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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default First use of my skis

Here are some pictures of the first thing I used my skis for. I needed to put some drawers in my router table, and I'm building them out of scrap plywood. I needed something for the fronts, and I have stacks of old barn wood under my trailer and welding machine in the shop, so I decide to use it. I don't have a planer (yet) and the drawer front was just a little to big to even smooth out one side on the jointer. It was pretty rough, but I set it on my make shift work table with a sacrificial MDF top and secured it with scrap wood and a pin nailer. I noticed it kind of wobbled, and remembered Harry shimmed his with something when he had that problem. I used a small piece of cardboard to shim the corner that that was not touching. I put my large bottom cleaning bit in my my PC 690, with the HF speed control hooked up and went to town on it. It actually worked pretty good. When that side was finished, I flipped it over and did the other side. I was really suprised at how true both side came out to each other.

The 690 was struggling a little after awhile, and I had to give it a break. I was not taking very much material off at one time in either depth or width of cutter. I am going to make a new plate for my skis that will accept the Makita 3612C that I recently acquired. I think it should plenty of power.
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Darrin
Sealy, TX

Last edited by darrink; 06-15-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by darrink View Post
Here are some pictures of the first thing I used my skis for. I needed to put some drawers in my router table, and I'm building them out of scrap plywood. I needed something for the fronts, and I have stacks of old barn wood under my trailer and welding machine in the shop, so I decide to use it. I don't have a planer (yet) and the drawer front was just a little to big to even smooth out one side on the jointer. It was pretty rough, but I set it on my make shift work table with a sacrificial MDF top and secured it with scrap wood and a pin nailer. I noticed it kind of wobbled, and remembered Harry shimmed his with something when he had that problem. I used a small piece of cardboard to shim the corner that that was not touching. I put my large bottom cleaning bit in my my PC 690, with the HF speed control hooked up and went to town on it. It actually worked pretty good. When that side was finished, I flipped it over and did the other side. I was really suprised at how true both side came out to each other.

The 690 was struggling a little after awhile, and I had to give it a break. I was not taking very much material off at one time in either depth or width of cutter. I am going to make a new plate for my skis that will accept the Makita 3612C that I recently acquired. I think it should plenty of power.
Hi Darrin:

Thanks for this. I'm going to voice some observations, not to diminish your comments but to augment them.

Keep this set of skis for the PorterCable. It will be well worth having a different set of skis for the 3612C. When you make the skis for the 3612C cut a space in each one for the handles. The idea is that you can slide the router to one end and the handles can recess into the skis. Alternatively, remove the handles but keep them together with all of the parts so they can be easily and quickly attached. I use Tupperware canisters for tool parts.

1/2" smooth drill rod is my preference for long rods for skis. One of the members promotes threaded rod (or similar) and I found too much router damage when using it.

I also have different lengths of rods. Right now I have 24" threaded, 18" drill rod and 32" drill rod. You don't have to use drill rod but it is my preference. Less deflection than with mild steel rods.

Right now, you're using the skis as a planer and your technique is excellent. I use the skis the same way as you but I've also learned that the router can slide across the rods with equal success. Next, I found if I need to do some precise freehand work I can slide the router to one end, lock it there and control it like a lever with a long handle. I can control it much more precisely like that.

Don't forget to support the middle of the rods when you're bringing the bit down. Just slide the support out when you start your cut.

I've also found that when cutting circles, that starting divot is hard to conceal. I use a wedge under the rods or one side of the skis and slide the skis off when starting the cut. This gives a gradual entry point and no divot.

It would also help if other member would step in and add additional ski usage comments.

Nicely done, Darrin, and thank you.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 09:50 AM
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Well done Darrin, you learn very fast, I doubt that there is much more that I can teach you about skis. As a matter of interest, I don't use my 3612C on the skis, I use that for all other hand routing and a smaller Makita 3600BR permanently on the skis.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by allthunbs View Post
Hi Darrin:

Thanks for this. I'm going to voice some observations, not to diminish your comments but to augment them.

Keep this set of skis for the PorterCable. It will be well worth having a different set of skis for the 3612C. When you make the skis for the 3612C cut a space in each one for the handles. The idea is that you can slide the router to one end and the handles can recess into the skis. Alternatively, remove the handles but keep them together with all of the parts so they can be easily and quickly attached. I use Tupperware canisters for tool parts.

1/2" smooth drill rod is my preference for long rods for skis. One of the members promotes threaded rod (or similar) and I found too much router damage when using it.

I also have different lengths of rods. Right now I have 24" threaded, 18" drill rod and 32" drill rod. You don't have to use drill rod but it is my preference. Less deflection than with mild steel rods.

