Planer sled idea

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 01-29-2014 09:58 PM 1826 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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800 posts in 2136 days

01-29-2014 09:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I don’t have a jointer, so I need to make a face-jointing sled for my planer. Since this will be used regularly I’d like to make a dedicated, accurate and long-lasting jig (as opposed to just using hot glue for one-offs), but not something too complicated.

I was thinking of building a 4’ long torsion box (for rigidity) and installing three rows of 1/4” t-nuts spaced every 8” or so down the length of the jig. I’d counterbore the t-nuts so that each could hold a 1/4” flathead machine screw flush with the surface when fully screwed in. Each screw then could be unscrewed and raised up wherever I need support to prevent the rollers from flattening the board. I’d also use a rear cleat to keep the board and sled moving together.

Does this sound like a workable idea? Or would I be better off with a different design (I was looking at the FWW sled and it seemed pretty good). Thanks!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

6 replies so far

View RRBOU's profile


176 posts in 2320 days

#1 posted 01-29-2014 10:32 PM

I made a sled from 1-1/2” 15 series 80-20 T-slot 5’ long.. I then used the corner brackets to make a ladder affect every 12” for a 5’ x12” sled. I bolted 1/2” ply to both sides waxed the bottom side to help it go through the planer. I like to use drop material on either end of my lumber shorter than 4’-6” to eliminate snipe. I just used the kreg bit to drill two holes in the droops and sink two screws through the drops to lock the lumber between them on the sled. I place the lumber if it has a cup in it with the cupped edges up so that I can place shims and wedges under the edges. Using a stop bolted on both ends I have noticed that my shims and wedges do not move. This sucker is heavy but dead flat. I would have rather used the 10 series 1” T-slot but I had this on hand and all the hardware or it.
To your idea of using screws as supports I am sure that it would work but would take forever to adjust all those screws to just touch the bottom of the lumber during set-up.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#2 posted 01-30-2014 02:12 AM

My sled gets used a lot and is maybe too simple: I just tack wedges to the sled with brad nails (1 per wedge) and they pull out easily leaving no real damage to the sled base. I tack a thin scrap ahead and behind the piece to be face jointed to keep it from shifting front to back.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2592 days

#3 posted 01-30-2014 02:26 AM

not sure if this was the one you were referring to but its a pretty good video

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View JimYoung's profile


286 posts in 1615 days

#4 posted 01-30-2014 02:32 AM

I would take a serious look at the FWW sled design. I don’t have a jointer, but I do have a second hand Dewalt 735 13” planer. I built the FWW sled and it works like a dream. With a decent blade in my table saw and this sled, I have seen the need for a jointer yet. My sled is 4’ long and ~12” wide and uses two layers of 1/2” plywood and poplar framework. The drywall screws used to hold the wedges work well, but they are bit hard on your finger tips. If I could find thumb screws I’d replace them. I also used the traction tape on the bottom of the wedges and on top of the oak cleats.

I’ve gotten pretty fast with setting up a board. Always start with all of the wedges backed out. Set the front and rear cleat wedges. Double check that the highest point on the front and rear of the board are close. Then set each each intermediate cleat by pushing in both wedges until the cleat does not wiggle and tighten the screws. I have not had a problem with the cleats moving, or the screws coming out while planing.

The downside is that the sled is a bit heavy, and you have to be careful that you don’t move the board once it is setup. Other than that, being able to joint a 13” wide board is pretty cool.


-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 3026 days

#5 posted 01-30-2014 02:42 AM

i have sled and just use hot well..

View ADHDan's profile


800 posts in 2136 days

#6 posted 01-30-2014 03:21 PM

Thanks all for the feedback. It sounds like the FWW model (which is the one in the video) may be the way to go.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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