Planer sled design - Question - Need help

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Forum topic by lepelerin posted 02-12-2014 01:30 AM 1350 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 2322 days

02-12-2014 01:30 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig resource tip question trick

Hi fellow LJ,

I will certainly need a planer sled in the following months. I will have approx 16 8’x8”x2.5” pieces of walnut and 6 8’x8”x2” of maple to flatten.
I do not have a jointer and doing it by hand planing would be too time consuming and I do not feel comfortable enough to do it perfectly flat.

I am aware of the numerous sled designs on this site. I want to “store” it (when not in use) between the joists in my basement.
The model in FWW 175 is a nice but too “bulky” and heavy for me to maneuver in my small basement shop.

My goal is to make something stiff and relatively light and not expensive.
The idea is to use 2 1”x1”x8’ (1/20 thick) aluminum square tube that I would sandwich between 1/4 mdf or plywood. I would put some pieces (1”x1”x12”) of wood in between to “attach” the 2 mdf or plywood in the middle.

Or would it be better to go with a 3/4” thick mdf or plywood only and attach the aluminum tube on the side.

I do have some questions regarding my idea:

1) would 1/4 mdf or plywood thick enough?

2) would it be stiff enough?

3) Should I use a thicker side 1/2” or 3/4” on one side and 1/4 to make it stiffer?

If yes to the above questions, what would be the best way to attach the mdf or ply to the aluminum bar. I was think drilling holes and countersinking screws alternatively on both side.

What do you think? I am waiting for all the advice and critics to my idea.

I will let you know what I decide to do.


PS: If you have a better idea (which will certainly be the case) do not hesitate to share it.

5 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5112 posts in 1717 days

#1 posted 02-12-2014 01:49 AM

Yikes, Stiff, light and inexpensive? I think you need to choose two of the three. I made one that’s stiff and inexpensive, it’s 12 1/2” wide so it would be able to fit between two joists. It’s also good for boards up to 9’ but it’s HEAVY, probably over 120lbs, it does work very well. I made mine from 1 1/2” thick plywood with grooves routed for the bungee cord and the wedges.

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2322 days

#2 posted 02-12-2014 02:33 PM

Tx for the answer. Yes I will certainly have to compromise. The most important is stiff and light.
did you use 1 1/2” on each side or just one side?

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2273 days

#3 posted 02-12-2014 03:32 PM

lepelerin....This is an old forum but has recently been posted on a couple hours ago. This is a pretty ingenious fixture that may answer your questions

Another option (that may or may not be practical for such long, thick, and heavy boards) is to use this jointer trick. Forward the video to the half way mark to see how Marc uses the jointer

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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5112 posts in 1717 days

#4 posted 02-12-2014 03:41 PM

1 1/2” was the total thickness of the bed, by 12 1/2” wide. My planer will handle stock up to 6” thick so my maximum has been reduced by 1 1/2” + the air gap beneath the twisted or bowed stock I’m trying to flatten. The stock has to be screwed to the bed at the points of contact, so at some point it will be so full of holes I’ll have to make another, but only using 2 – 4 screws per board being flattened it should last a while

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2322 days

#5 posted 02-12-2014 04:49 PM

Thank you for the “old forum” fixture. I might use this trick.
I watch the video but I do not have a jointer, but good to know just in case one day I have one.

Tx for the specification. Seems like a good sled

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