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.
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.