Needing to make a planer sled

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Forum topic by OldRick posted 11-05-2013 05:56 PM 2230 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 1927 days

11-05-2013 05:56 PM

Hi folks!

I am wanting to make a planer sled for my DeWalt DW735 planer. But it occurred to me that I don’t know a dang thing about it. After much research here on LumberJocks, I have found some information but I am left with a few questions as well. Let me start with I am intending to use it for making face frames for cabinets as well as making cutting boards and misc. just want to see if I can make it projects. So the sled will need to be used for a variety of things and a variety of thicknesses.
1. Would it be better to make 1 sled say six foot and just use that or perhaps also make a couple of shorter sleds?
2. What do you recommend for material to make the sled from? I’ve seen plywood, MDF, and various particle boards. All seem viable but I would like to only have to make 1 so I want it to last.
3. I see where many people use two 3/4 sheets of material glued and screwed together for rigidity. Since the planer pulls the stock through the machine and the material slides on the bottom, is there an issue of sled weight?
4. What is thee best way to secure the stock to the sled? I want to make sure I’m not going to pitch a board across the shop.
5. I noticed on one persons design they included a rope running the entire length of the sled down the center. I assumed this was for being able to pull the work through the machine if necessary. Is there a possibility of the sled stopping part way through the milling process?
I think that covers it unless you folks can think of anything I might have left out. I want to make sure I do this safely and I have very little experience with planers. One more general planning question, though. Making thin stock. What’s a good rule of thumb for planning thin stock? I was wanting to try making some miter joint splines as I think they look cool but sending 1/8 stock or less through my planer makes me a little nervous. I always make very light passes through the planer no matter what the thickness but I can see where the thinner the stock the greater potential for problems. Any help and ideas would be greatly appreciated.



3 replies so far

View Miles King's profile

Miles King

28 posts in 2926 days

#1 posted 11-05-2013 09:25 PM

I built sled for my dewalt planer a few years ago loosely based on a design found in fine woodworking web site. I used two 12 inch wide sheets of ½ inch thick mdf with two 1/2 inch x ¾ inch rails between the upper and lower sled sides. Glued and screwed. 1) I use only one sled 6 feet long. Anything longer might be too heavy. 2) mdf works for me. 3) To hold the work piece in place use an end cap also mdf at the leading end and butt your work piece against it. 4) I don’t secure the work piece to the sled. 5) Yes the sled can and will stop if the depth of cut is too great. To get the sled moving again lighten up the cutting depth. And no rope required.
To level the work piece I use some wooden shims or wedges to take up any gap between the sled and the work piece in order to achieve a flat surface that is parallel to the sled. Use hot melt glue to hold the wedges in place. Good luck.

-- Miles

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3155 days

#2 posted 11-05-2013 10:57 PM

”...I am intending to use it for making face frames for cabinets …” I have not tried this but I have tried planing across the grain on wood and it clogged up my planer with long fibers from the process.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


725 posts in 3507 days

#3 posted 11-06-2013 02:05 AM


I started a similar forum a while back (see ) and received a bunch of good ideas and comments from our fellow LJs. Check it out.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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