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Planer sled options....

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Forum topic by KelleyCrafts posted 01-18-2017 10:21 PM 2316 views 4 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


01-18-2017 10:21 PM

I’ve done some research and can’t decide which to build here.

First, I got rid of my Makita 2030 planer/jointer combo due to space, fantastic little machine, loved it but I replaced it with a 20” Powermatic planer so now I am without a jointer. FWIW I work with a lot of slabs or wide material so the 6” jointer the Makita had on board was really too thin for more than half my work anyway.

Knowing I won’t be replacing the jointer because I don’t have space for one, I was thinking of building the FWW Keith Rust sled because it seems easier to setup than the other option. The thing i worry about is the spacing between the supports leaves your board unsupported. Thoughts on this?

I hope people know what I’m talking about because FWW pulled down the article for the free public links so I would really be going off of pictures for my build since I don’t have the article or a link to it myself. It doesn’t look difficult.

The second option is a much easier build but a pain to setup it seems. I would just take a couple 3/4” pieces of plywood or MDF and laminate them together and glue on a stop block. This would take a long time each time you wanted to throw things through the planer having to shim things exactly each time, I could be wrong so I would need to get opinions on this.

Thoughts on what to build. For edge jointing I already have a sled for the table saw I use to cut off live edges on anything I mill and want to turn into dimensional lumber so I can edge joint that way.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools


41 replies so far

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builtinbkyn

2281 posts in 939 days


#1 posted 01-18-2017 10:29 PM

A few years ago I had a need for a sled. I had a benchtop planer and no jointer. I did similar research and liked the Keith Rust sled, but in the end and because I only had need of it for one particular job, I made the wedge sled with the stop block. It worked fine. However if I were going to be using one extensively, I would have made the Rust sled. Not sure that helps you, but that was my experience.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


#2 posted 01-18-2017 10:34 PM

Thanks Bill. That is precisely my dilemma. I figure if I’m going to use it consistently then I’ll just build a couple 20” wide and different lengths like 4’ and 7 or 8’. I have four slabs now that will be joined and used as my dining table top so I will need the 7’ plus length.

Any thoughts on the space between the supports? I read in my research someone did it 8” apart. I wonder if that’s too far.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


#3 posted 01-18-2017 10:48 PM

For those interested the FWW article is in issue 175 from 2005. Again, I don’t have it or have access to it but it’s out there somewhere. The build looks fairly self explanatory though.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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builtinbkyn

2281 posts in 939 days


#4 posted 01-18-2017 10:50 PM

The supports move fore and aft. They are not affixed to the board. To use that sled, you need to have the ability to move the supports as required by the piece you’re planing. So the spacing isn’t fixed. I guess you can add more as needed too.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


#5 posted 01-18-2017 11:04 PM

Ok, that’s making more sense. Hence the rope through the supports keeps it adjustable and still keeps the supports to the sled when storing or whatever. It’s more work than I want to do but I’m thinking it’ll probably be worth it in the long run.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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builtinbkyn

2281 posts in 939 days


#6 posted 01-18-2017 11:16 PM

It doesn’t seem like a complicated item to make. Most of it could be cut from leftover material from other projects. The “rope” is actually a bungee cord. It allows for easy removal or addition of supports and for easy repositioning of them. A rope would complicate that.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


#7 posted 01-18-2017 11:22 PM

It doesn’t seem complicated at all, it’s just not as easy as sticking a couple of pieces of sheet goods together with a board on the end is all. Of course if it’s my only face jointer then it would be worth the effort.

Bungee makes sense over rope. Thanks for the info on this.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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builtinbkyn

2281 posts in 939 days


#8 posted 01-18-2017 11:27 PM

If I were to make one, and I have been contemplating that recently as I too only have a 6” jointer, I would add non-skid material to the bottom of the supports as well as the tops. That was the only shortfall I thought it might have, as the supports may want to move and shift a bit under load and vibration of the planer.

