Author Topic: Router planing sled  (Read 84724 times)

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Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 868
Router planing sled
« on: December 23, 2014, 05:22 PM »
I though I'd share my upgrade to my router planning apparatus in case anyone was interested.

I work with slabs a lot and use a regular router sled set up to flatten and surface the slabs before sanding. I had been using the regular made from plywood u channel with a slot in the bottom to move the router across the slab. What prompted my upgrade was finding what I think is a really nice bit for the process. I have used regular straight bits in larger diameters, bottom cleaning dado bits and bowl bits but kept getting some tear out. This new bit doesn't have the amount of tear out I have been experiencing.

Here's the bit:

http://www.amanatool.com/products/router-bits/solid-surface-router-bits/counter-top-trim-router-bits/57136-carbide-tipped-countertop-countertop-trim-6-wing-solid-surface-2-1-16-dia-x-1-4-x-1-2-inch-shank.html

It's from Amana and designed to rout shallow trays in solid surface material, probably drain boards and soap dishes etc. It leaves a smooth almost polished surface on the walnut I've tried it on. It's not cheap at about $80 and you need to make shallow passes, but it works great.

So I thought I'd upgrade the actual sled the router ran on. The plan was to use 80/20 extrusions and have a platform run on wheel brackets and more extrusions. It was going to be nice. Richard from Ripdogs was kind enough to let me bounce some ideas off him and point me to some span and deflection calcs. Everything was perfect until I started pricing what I needed, even with prices from the 80/20 ebay store, I figured I'd still have $300-350 in the thing. [eek] and that's the price of another Festool.

So it was fall back and punt and see what I had laying around the shop. The photos show what I came up with and I only had to buy few extra bolts. The runner are 2 inch angle iron left over from another project the platform and slide were made from some oak I'd recued from a dumpster a few years about and some UHMW plastic I had laying around. I polished up the angle iron and threw some paste wax on it and it slides smoothly.

 



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Offline waho6o9

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    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 06:00 PM »
That's one serious flattening system, good job!

Offline Brent Taylor

  • Posts: 471
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 07:49 PM »
Nice jig.

Offline duburban

  • Posts: 959
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 10:26 PM »
Love them legs~!
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2014, 07:34 AM »
I went a lower tech route with the router sliding directly between the channels.  It works amazingly well. Use it for planing and cutting slots.
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3596
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 08:42 AM »
Brilliant integration with MFT!  I have a block of redwood that I wanted to plane down, but it would be a scary proposition feeding it through the planer -- I'm going to steal your setup, if you don't mind.

I went a lower tech route with the router sliding directly between the channels.  It works amazingly well. Use it for planing and cutting slots.

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Offline Francis_Beland

  • Posts: 22
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2014, 10:01 AM »
How the blocks are secured to the MFT holes?

Offline sae

  • Posts: 842
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2014, 01:23 PM »
I'd wager...a big washer and a nut.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 868
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2014, 01:37 PM »
For normal flattenning it's probably not secured to the MFT. The sled needs to be able to move. You secure the workpiece to the table. You position the sled slide the router for a pass and then slide the whole thing over to cut another pass.

If you secure the jig, you have to slide the workpiece over and that puts your fingers on the working side of a rapidly spinning router bit.

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2014, 01:47 PM »
Correct. The sled is independent and you move it around. The workpiece is clamped to the table.
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 01:49 PM »
The major advantage of the sled is that it removes two degrees of movement.  Vertical and rotation. I also use it for edging wood.
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 01:54 PM »
The OP's design is superior in that the router is probably more stable having it in a housing. A nice idea might be to have a housing that can be adapted to different sized routers. This sled is dedicated to my 1010. I think I will steal this idea from the OP and make a more flexible sled.
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3039
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2014, 02:04 PM »
Here's my even more basic router sled. It is sized for my OF1400. It is a 5/8" piece of plywood stiffened by two thick birch sides. The bottom is planed dead flat.

I can either screw my OF1400 to the sled and move the whole assembly freehand, or clamp/ screw the ends to blocks and move the router along the sled.

I built it for a recent project where I had to rout out a large centre section about 3/8" deep to fit a chess board in. By screwing the router to the sled I was able to move the sled around the perimeter of the table and remove the waste in the centre. In this way the sled acts like a huge base able to span a valley than a typical sled where the router moves along the groove, and you only have to clamp the workpiece itself.


Online ScotF

  • Posts: 2515
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2014, 07:02 PM »
Awesome, awesome thread! Some great ideas. There is also a thread on FOG with someone using mfs profiles for the rails and a sled. I think Festool also has a sled for its mfs. Love the design ideas here and can see this really aiding surface prep of wide stock or difficult grain. Bookmarked the link for that router bit too. That looks like a great bit for this application.

Offline Francis_Beland

  • Posts: 22
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2014, 07:14 PM »

Correct. The sled is independent and you move it around. The workpiece is clamped to the table.

That's I was thinking but at first look, I did not see the clamp. Since I don't have a jointer, I want a way to flatten one side of the board before going to the planner. I'm definitely stealing that idea. Thank you for the reply.

Offline nbkayak

  • Posts: 1
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2015, 09:17 AM »
very cool!  thanks for sharing.  I cant really tell from the photos but the angle iron looks like hot rolled steel, probably the most common mild steel available.  If you can find cold rolled mild steel (ebay) its usually not much more expensive and will be a lot smoother initially (it will also wear to a very nice silky surface) as it does not have the heat blisters that hot roll does.  only passing on the info in case its useful, really like the design & its simplicity.

nb

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 868
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2015, 09:29 AM »
Yup it's A36 hot rolled. I had it left over from another project. The goal was to try not to spend much.

