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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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I did a fair amount of planing with the router skis today and had pretty good success mainly do to the many threads by a few who have shared their knowledge on building and using skis. Of course planing is one of router skis many uses. Below I have a few questions and a few observations

1.) There were a few hairline tracks (difference in depth) left from one pass to the next pass over. I am not sure of the cause. I looked at the tightening screws on the shaft base that tighten the base to the skis rods. I also wondered about the Vacum hose causing the router to shift. I tried tightening just one screw which helped a little and tried it with the vacum hose removed which didn't seem to matter. Though there were 'tracks it didn't take but a minute to even it out with the belt sander

2) When I made a pass I found better results by first going down clockwise then back up the same path counter clockwise before loosening the router and sliding it over on the rods for another almost full width of bit pass. Also making the down and then up passes starting from the far left and ending on the far right seemed to have better results. I am curious if there is a correct direction or path to follow in planing with skis

3) Planing Red Oak clogs the vacum hose with its stringy shavings but even with it unclogged you have a mess in just a few minutes. I ended up with my half face mask on. I changed the filter on the shop vac 4 times and emptied it every time and probably had a seperate 5 gallon bucket full of shavings and dust that I collected off the table and floor

4) It took a long time for me to get the wood planed down. I'm sure it could be the operators speed but I didn't get but half of what I wanted planed completed. True it beats the heck out of sanding your boards but it is time consuming.

5) Things that made planing easier were a sacrificial board with a rail for your router skis to ride against plus you can easily secure your work piece to it.... also an unclogged shop vac that starts when you power up your router and shuts off when you power down your router..... and also a 1 1'2' bottom cleaning bit makes for fewer passes.

Below are 3 pics.... the first Pic shows the thin tracks from the different passes, Pic #2 shows it smoothed out with a belt sander and pic#3 shows lighter tracks left usung down then up passes with one screw tightened on the base to the rod and starting the passes on the far left and ending on the far right.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 09:33 PM
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Hi Jim

The ski jig is neat tool but it's just a poor man's power planer, it's hard to get it done without some tracks and Oak is one the hard ones to do..

The ski jig is a must tool to have for WIDE boards,say over 12" the norm..panels etc.or table tops glue ups..plus what the ski rides on is very important most work benches are not flat I would suggest you use some 3/4" MDF for a table top and for the skis to ride on..it's best not to let the ski boards run on the MDF, just some true boards that the rods can run on, they are round and will not lift the router up if they try and run over router dust.. the smaller the foot print is the best..you can put some copper pipe over the rods,to act like wheels you could say..

Plus make the rods as short as you can,think it like a bridge the shorter the bridge the more it can support (sag is a big deal ) but it's easy to over come, point A to C and B will not sag so to speak..rods on upright boards and let the end boards just over the upright boards


===


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco View Post
I did a fair amount of planing with the router skis today and had pretty good success mainly do to the many threads by a few who have shared their knowledge on building and using skis. Of course planing is one of router skis many uses. Below I have a few questions and a few observations

1.) There were a few hairline tracks (difference in depth) left from one pass to the next pass over. I am not sure of the cause. I looked at the tightening screws on the shaft base that tighten the base to the skis rods. I also wondered about the Vacum hose causing the router to shift. I tried tightening just one screw which helped a little and tried it with the vacum hose removed which didn't seem to matter. Though there were 'tracks it didn't take but a minute to even it out with the belt sander

2) When I made a pass I found better results by first going down clockwise then back up the same path counter clockwise before loosening the router and sliding it over on the rods for another almost full width of bit pass. Also making the down and then up passes starting from the far left and ending on the far right seemed to have better results. I am curious if there is a correct direction or path to follow in planing with skis

3) Planing Red Oak clogs the vacum hose with its stringy shavings but even with it unclogged you have a mess in just a few minutes. I ended up with my half face mask on. I changed the filter on the shop vac 4 times and emptied it every time and probably had a seperate 5 gallon bucket full of shavings and dust that I collected off the table and floor

4) It took a long time for me to get the wood planed down. I'm sure it could be the operators speed but I didn't get but half of what I wanted planed completed. True it beats the heck out of sanding your boards but it is time consuming.

5) Things that made planing easier were a sacrificial board with a rail for your router skis to ride against plus you can easily secure your work piece to it.... also an unclogged shop vac that starts when you power up your router and shuts off when you power down your router..... and also a 1 1'2' bottom cleaning bit makes for fewer passes.

Below are 3 pics.... the first Pic shows the thin tracks from the different passes, Pic #2 shows it smoothed out with a belt sander and pic#3 shows lighter tracks left usung down then up passes with one screw tightened on the base to the rod and starting the passes on the far left and ending on the far right.