Right now, you're using the skis as a planer and your technique is excellent. I use the skis the same way as you but I've also learned that the router can slide across the rods with equal success. Next, I found if I need to do some precise freehand work I can slide the router to one end, lock it there and control it like a lever with a long handle. I can control it much more precisely like that.

Don't forget to support the middle of the rods when you're bringing the bit down. Just slide the support out when you start your cut.

I've also found that when cutting circles, that starting divot is hard to conceal. I use a wedge under the rods or one side of the skis and slide the skis off when starting the cut. This gives a gradual entry point and no divot.

It would also help if other member would step in and add additional ski usage comments.

Nicely done, Darrin, and thank you.
Ron,
Thanks for the input and all the ideas. I had not thought about using the skis for cutting circles, but I guess you could.

As for making another set of skis, I like the design of these versus the ones that use rods because of the flex issue. I can slide the router all the way to either end, or use it in the middle and not worry about flex, so if I do make another set, versus just making another plate to fit these, I will use the same design and add notches as you mentioned for the handles to clear. I am also working on a design that will allow the sides to slide on the aluminum rails, not just the router. More to come on that.

Thanks!

Darrin
Sealy, TX
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 10:06 AM
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Hi Darrin

Nice job,,I have said this b/4 but your ski support rods are the next step up from the round rods,very well done ,,,

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
Well done Darrin, you learn very fast, I doubt that there is much more that I can teach you about skis. As a matter of interest, I don't use my 3612C on the skis, I use that for all other hand routing and a smaller Makita 3600BR permanently on the skis.
Harry,
There is always teaching and learning to be done. I'm always interested in seeing new post and others techniques, that's how I learn the most. People teach by posting pictures and don't even realize it.

What is the HP of the 3600BR? Is it variable speed?

Darrin
Sealy, TX
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi Darrin

Nice job,,I have said this b/4 but your ski support rods are the next step up from the round rods,very well done ,,,

=======
Thanks BJ! Knowing how creative you are, you saying that gives me a big boost in confidence.

Darrin
Sealy, TX
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 01:13 PM
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Hi Darrin....I have a couple of questions as well as a comment or two.

First the comments....I have a Woodhaven Planer as well as the planing bits Woodhaven offers, but in my small shop I find it is a PITA to set up and move around even though it is the smallest one they offer. I primarily build boxes and clocks using 1/2 inch thick stock or less. There is a lumber store in my town that sells 12 inch long x 6 inch wide x 3/4 inch thick stock in several different species of wood both exotic and domestic at a fairly reasonable price. Your ski would appear to be just what I need to plane down the 3/4 inch to my desired thickness with a much smaller footprint.

Now for my questions....What size extrusion did you use for the rails? I have seen both 1 inch and 1.5 inch wide in various lengths at reasonable prices on both Amazon and Ebay. I am leaning toward a 36 inch length ski or is that too long? I see the extrusions have a small hole in the center and was thinking it could be drilled and tapped using a length of threaded rod held in place with Locktite thread sealer. Next question...Why did you cut down the base plate and rabbet the sides? I have on hand several pieces of 1/4 and 3/8 inch thick Lexan that should work as well as a standard base plate and will also give better visibility. I would think a 9 to 10 inch square plate dedicated to a specific router should work very well. Next, why are all skis I see constructed with a curved end or is it purely ascetic? Also why are the rods adjustable vertically in the end pieces? Couldn't the bolts be inserted into a stationary hole and use the router adjustment to set the depth of cut?

Thanks for any and all info given. To anybody that responds actually.

Ken B.

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Last edited by Ken Bee; 12-07-2011 at 01:23 PM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Darrin....I have a couple of questions as well as a comment or two.

First the comments....I have a Woodhaven Planer as well as the planing bits Woodhaven offers, but in my small shop I find it is a PITA to set up and move around even though it is the smallest one they offer. I primarily build boxes and clocks using 1/2 inch thick stock or less. There is a lumber store in my town that sells 12 inch long x 6 inch wide x 3/4 inch thick stock in several different species of wood both exotic and domestic at a fairly reasonable price. Your ski would appear to be just what I need to plane down the 3/4 inch to my desired thickness with a much smaller footprint.

Now for my questions....What size extrusion did you use for the rails? I have seen both 1 inch and 1.5 inch wide in various lengths at reasonable prices on both Amazon and Ebay. I am leaning toward a 36 inch length ski or is that too long? I see the extrusions have a small hole in the center and was thinking it could be drilled and tapped using a length of threaded rod held in place with Locktite thread sealer. Next question...Why did you cut down the base plate and rabbet the sides? I have on hand several pieces of 1/4 and 3/8 inch thick Lexan that should work as well as a standard base plate and will also give better visibility. I would think a 9 to 10 inch square plate dedicated to a specific router should work very well. Next, why are all skis I see constructed with a curved end or is it purely ascetic? Also why are the rods adjustable vertically in the end pieces? Couldn't the bolts be inserted into a stationary hole and use the router adjustment to set the depth of cut?