My steel supplier doesn't stock cold rolled and I have to order a full stick for him to get it in.

Thanks. Ron

Offline Wuffles

  • Posts: 1313
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2015, 02:34 PM »
I went a lower tech route with the router sliding directly between the channels.  It works amazingly well. Use it for planing and cutting slots.


Thread resurrection thanks to @rvieceli
 
@Mavrik

Oh hello! I've got some angle iron knocking about and will replace my ridiculous (temporary for over a year) solution nicely. How are you stopping it ripping your router's base to pieces? Some kind of tape?
Tool list updated to reflect knowledge :: hammer, screwdriver, one pozi bit, and another bigger hammer.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 868
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2015, 07:41 AM »
@Wuffles

you can get some UHMW tape to stick to the rails. On mine I set the router on a piece of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and then polished and waxed the rail surface.

the tape is pricy. You could grab one of those cheap thin poly cutting boards from a shop and either stick it to the router base or drill and counter sink some screw holes to keep it on.

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2015, 08:23 AM »
I sanded the iron flat and waxed it.
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline Wuffles

  • Posts: 1313
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2015, 08:32 AM »
@Wuffles

you can get some UHMW tape to stick to the rails. On mine I set the router on a piece of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and then polished and waxed the rail surface.

the tape is pricy. You could grab one of those cheap thin poly cutting boards from a shop and either stick it to the router base or drill and counter sink some screw holes to keep it on.

I've got some offcuts of the UHDMW stuff I could use, but was trying to gain a little more length from the router bit. The sled I use not is 18mm ply, so I've lost 18mm before I've even started.

I'll take a squizz on eBay and see what some slippy tape will set me back - will probably put it on the steel rather than the router so I can use a few different routers on it.


I sanded the iron flat and waxed it.

Or I could try that.
Tool list updated to reflect knowledge :: hammer, screwdriver, one pozi bit, and another bigger hammer.

Offline Tayler_mann

  • Posts: 415
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2015, 09:36 AM »
I see how this could work for smaller pieces but how is it for let's say a 600mm x 2000mm slab? I feel the tables inconsistencies would reflect upon the piece once you get larger. I am just curious as to how accurate his process is over a larger surface. Also, is there any reason you would do this over having someone send it through their wide belt/ larger planer other than money of course? I guess for me if I buy the wood they will do some slight thicknessing for free at the hardwood store. I look forward to be responses as this is an interesting process.

@rvieceli

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3676
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2015, 09:46 AM »
Here's my version of Nick Offerman's flattening sled.  I used phenolic-coated baltic birch for the sled to minimize debris obstructing the travel of the router.  Mine is built to accommodate the OF 2200, but it will also work with the OF 1400 just as well.  The main beams and glide rails are the straightest Douglas fir I could find.  The main beams are each made from three pieces of 2x4 stock, glued and screwed together.  Since these photos were taken, I've added a bunch of Kreg pocket hole plugs in black inside the sled to make cleaning easier.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 09:49 AM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Mavrik

  • Posts: 240
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2015, 09:46 AM »
Ironically this kind of approach is often taken because the piece is too big to go through a planer or sander.
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline Wuffles

  • Posts: 1313
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2015, 10:07 AM »
I need to upgrade to something a little less doory.

Tool list updated to reflect knowledge :: hammer, screwdriver, one pozi bit, and another bigger hammer.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3676
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2015, 10:11 AM »
Ironically this kind of approach is often taken because the piece is too big to go through a planer or sander.


It's also a good approach to removing warping and twisting from a slab which isn't practical in a planer without the use of some kind of sled.
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 868
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2015, 10:44 AM »
Nice set up Willy.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3676
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2015, 10:52 AM »
Nice set up Willy.


Thank you!   [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 868
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2015, 11:01 AM »
@Tayler_mann

My current set up can do slabs that are about 750 mm X 2400. I could reconfigure my sled and get about another 90mm wide.

The work surface is flat. the key is that the side rail/runners are straight and true. The top surface of the rail has to be the same distance away from the work surface to get a flat surface on the piece. I don't have access to a large stationary sander.

My process is to find the flattest side of the slab and lay that side on the table. If it twists, then it needs to be shimmed so that the piece doesn't rock on the table. then it needs to be secured so it doesn't move when being planed. Mostly I'll screw wooden stops to the table so it doesn't move around.

Then have at it with the router on the sled. I will usually take lighter passes which makes for more work but I think the results are better.

Once you are finished, you now have one surface that is flat. If the slab is narrower than my planer (about 12 inches) I might just run it through the planer. Otherwise it gets flipped over so the flat side is on the table, secured so it doesn't slide and then repeat the router process.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3676
Re: Router planing sled
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2015, 11:09 AM »
@Tayler_mann
My process is to find the flattest side of the slab and lay that side on the table. If it twists, then it needs to be shimmed so that the piece doesn't rock on the table. then it needs to be secured so it doesn't move when being planed. Mostly I'll screw wooden stops to the table so it doesn't move around.


I sometimes hot-glue shims to the main beams, then hot-glue stops to keep things from shifting.  No screw holes when I'm done, and the hot glue lifts right off.  I also line up the slab for the first side cut to minimize the amount of material that needs to be removed overall.  The bottom line is that I get a straight and flat slab when I'm done. 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 11:11 AM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young