Super simple router sled (planing jig)

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by mo62987, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    Here's my take on a bare bones diy router planing sled. There's a few other threads on how to make a really nice planing jig, namely these two from Mat UK and fabricator:

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/another-router-sled.730417/
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/new-router-sled.709129/

    But this'll do. Built this with some stuff I had laying around:
    • Scrap 1/2" plywood, ~16" x 24" if I remember correctly
    • Length of 1x3 select wood (already very square and straight)
    • Few sheetrock screws
    Will let the pics speak for themselves. The piece on top is a guide for straight (enough) passes. And the screw heads on either end of the top act as stops. Cut the top slot just wide enough to drop a 1-1/2" planing bit in. The important part to remember is that you'll need a flat reference surface when using it. Already had a nice flat workbench to use this with.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And this is how my tester blank (made with scrap 2x4's) turned out after a pass:
    [​IMG]

    Not too shabby. The ridges the bit left sanded right out. The only thing i had to worry about was not putting too much downward pressure on the router as i ran it across. The top would give just a bit if i did. 3/4" ply prob would have been a better choice.
     
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  2. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    Being a retired machinist getting into woodworking, I am a TOTAL Woodworking Dork. Hence, the inevitable stupid question: Can you use this to plane a board (or glued together boards down to a required thickness, for, say, a guitar or cabinet doors?
     
  3. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah this is just a planing jig. You can really only take off about 1/16" at a time safely, so keep that in mind. If you've got a 1/2" or more you need to shave off, you could do it with this. But it definitely would take a while. I will be using this to flatten/plane guitar body blanks. The drawback to this method is it's bound to leave those ridges after each pass, so there is some extra sanding effort required after.
     
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  4. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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  5. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I think this is the first time my works ever been referenced... I feel honoured! Glad it was of some use - @fabricator thread was what I based mine on - so more credit to him!

    Looks great, you could consider adding a few perpendicular spines to the underside/topside to stiffen the top up?
     
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  6. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    Well when i searched, yours was the first result (haha!). Seriously, both designs and builds are great. If i get too deep in this thing, I'm sure I'll go there eventually.

    Will probably go back and add these on the top (not really enough clearance to get much underneath)
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    This kind of jig has been around since the mid 80's at least. I saw it used in the " methods of work" section in Fine Woodworking Magazine back then. It was used to mill cypress clocks back when they were a thing.

    Rigidity is your friend when doing this kind of thing. The more rigid, the less sanding. A bowl bit with rounded edges will leave a cleaner surface. Funny how this jig really has taken off due to the internet.
     
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  8. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    Hmmm, makes sense. All the DIY how-to's use the bottom cleaning bit. Wonder why none of them use the bowl bit?

    I'm pretty new to woodworking in general so every bit of advice is an epiphany!
     
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  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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  10. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    Ahh, cool, Thanks for that!!! I saw no cutter, or router, and lacking imagination and intellect, couldnt figure out how it worked. :confused: o_O

    So then, were your cuts made across the wood's grain?

    Added in EDIT: Is there some overlap in each pass?
     
  11. mo62987

    mo62987 Tele-Meister

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    @Mr. Neutron - Sorry, yeah i forgot to grab a pic with the router actually ON the sled. I made the passes across the grain because that's the direction my body blank fit best. Not sure if that's the BEST way or not.

    See the threads i linked in the original post for a better understanding of how it works.
    And see @guitarbuilder 's input on using a bowl bit instead of the bit I linked. I tried to have some overlap in an effort to knock down some of the ridges it left, which worked a little. I guess if you go with the bowl bit you'll definitely need some overlap.
     
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