Thanks for any and all info given. To anybody that responds actually.

Ken B.
Ken,
Lot of info to cover here. I used 1" X 1" X 24" extrusions. 36" would have been to long for my table. Remember, you have to have room to move it left to right, so just to move it 12" your table would need to be 48" wide. I was not sure if I was going to be happy with mine only being 24", but I'm glad it's not any wider now.

The center hole can be tapped and used to secure the extrusions, this is exactly what I did. 1/4-20 tap and then threaded rod and knobs.

The reason I used the router plate was so that I could use guide bushings if needed. The Lexan would surely give you a good view of things, and you could make guide bushings fit it, it was just more than I wanted to do at the time.

When you say curved end, are you referring to the rounded top and edges? I would say yes, that is purely for aesthetics. They could simply be square if you wanted.

The reason the rods are made to adjust vertically is so you can adjust for taller or thicker pieces. Lets say you build a box, and it is not flush on top and bottom. With the skis adjusted to slightly higher than the height of the box, you could simply plan it down.

I feel the use of skis is only limited by ones imagination, and I'm sure others will come along with other comments, suggestions and answers.

If you have a band saw, I think I would resaw the 3/4" stock closer to 1/2" and then plan it down. If you don't the you may need to take shallow passes depending on the HP of your router and the condition of your bits.

I'm still toying with the idea of making a set that is adjustable in width, like the ones made of rods. I have some ideas, just know time lately to try any of them.

Let me know if I missed anything.

Darrin
Sealy, TX

Last edited by darrink; 12-07-2011 at 03:11 PM.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:30 PM
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Ken,
Lot of info to cover here. I used 1" X 1" X 24" extrusions. 36" would have been to long for my table. Remember, you have to have room to move it left to right, so just to move it 12" your table would need to be 48" wide. I was not sure if I was going to be happy with mine only being 24", but I'm glad it's not any wider now.

The center hole can be tapped and used to secure the extrusions, this is exactly what I did. 1/4-20 tap and then threaded rod and knobs.

The reason I used the router plate was so that I could use guide bushings if needed. The Lexan would surely give you a good view of things, and you could make guide bushings fit it, it was just more than I wanted to do at the time.

When you say curved end, are you referring to the rounded top and edges? I would say yes, that is purely for aesthetics. They could simply be square if you wanted.

The reason the rods are made to adjust vertically is so you can adjust for taller or thicker pieces. Lets say you build a box, and it is not flush on top and bottom. With the skis adjusted to slightly higher than the height of the box, you could simply plan it down.

I feel the use of skis is only limited by ones imagination, and I'm sure others will come along with other comments, suggestions and answers.

If you have a band saw, I think I would resaw the 3/4" stock closer to 1/2" and then plan it down. If you don't the you may need to take shallow passes depending on the HP of your router and the condition of your bits.

I'm still toying with the idea of making a set that is adjustable in width, like the ones made of rods. I have some ideas, just know time lately to try any of them.

Let me know if I missed anything.
Darrin...Thanks for your speedy reply.

I was getting ready to go out and buy a few things and decided to check for replies to my post. I don't have a band saw but I doubt if 1/16th passes or even 1/8th would be too much at one time using my Milwaukee 2-1/4 HP router just waiting for something to do since I removed it from my router table. I can see where the height adjustment would come in handy now that you explained it.

I just looked over your pictures again and also rethought your explanation of the size. I must be missing something because I don't fully understand why you would need a 48" table to accommodate a 12 inch jig. Is the router stationary on the rails and you slide the complete jig along the table? It makes more sense to me if the router base plate is slid from end to end on the rails and the ends are stationary while making a pass. For instance if I am milling a 12 inch long board that is 6 inches wide I would mill it with the grain sliding the base plate lengthwise on the rails then move the ski over 2 inches or so depending on the bit diameter to make the next pass and so on. Doing it that way I would only need around 36 inches or less of table for a 24 inch long jig and possibly 18 inches wide for the side to side movement of the jig. My work bench is 24x48 but to take the jig to the next level I would build a dedicated fixture for the jig to set in such as a 24x48 plywood or MDF sheet, install tracks for the ski jig ends to set in so the lateral movement is as even as the longitudinal movement without any twist. I would also use levels on the rails to assure an even pass from end to end and side to side.

Thanks again for your help and I think I will try my luck at building one as soon as I can get the extrusion.

Ken

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Last edited by Ken Bee; 12-07-2011 at 05:18 PM.
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