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New Router Sled

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by fabricator, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    I've wanted to build one of these for a while, and am finally getting around to it. I intend to use it for planing solid bodies, as well as archtop & acoustic tops/backs. I found some CNC rails & linear bearings on eBay. The sled itself is made from 16ga. steel plates with 3/4" cabinet grade plywood spacer sandwiched between. The table measures roughly 36" x 48". I'll build drawers & shelves underneath to maximize all that space I'm taking up in my shop.

    The bit is 1-5/8" diameter, which ought to cut down on the amount of passes I'll need to make. I need to find some brush type material to put around the sides (to keep sawdust contained), and I still need to install the T tracks for holding material down.

    Hopefully I'll get to test it out soon!

    IMG_5923.JPG IMG_5924.JPG IMG_5925.JPG IMG_5926.JPG
     
  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    59
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Seems like this tool could have other usages.
    But I'm hard pressed to think of any.
    I've an art guild down the road that has a CNC router sled that does shapes and forms.
    It started out as a large template 'follower'.
    It was mostly homemade, quite interesting, and had me thinking.
    Need to go over and study it again.
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    That's a pretty nice one. Your planer jig should be pretty accurate especially with the supported rails. You are half way to a cnc router...Just add some acme rod, delrin bearings, and motors/controller.
     
  4. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    Maybe I'll try to convert to CNC sometime in the future.

    For now, I'll be happy being able to plane wide stock.
    It should save me a bit of money, as I can now buy 8/4 mahogany from a local supplier and plane it down to 1-3/4" thick , where they would charge >$60 to plane it.
     
  5. creekrat

    creekrat TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    97
    Feb 22, 2017
    Grove, OK
    I've been looking at building an amp but seeing as I don't have an electric at the moment and found this wonderful place to help me spend all my money and then some, I think i might do this instead. Plus, it'll put me that much closer to a cnc router and I can slowly gather the pieces to complete it. Nice work fabricator. What length rails did you use? I think I will try the 1200mm x 800mm or maybe even 1500mm x 800mm and make it big enough to do bodies now and big enough to do necks down the line and maybe even a neck through bass at some point. My 15 year old son picked up the bass like 4 months ago and played a show just last week. Was a zydeco band so the bass lines were heavy. He's a sophomore now but told the wife that I'd love to be able to make him a beautiful bass for a graduation gift.
     
  6. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    Creekrat (with a name like that, I figured you must be from Louisiana - I used to have relatives in Ville Platte), my teenage son is a bass player too. Very cool! He's just started building his first bass. We're building identical neck-through's, so he can copy what he sees me do on mine.

    What kind of amp were you wanting to build? I've made a few of those too. Lots of fun...

    I used 1200mm rails on my sled. It can handle any size body (I'm not so concerned with necks, as I have a good jointer & thickness planer).
    I'm also planning on rebuilding my copy carver with that type of rails/bearings.ill be able to carve archtop s and LP tops way faster (I carve an MDF template, then soak it in CA glue for hardness - MDF carves super easy and there's no grain tear-out).
     
  7. creekrat

    creekrat TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    97
    Feb 22, 2017
    Grove, OK
    Fabricator, I'm in Lafayette. Looking to do a Dr Z Carmen Ghia clone
     
  8. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    Cool!
    I've built a few Fender tweed amp replicas and one based on the Marshall 1974 circuit.
     
  9. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Holic

    568
    Nov 29, 2016
    Portland, Oregon
    Very nice!!!
    The only thing I don't see is some way to adjust it to allow for different thicknesses (past from what you can adjust with the router). How thin can you plane? Thin comes in useful if you want to thickness stock for acoustic instruments, or for veneers. Or if you want to do a fingerboard from a difficult wood that a thickness planer would mangle.
    And thick (thicker than body size) might be handy for template work, if you use a bearing bit. Perhaps to do a carved top, by using progressively smaller templates, although I just noticed that you have a copy carver.
    And of course, they are great for thicknessing Fender style headstocks.

    If you have tried it out now, how effective is the vacuum port? Dust flies all over the place, which is my least favorite part about using these.
     
  10. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Maybe a "bottom cleaning bit" would work better?... or a dish cutting bit with a softer edge.....


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    I can plane thinner stock by attaching it with double-sided tape to laminated 3/4" MDF boards.

    I use fake leather fringe (get it from a fabric store) around the edges of the sled. It contains the dust pretty well while allowing air intake.
     
  12. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Holic

    568
    Nov 29, 2016
    Portland, Oregon
    That makes pretty good sense. That way you can build the contraption to be as precise and sturdy as possible, and just bring the work to the bit, instead of the opposite.

    Ha! So I should just look in the "cowboy outfit making section". I was looking into door sweeps, the brushes you can attach to bottom of doors for weatherproofing.
    Having a fixed height sled is also an advantage here, since you don't need different height leather fringe for different settings.
     
  13. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    That is really beautiful work.
     
  14. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    Thanks, JuneauMike!
     
  15. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    Yes, mtorn, everything pretty much centers around the fringe...
     
    mtorn likes this.
  16. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    In case anyone is interested, these are the hold-down mechanisms for the wood. Made from 1/8" steel. I bent it using a couple short pieces of 1" angle steel in my vise, set up like a sheet metal brake (my sheet metal brake is only good up to 16ga.). It pressed a nearly perfect right angle bend. I filed the teeth sharp.

    I tap the teeth into the wood then tighten each corner down. IMG_6052.JPG IMG_6053.JPG
     
    guitarbuilder likes this.
  17. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    Looks fantastic! This is on my short list, but my short list is behind my wife's regular list.:confused:
     
    Joe Sailor likes this.
  18. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    392
    Jun 29, 2012
    Texas
    I run into the same problem. Fortunately my shop is far enough away from the house where I can work (when I should be sleeping) without bothering anyone else.
     
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