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Sled for feeding boards into planer?

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Forum topic by Knothead62 posted 09-23-2012 07:41 PM 1423 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1683 days


09-23-2012 07:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer question planing boards sled

Need some advice. I have a number of pecan boards of varying sizes. I think I first want to plant to thickness first. I had read somewhere that you can make a “sled” to carry the boards through the planer. The “sled” would be a certain needed width, length, and another board on the back to keep the board from sliding backwards. Any help and/or suggestions are appreciated. Planer is a DeWalt


11 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1205 posts in 1581 days


#1 posted 09-23-2012 08:01 PM

Knothead62,

A planer sled is used to flatten one side of a board during the milling process. It is used to flatten cups, twists and bows in boards. If the boards are not cupped, bowed or twisted, there is no need to use a planer sled.

Good Luck!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View CplSteel's profile

CplSteel

142 posts in 886 days


#2 posted 09-23-2012 08:17 PM

Of course you can joint on a planner. The sled only needs to flat. It can be whatever size fits your planer and whatever length is useful for your work.

The idea is that the flat bottom of the sled is used as a reference surface. I suggest you build the sled as a torsion box. The you shim your board so it won’t rock or yaw or twist. A bench hook like stop can be useful as well. Yes it is a bit more work than using a jointer, but for small batches it is fine.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1285 posts in 795 days


#3 posted 09-23-2012 08:44 PM

Here is a sled design I have used. I this case the project involved making a bed frame from a single re-claimed long leaf pine post. I build them from 3/4” plywood. A bottom, and 2 end caps. As CplSteel points out, it is important to FULLY shim the board between the bottom of the board and the top of the sled bottom. You wont get a planing effect if you don’t and the board could twist half way through. (this is quite dangerous) I screw the end caps securely to the bottom and into the board. In this case there are 3” screws into the end grain. I would not plane with a sled with just a backer. In my opinion you MUST be able to secure the board to the sled. I have started adding angled supports at the end caps. The end caps must be lower than the cut you make. You can not plane them. Also, wax or drylube the bottom of the sled.
PLEASE note. In the picture I use the same sled to resaw on a band saw. So the cut you see would not be the side planed. Mount your boards so that the sled runs on the table.
There is a video of the actuall re-saw, but It is too large to post.

-- Who is John Galt?

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1087 posts in 1847 days


#4 posted 09-23-2012 10:10 PM

I use a 12” wide piece of melamine and small amounts of industrial double stick tape as a sled. Works great until time to get the boards off the melamine, but I can plane flat small pieces, pre-shaped irregular pieces, or fix multiple boards onto the same sled for ease and consistency. I did this with a stock of pecan flooring I got from a client for a wine box. Got each board down to 1/8 thick…. but tear out is really easy on pecan, so watch your grain direction as you feed it into the planer. And the thinner the stock the greater the chance for the planer blades to suck the board up into the blades causing cupping, so be sure to tape down the center. I also double stick tape the shims and spacers to flatten out warps and cups. Also if you use a sled for multiple pieces, stagger them our you’ll get snipe in between the boards.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1683 days


#5 posted 09-23-2012 10:40 PM

Lots of great info! Thanks! I’ll probably have some questions as I get near the time to start.
Edit: The boards are different lengths. Make the sled to take the longest board? I like the idea of planing/joining. I know a guy that has a cabinet/countertop shop. Maybe I could get a piece of Formica countertop to build a sled.

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1558 days


#6 posted 09-24-2012 12:38 AM

Here’s the big one that I made http://lumberjocks.com/derosa/blog/31928, 8’ long and 12” wide. I also have a shorter one that is 4’ and is just 2 pieces of ply glued together. Each has a lip that stops the board from being dragged off the sled. Hardest part is making them truly flat. Only issue I haven’t quite figured out is why the planer puts a curve in the face of each board during the initial jointing process. The only thing I can think is that I’m shimming the ends too high. Flipping it over and doing a light reshimming of the ends has solved the problem but I need to do a few more boards to really find the solution.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1285 posts in 795 days


#7 posted 09-24-2012 02:02 PM

derosa: nice sled!

The crowning is probably just an effect of jointing with a planer. The length of the in and out feed tables help on a floor jointer. The length of the table and distance between the in and out feed roller make for a small straight line. I have joined that curve into boards when my out feed table gets out of alignment. Your jig is nicely constructed and maybe perfectly flat, But it has to stay perfectly flat to the table. maybe Thinking about that will help lead you to a solution?

-- Who is John Galt?

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1087 posts in 1847 days


#8 posted 09-24-2012 02:20 PM

@ derosa ~ by “curve in the face” are you talking about snipe at the leading or the ending of your board? or a cupping just before the end of the board?

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1683 days


#9 posted 09-24-2012 03:41 PM

I repeat- thanks for all the replies. I’m mulling over some things in my mind (not a lot of room there) about how to approach this project.

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 999 days


#10 posted 09-24-2012 08:20 PM

That is a good idea!

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1558 days


#11 posted 09-24-2012 08:35 PM

Eric- it is a cupping of the board, not just snipe but I think Joey may also have a part of the solution. I currently lack rollers and plan to pick some up really soon. But I also think that I may overshim the ends resulting in some of it as well. When I put more care into shimming on the last board there was less curve to the overall board.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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