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Router Bridge Planner

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Project by Kevin May posted 901 days ago 6271 views 56 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had to build this Router Bridge Planner to overcome my lack of know-how or patience. Building my first ever end grain butcher block cutting boards, my ‘glue-up’ has resulted in boards with significant flatness issues. Needing a solution, what I decided on was to built this jig.

I constructed the support runners to act both as support runners for the sliding bridge and as clamping jaws for the cutting board. You can see how this works in the pictures. The Bridge has 1 piece of 1/4” poly-carbonate to mount the router, allowing me to see the tool bit. The bridge is 45” long, enough to span a 20” cutting board.

This worked great to mill the cutting boards flat. The down side is that it tore the grain significantly, leaving me with a lot of sanding to do. I used a 3/4” square router bit. Any helpful input on router bit style, router speed, or movement speed would be appreciated. I also need to find some way to trap the cuttings and/or attach a vacuum hose.

Thanks for checking this out.

I’ll be changing my signature tag to “Patience is a virtue.”

-- Kevin May "Making wood useful and fun!" www.kevinmaywoodworks.com





20 comments so far

View Philzoel's profile

Philzoel

272 posts in 948 days


#1 posted 901 days ago

innovation is a necessity. I used scraper and sander and etc but not your way. Had I thought of it, I might not have bought my sander I now have a jet drum sander which takes all the work out. It is so slick it makes me feel guilty. I am used to hard work to get a smooth finish.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View cplant's profile

cplant

226 posts in 1168 days


#2 posted 901 days ago

i think this jig is a fantastic idea. have you tried dropping your bit a little at a time, sometimes that can help with tear out. also, before your last pass, try switching bits…maybe a nice new one that hasent been heated up too bad. i really like your idea, for those without a drum sander (or access to one) this seems like an efficient alternative.

philzoel….u must love that jet ds….i get to use a 52” unit at work….its such a treat

-- "...if america is any indication, i was born into one great big vacation...." RMB

View stefang's profile

stefang

12605 posts in 1939 days


#3 posted 901 days ago

I think you could do the best planing job with a ‘bowl bit’ A fairly large bit to hollow out trays and such. The rounded or curve cutters help to avoid tear out and gouge marks.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View whitewulf's profile

whitewulf

438 posts in 1541 days


#4 posted 901 days ago

Next time leave 1/32” or so, then climb cut around theoutside working to center. Never take more 1/2 the diameter of the cutter at a time. Slow and easy do not rush.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13368 posts in 943 days


#5 posted 901 days ago

There are specific router bits for planing. Good construction. Good work.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View mondak's profile

mondak

59 posts in 1005 days


#6 posted 901 days ago

I would do simular to what whitewolf says, except, climb cut around the outside edge, maybe 1/8” in, then I’d clean up the bulk of the cutting bord.
If you have chip out now….......consider using a roundover bit. And you may even try climb cutting here too.

View Philzoel's profile

Philzoel

272 posts in 948 days


#7 posted 901 days ago

I agree to climb cut. That is to cut into fiber with rotation into new wood. I already do this on my edges of end grain and it works.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View DaddyT's profile

DaddyT

267 posts in 2115 days


#8 posted 900 days ago

This is so weird, I just made one of these last night!! I had the same problem you had with tear out at first. Using the same bit you are using. So I set the router to just barely take off any wood, 1/8 of an inch, and had no more tear out till I got to the edges. Switched to a round over bit for the edges, moved inward about an inch, switched back to the square router bit, and finished the rest of the board. I was really happy with the end result. Didnt need a lot of sanding after I figured out how to do it. The only problem with the board is that it shifted some, about 1/16 of an inch, so the whole board is now crooked looking. Dont know what happened for it to do that as it was fine when I glued it and clamped it up. Any ways I hope this helps a bit.

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View dpow's profile

dpow

457 posts in 1448 days


#9 posted 900 days ago

Hey Kevin, You have made a nice planing jig. I made one a couple years back to finish the thickness in some end grain boards I was working on. What the others have said is all true, especially having a sharp bit and taking a very light pass to finish the thickness. There will always be a fair amount of sanding to do. One thing I would do is to leave a little extra on the length and width to saw off after finishing the thickness in case there was any tear-out along the edges. You will probably get better results the more you use it. Practice makes perfect….almost. Anyway, great project, thanks for sharing.

-- Doug

View bfrazier's profile

bfrazier

1 post in 900 days


#10 posted 900 days ago

Try a bottom cleaning bit, preferably with a half inch shank for reduced vibration and make that last cut real shallow and slow way down. We used to have one of these on a 4 foot by 8 foot frame for leveling slab style coffee tables.

-- Making little boards out of big boards since 1960.

View Kevin May's profile

Kevin May

65 posts in 919 days


#11 posted 900 days ago

Thanks for all the inputs. For clarity, the tear-out issue was not along the edges, but across the full width of the board. For the most part, my path began along the periphery, climbing on the cutter, 1/2 the width of the 3/4” cutter, working inward on each lap around the board. I cut no more than 1/8”. Next time I’ll try to incorporate as much of the input as possible, primarily, leaving 1/32” for a last skim cut, and I’ll be purchasing both a planner bit and a bowl/bottoming bit (with a small radius). Thanks

-- Kevin May "Making wood useful and fun!" www.kevinmaywoodworks.com

View buffalosean's profile

buffalosean

174 posts in 1992 days


#12 posted 900 days ago

nice jig. I made one a few years ago. they are handy, especially for wide boards that won’t fit in your planner. When you are glueing up many pieces at once, your going to have some uneven surfaces.

Some times the best way to fix this is by glueing up in stages. Only glue a few pieces together at a time. then, take your sub-assmeblies, and glue those up together. Try putting spring clamps or light duty c-clamps at the ends of your glue lines.

your glue ups will get flatter with time and experience.

good luck & happy woodworking

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6123 posts in 1405 days


#13 posted 900 days ago

That’s a great ides for end grain planing! I’ve done that to flatten a workbench and it works fantastic!

Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
Blue Collar Woodworking? FINALLY, a woodworking show for us morons! ” -The Hoboken Evening Review

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5418 posts in 2033 days


#14 posted 900 days ago

+1 on the bowl bit.
I use my sled/carriage thingie to flatten burls , crotches and the like. Also built one to turn canes/walking sticks. The bowl bit yields the best surface by far.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View woodworkerscott's profile

woodworkerscott

357 posts in 1418 days


#15 posted 900 days ago

I have to agree with others on the bowl bit. Makes the best cut. Thanks for posting.

-- " 'woodworker'.....it's a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

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