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Last edited by bobj3; 12-11-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2011, 11:09 PM
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You didn't say what size bit you used. I recently tested a new large bottom cleaning bit and here is a link to the thread Jim. After each cut I clean-up with the vac. I always use a sacrificial table top, most of the time cheap chipboard but for precision work I have a Melamine covered top.

http://www.routerforums.com/portable...aning-bit.html

Harry



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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2011, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok Harry let me see if I understand the cause of the ridges left on your planing of the jarah wood. It was that the router ski rods 4 corners were not set precisely? But when you switched from a 1 3/4" bit to a 1" bit with out changing anything else the wood was re-planed and came out smooth and with out ridges? .....Other than putting equal sized pieces of scrap under the rods and against the inside of the cheeks, I see no other way to set the 4 corners evenly though as in my expierience I did not double check setting the rods to the cheeks for any slight variance. The pair of rods I used for this planing were roughly 18" total length with 16" inside cheek to cheek.

The bit I used was a 1 1/2" bottom cleaning bit. I did not vaccum the surface after each pass. As much shavings and dust on the sacrificial piece of 3/4" MDF there could have easily been something under one or all of the cheeks corners. As in Bob's post where he suggested using some true boards on top of the sacrificial boards for the skis rods to ride on should eliminate trash under the cheeks.

BTW the planing of the box lid you did to remove the incorrect dates was excellent. When my planing left ridges I thought it best to ask what I was doing wrong.

When you make passes is there any system you use as in double passes Down then up before resetting for the next pass?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco View Post
Ok Harry let me see if I understand the cause of the ridges left on your planing of the jarah wood. It was that the router ski rods 4 corners were not set precisely? But when you switched from a 1 3/4" bit to a 1" bit with out changing anything else the wood was re-planed and came out smooth and with out ridges? .....Other than putting equal sized pieces of scrap under the rods and against the inside of the cheeks, I see no other way to set the 4 corners evenly though as in my expierience I did not double check setting the rods to the cheeks for any slight variance. The pair of rods I used for this planing were roughly 18" total length with 16" inside cheek to cheek.

The bit I used was a 1 1/2" bottom cleaning bit. I did not vaccum the surface after each pass. As much shavings and dust on the sacrificial piece of 3/4" MDF there could have easily been something under one or all of the cheeks corners. As in Bob's post where he suggested using some true boards on top of the sacrificial boards for the skis rods to ride on should eliminate trash under the cheeks.

BTW the planing of the box lid you did to remove the incorrect dates was excellent. When my planing left ridges I thought it best to ask what I was doing wrong.

When you make passes is there any system you use as in double passes Down then up before resetting for the next pass?
Of course, the larger the diameter of the bit, the greater will be the ridge. In the test I was referring to a "just perceptible" ridge and so leaving the ski setting the same but reducing the diameter of the bit reduced this tiny ridge to not being detectable with my fingers.
Here are different methods that I've shown in projects, the vernier is as you would expect, the most accurate and the least accurate but fast and sufficient for most projects is the single strip of wood at each end. My skis are 27.5" long and so will exaggerate any error in the height of the four corners. Because of the width of my skis I can, on a wide board only have to move the router on the rods or turn the assembly round a second time because I can rout a strip in one direction and move the complete ski to the right and come back in the opposite direction until the ski end is against the wood, then it's time to move the router or flip the skis ready to carry on.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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I finished planing both sides of the boards I was working on this past weekend with better results as most passes left no ridge/lip. I double checked the 4 corners of the router skis cheeks/handles as well as double checking the corners of the board making sure there was no wobble by shimming any area/corner that was gapped. I used the same procedure as last time but took the project outside and blew off the dust and shavings after a complete pass. I still need to go back and get a uniform thickness on all 4 boards but it shouldn't take relatively as long as they are all close now.

On a related subject, I had another board that I had practiced planing with and tonight decided to see if I could use it on a small project. The board itself after practicing with it was left wedged meaning one face side was close to flat and the other face side was high on one edge and angled to its lowest point on the other edge. I was able to lay it on its almost true flat side and shim it where needed and then plane the wedged side flat... flip it and plane the other side flat.

It's nice to be able to take a board that is useless and form it in to something you can use.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco View Post
I finished planing both sides of the boards I was working on this past weekend with better results as most passes left no ridge/lip. I double checked the 4 corners of the router skis cheeks/handles as well as double checking the corners of the board making sure there was no wobble by shimming any area/corner that was gapped. I used the same procedure as last time but took the project outside and blew off the dust and shavings after a complete pass. I still need to go back and get a uniform thickness on all 4 boards but it shouldn't take relatively as long as they are all close now.

On a related subject, I had another board that I had practiced planing with and tonight decided to see if I could use it on a small project. The board itself after practicing with it was left wedged meaning one face side was close to flat and the other face side was high on one edge and angled to its lowest point on the other edge. I was able to lay it on its almost true flat side and shim it where needed and then plane the wedged side flat... flip it and plane the other side flat.

It's nice to be able to take a board that is useless and form it in to something you can use.
Been there done that Marco!
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