The wedge sled was pretty straight forward. Cutting wedges as needed for the board being planed wasn’t too much of a bother.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


#9 posted 01-18-2017 11:37 PM

Cutting wedges would be a bother if it was used often though. I was thinking of just having shims and a deck or two of playing cards with the other sled. The FWW sled would negate that and would be quick to setup. I think I’ll start finding the supplies and give it a go.

I agree with the non slip tape. It’s already going on several pieces, why not add it to the support bottoms as well. Good observation.

I read the wedges and the slots for them are at 15 degrees. What’s the best way to get the 15 degrees into the slot portion? A hand saw, sawing to the lines would work, a little jig on a cross cut sled on the table saw or router table too. How would you go about it? (nice to hear other’s thoughts)

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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builtinbkyn

2281 posts in 939 days


#10 posted 01-19-2017 12:08 AM

OK I just found a video on this sled. Scratch the non-skid material on the bottom of the supports. He put that on the bottom of the wedges, which makes more sense as they contact the sled while raising the supports.

For the slots you’ll need a jig for your table saw or miter saw. Or hand saw and chisel away.

Video

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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HokieKen

5012 posts in 1137 days


#11 posted 01-19-2017 02:40 AM

Here’s my sled I use for boards my 6” jointer can’t handle:

IIRC, it works basically the same as the FWW rig but uses jack screws instead of wedges. Set screws in the sides allow me to position them as needed.

It works a trick for sure!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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builtinbkyn

2281 posts in 939 days


#12 posted 01-19-2017 03:53 AM

Kenny that’s a nice sled. Came across that design earlier when I was looking for the Rust sled video. It’s certainly a bit more work than the other two though. You see any advantage to it?

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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KelleyCrafts

2830 posts in 738 days


#13 posted 01-19-2017 04:48 AM

That’s great Kenny and it doesn’t look as hokie as the FWW one with the bungee. I like it. Sheet goods, pine inside frame then mdf and oak for the supports?

I might go this route because I can then make a bunch of supports and slide them easily between the two lengths of sleds I make and it just looks better.

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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Tabletop

137 posts in 746 days


#14 posted 01-19-2017 09:16 AM

On you tube, I think it is a “fine woodworking” video where the man uses hot glue gun to keep wedges in place. The hot glue is easily removed when finished

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HokieKen

5012 posts in 1137 days


#15 posted 01-19-2017 12:43 PM

Bill, I don’t recall exactly how the Rust Sled worked but IIRC, I chose this design because I thought the jack screws would be a much quicker adjustment than the wedges and this design fixes the supports firmly in place without the need to have a bungee to hold them down. It also doesn’t allow any movement of the supports. It is a bit more work up front probably but, I think it probably makes up for it in ease of setup.

Dave, I made mine with 2 pieces of 3/4 ply. Cut a rabbet on the long edges of the top one to make the “track” for the supports then face glued them together. It’s stayed flat but, it probably would have been a good idea to have made it using a torsion box design with MDF skins and hardwood frame in between.
And yes, the supports are easy to make. I made mine with Oak and 1/4 MDF. If I was doing it again, I’d replace the MDF with something stiffer – probably acrylic or aluminum. If you overtighten the set screws, the MDF flexes which can give a little flex to an otherwise pretty rigid rig. Other than that, my only regret is that I wish I had made it longer. Mine is 6’, shoulda gone 8. The supports are super easy to make with the exception of installing threaded inserts and bolts and set screws. Not hard but kinda time consuming ;-)

I’m pretty sure I made a drawing for this jig for someone else. I know I have a 3D model so I can make a drawing if I don’t have one already. If you’re interested just shout and I’ll e-mail it to you. Here is a link to the Shopnotes plan I started from. I did my jack screws a little different to get rid of the slop that their’s allows. Here’s a sled that geekwoodworker from the Shopnotes plans:
Click for details

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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