Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: New Zealand
First Name: Matthew
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After studying the numerous posts on router skis, many from Harry and BJ, I have created my own. The cheeks aren't finished yet - they need a coat of something to prevent them absorbing moisture, and to make them more slippery. The cheek shape is an exact copy of Harry's, however the rod attachment method is certainly BJ's. Although I've yet to actually use them, they seem very good. I used 18mm MDF, the rods are 12mm stainless steel (very smooth), the slots were routed with a 12.7mm spiral - the excess there doesn't seem to have created any wobbliness. Haven't been able to find any star washers (at all!) - let alone some that will permit a 12mm rod through. BJ says the rods will slip down the cheeks without star washers - so I need to get my hands on some.
Observations thus far:
1. the springs are easy to tension using a Irwin quick clamp with the rubber 'shoes' removed. I simply put the plastic feet of the clamp on the two lock collars, tighten the clamp then tighten the allen key to lock the lock collar in place. The springs seem to make the entire setup very rigid.
2. The inside lock collar might get in the way of the rails on my camboard (yet to be created so I don't know yet) - depending on how high in the slots I set the rods. I could always use a lower profile rail (was going to use 18mm mdf) if it's a problem.
3. The Makita 3612C's handles butt into the cheeks when the rods are at the bottom of the slots - I might modify the cheeks to remove this issue, if it becomes an problem.
PS - here are a few pictures...
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" absorbing moisture" " more slippery " use some Johnson Floor Was (paste in the yellow can ) about 3 or 4 coats will do the trick, just for kicks do the same thing to some scraps and than put some water on them and watch the water bead up and run right off and than slide the stock over the work bench and you will see it just slides right over it with almost no drag...plus when you cut the slots out for the handles you cab re-coat them easy, the MDF will soak the wax right up and lock into the wood..
Star washers, just make your own, washer,, cut it with the hack saw, in 4 or 5 spots on the washer, take pair of wire cutters and turn the washer parts to the right (all the same way )(Stainless steel works best ) it will not rust and is very strong,it's not spring steel but almost..
"inside lock collar" should be fine, yours look about the same size I used and the rods will keep them up and out of the way.
To set all the rods the same on the cheeks, I put a scrap block under the router let it rest and lock them all it place at one time..then pull the scrap block out and you are set to run..
Here's a small tip, drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the cheeks on the bottom side so you fit in a 1/4" x 3/4" dowel pin and you just made a great cir.jig. one jig for more than one job...like a great edge guide..by just dropping one of the cheeks down and adding a slide block to rods to keep the router level..
Looking forward to your feed back..
Just a quicker way to adjust the rods on the cheeks and compress the springs..all in one move, you can get one for about 8.oo dollars, small eng.repair parts supply store or auto parts store parts ,off the spin rack..I know the tool below will get Harry going, he will say what the hell is that, don't Americans know about wing nuts ? or what ..
see below. ▼
KD Hand Tools 379 Small Engine Valve Spring Compressor
Looking really good Matt. I'm eagerly awaiting for your report as to how well it works on a fairly heavy job like planing a rough block, also how long it takes to re-set the height making sure that all corners are the same height.
Thanks! Johnson Floor Wax - better than some kind of varnish, by the sounds of it? Should be easier to apply, that's for sure!
Will try making my own star washers...
One way to minimize the chances that the inside lock collar or washer will foul on the edge guide : lower profile edge guides. I cut two 20mm wide strips of 18mm thick MDF - however it does foul on the collar. I guess I could use something like 6mm ply edge guides - that way it would run under the collar/washer. The only risk is that the skis might jump over the low edge guide. Your thoughts?
Thanks for the tips re setting the heights, and the circle cutting jig - good idea!
One thing - I hate cutting corners with a bandsaw - see all those nasty saw marks on the mdf? That's after sanding them too! If I'd known how to cut the corners with the router, I would have done it.
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