wood from a very badly cupped slab. So I decided it was time to finally cross “router planing sled” off my list of “gotta build me one of those.” Nothing too exciting about the sled itself, just a couple of pieces of angle iron screwed to some small pieces of scrap wood. A piece of plywood screwed in as a base plate to the router.

The unique part comes from the adjustable height sides. I went with simple, and completely adjustable. The side rails are made of 2”x12” with a pattern of 3/8” holes drilled so that I can use 6” long 3/8” diameter bolts with the threads cut off as pins to set the height. The pins support the side rails at the right height above the surface of my bench, then I just use clamps to hold them to the sides of the bench. With this setup I can go as high as 8.5” and down to less than a 1/2”. It can be fine tuned with shims between the bolt/pins and bench surface. Also allows for thicknessing a board with a tapered thickness (an upcoming project need).

I used a 1/2” straight bit in the the router. A surface planing / bottom cleaning bit might be more efficient, but I didn’t have one available. I was not worried about the final finish as I would do final dressing with handplanes and scraper
A few extra details: Easy Router Planer

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com





16 comments so far

View TZH's profile

TZH

538 posts in 2804 days


#1 posted 02-01-2017 02:35 PM

I like the simplicity and ease of function.

Nice job!

TZH

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

473 posts in 914 days


#2 posted 02-01-2017 04:33 PM

Well now, that’s just too cool. Thanks for sharing.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

1226 posts in 604 days


#3 posted 02-01-2017 05:20 PM

Nice idea. Adjusting the height of the side rails is a neat idea vs adjusting the depth of the bit. The only improvement might be to place insert nuts in the sides of your bench and use bolts to hold the rails. Then you won’t have to fiddle with long clamps under the bench while holding the rails in place.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View cicerojoe's profile

cicerojoe

63 posts in 3109 days


#4 posted 02-01-2017 06:48 PM

The best ideas are always the simplest.

-- John from the Cherry Valley Studio in NY http://www.cvalleystudio.com

View swirt's profile

swirt

2252 posts in 2635 days


#5 posted 02-01-2017 07:46 PM

Thanks @TZH. The simplicity of most of it came from your sled (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/23725) and if I had any extra pipe flanges and stop collars in the shop I likely would have built your mini-me (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24355) instead as I think it is a better, and more flexible design.

This was more one of those creative spurts caused by not wanting to go buy more stuff ;)

Thanks @builtinbkn I still used the router to adjust depth of each pass, Then I adjust the rails to lower when the router is at its lowest limit. I like your suggestion about the insert nuts, but then I would lose the ability to shim up one end or one side to make fine adjustments for a level plane. Also since the distance between the nuts would be fixed, I wouldn’t be able to set one end to a different height than the other. I want to be able to create slabs that have a tapered thickness… like 2” on one end tapering to 1” on the other end.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

218 posts in 1858 days


#6 posted 02-01-2017 09:35 PM

That’s pretty slick! With a little tweaking you could even use that setup for flattening bench tops.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View SteveGaskins's profile

SteveGaskins

708 posts in 2250 days


#7 posted 02-02-2017 01:22 AM

Now that’s thinking out of the box. Great looking sled.

-- Steve, South Carolina, http://www.finewoodworkingofsc.com

View swirt's profile

swirt

2252 posts in 2635 days


#8 posted 02-02-2017 02:27 AM

@woodenwarrior Yah it could be used to flatten a bench top with a little modification. The wood whisperer has a pretty nice video about doing something similar http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/flattening-workbenches-and-wide-boards-with-a-router/ He has some nice tips for doing it.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

1226 posts in 604 days


#9 posted 02-02-2017 03:17 AM

Hmmm? I thought you used those holes in the rails to set the level using those metal rods (can’t tell exactly what they are). You could still do the same except with bolts passing the the holes. Ah maybe I’m looking at it wrong :)


Thanks @TZH. The simplicity of most of it came from your sled (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/23725) and if I had any extra pipe flanges and stop collars in the shop I likely would have built your mini-me (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24355) instead as I think it is a better, and more flexible design.

This was more one of those creative spurts caused by not wanting to go buy more stuff ;)

Thanks @builtinbkn I still used the router to adjust depth of each pass, Then I adjust the rails to lower when the router is at its lowest limit. I like your suggestion about the insert nuts, but then I would lose the ability to shim up one end or one side to make fine adjustments for a level plane. Also since the distance between the nuts would be fixed, I wouldn t be able to set one end to a different height than the other. I want to be able to create slabs that have a tapered thickness… like 2” on one end tapering to 1” on the other end.

- swirt

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View swirt's profile

swirt

2252 posts in 2635 days


#10 posted 02-02-2017 02:27 PM

@bulltinbkn I do use them to set the rough depth. It goes sort of like this:

1. I start with side rails set to whatever the max starting height is.
2 Using the router adjust I drop the bit until it just touches the highest point of the workpiece.
3. drop it 1/4”
4. start routing back and forth.
5. when that level is fully taken down, repeat step 3 and 4
6. when the router won’t go any lower, I pull out the pins from the sideboards and move them down an inch. (that’s about the max depth of the bit I am using)
7. Repeat step 2 and continue
8. When I am ready for my last 1/4” or 1/8” pass (in other words the bulk removal is done), then I take careful measurements of the height of the wooden side rails and adjust with shims under the pins to make them completely planar with the bench top.
9. When the last pass is done, then I take the rails off and use a hand plane and or cardscraper to finish the surface of the wood.

If you look closely at the last photo you can see where the 4 bolt/pins are resting on the bench top. Unfortunately, none of them have shims under them at the time so you can’t see that.

If the pins went into holes in the bench or into holes with t-nuts, I wouldn’t be able to do fine adjustments with shims. I also would not be able to intentionally set one end higher than the other because the pins would not be the same distance apart that they are when they are set to be level.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View Roger's profile

Roger

20754 posts in 2467 days


#11 posted 02-18-2017 08:02 PM

That’s fantastic. Looking very good and flat. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View mafe's profile

mafe

11488 posts in 2753 days


#12 posted 02-20-2017 01:45 AM

Thats clever!
Lovely simple idea.
Looks like good stuff is comming.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View swirt's profile

swirt

2252 posts in 2635 days


#13 posted 02-21-2017 04:27 PM

Thanks Roger and Mafe. :)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View steliart's profile

steliart

2432 posts in 2352 days


#14 posted 04-27-2017 02:00 PM

very very nice… i love it
I didn’t had the need for one yet but when I do, I will borrow some of your ideas here !!!!!!
thank you

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View mafe's profile

mafe

11488 posts in 2753 days


#15 posted 05-04-2017 09:38 PM

Funny that I see your answer today. As I today for the first time used a sled like that in my shop. ;-)
Will post soon, have been off line LJ for a while.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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