Interesting Videos- Flattening Slabs - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Biagio, I thought about the tilt that can occur with this idea... front to back and side to side, using 4 threaded rods. I am thinking once the tray is adjusted to be parallel with the tracks, that it will leave a more uniform surface than a router type surfacer. Indicators (pointers) may be required on all 4 adjusting rods to insure that it is lowered evenly. I am not an engineer so I will have to make this in order to find out if it will actually work well. My initial thought was that if a planer can be used... since it planes basically with the grain, it may leave a flatter surface than a router would. Besides that, planer blades are sharpenable, and less costly.
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 02:38 PM
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I’m not sure the fore-aft tilt adjuster is needed for the planer in the box, because the framework of the jig is the reference surface upon which the planer car travels down the workpiece. The rotating drum takes away a left-right oriented LINE of wood, so the line must have left-right tilt correction, but fore-aft tilt is ineffective. If you get the framework & car traveling straight and true down the track, then the planer will do so too.

It’s probably most helpful for us to envision a normal stationary planer: The depth of cut is controlled by moving the cutter head up/down relative to the workpiece. Next we have remember that even though the power planer adjusts the front sole via its adjuster knob, that front sole doesn’t move relative to the workpiece, it’s always in direct contact with the workpiece, and the net result is that the cutter (and bulk of the power planer) is what moves up/down relative to the in-feed surface and workpiece, just like the stationary planer.

Therefore, in the car, we should fix the in-feed sole height and left-right tilt to be coplanar to the jig’s sliding car. That means the rear sole/cutter is what needs up-down adjusting relative to the car. This implies the rear sole must project below the floor of the car for clearance reasons.

It seems likely that the power planer’s intrinsic adjustments should be adequate to keep both of its soles coplanar, so I would probably start by double-stick taping an oversized Masonite hardboard or lexan shoe to the planer’s front sole, then mount that assembly into the body of the car, nicely coplanar, and then use the planar’s knob for fine depth of cut control. Course depth control will be nicely controlled by a series of parallel dados cut down the length of each of the rails at a gapping that’s slightly less than the overall maximum range of the control knob.


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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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I've been playing around with sketchup and wanted to present my thoughts. You have already seen my photos about drilling holes through my planer that will capture my planer into my sled assembly. After succeeding the drilling part I intend on putting 3/8" metal rods through the planer. This way I can just drop the planer into a tray with slots cut in the tray. The red tray in the picture will be lifted up and down with 4 threaded rods through the yellow slides. The red tray can slide from side to side within the green tray. The green tray sits on long rails that are adjustable (up and down) to accommodate different thickness slabs, and the whole thing sits on a bench.
That's the basic idea. Shown in the 3rd photo, is a slab that has the radius side against the bench (which would be shimed and fastened somehow). Since I am leaving town for a little while... I wanted to present this to you for your comments.

Note the generic "pink" planer.

I have built (from my plan) the rails and the two sleds. I found out that the planer must be held fast (attached to) the box. I found the planer should hang below the box about 3/8" to make it easier to see the adjustments. I also found the rear sole on the planer must be made parallel to the rails in each direction (length and width). I adjusted the depth on the planer to take an aggressive cut. The depth of cut is now adjusted by turning the nuts one turn at a time for a 1/16" cut. I originally placed a log on a rubber mat and tried it... not so good. So I made hold downs using 1" angle iron, and screwed into the log...then used hold fasts to hold it tight to the bench. That worked great! The log section I used was about 14" long and about 12" wide, and had been rip cut with a chainsaw. I had shimmed the log to be parallel and clamped it to the bench with 2 holdfasts. I then started planning...and to my surprise after 4 complete passes, the result was as good as any jointer. there was no snipe, no tear out, no track marks. I then used a multi bulb LED flashlight to check the flatness, corner to corner and width wise. I am very happy about how well it worked. I took some photos, and will follow up with them tomorrow.

I have had consistent problems with this forum...Splashing shoe ads all over and it makes it difficult to navigate this website. I wish they would correct this... IF THEY CAN!
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Once the slab is straightened on one face, it's ready for the thickness planer to make it parallel... or flip and re fasten and do the other side.
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 01:44 PM
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Hi Gary,
You have validated my concerns, and solved them. Many thanks.
1. I was worried about whether hand pressure on the planer would be enough.
2. I did not quite agree with Bradley - in my jointer, the out-feed table is stationary, and the in-feed table drops away to expose more or less of the cutter blades, i.e. depth of cut. The two tables must be co-planar, otherwise there will be twisting. My hand planer works exactly the same way, but inverted vertically. So I am with you on the need for the machine’s rear sole plate must be coplanar with the sled in both axes - after all, when setting the blades, they are checked against the rear sole.
3. The depth of cut is set by your threaded rods - so the machine’s front sole-plate needs to be raised to near-maximum, in order not to obstruct the sled height adjustment.
4. The part I am still wondering about, is how do you keep the 4 threaded rods in sync? I take Bradleys point that the front-to-back is not so important, but I am of the opinion that the side-to-side is - otherwise you will get ridge lines because of the oblique axis of the blades.
Good work!
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Biagio, If you look closely at picture2 (Update Photos) you may see I used a marker on the nuts...a pointer of sort. all 4 nuts are turned the same amount, to lower it equally. There are 4 nuts under the block that are jammed upward (under the block) to lock it in place. Without the jamb nuts under the block... the vibration makes the upper nuts rotate and it loses it's setting.
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 10:57 AM
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Gary, nice to see your solution... and it works! Synchronization of the adjusters is the critical element.

Biagio, I think we are on the same page: Power planers and jointers adjust the same way. The cutters are registered to the outfeed and the infeed is what gets adjusted.
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