Flattening Panel w/ Router Jig? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default Flattening Panel w/ Router Jig?

Hi All - I'm new to this forum but a member of Woodnet Forums for 8 yrs, so not a 'new' woodworker, but one that has been retired for a year and wanting to do more w/ wood and as easily & efficiently as possible.

Glued-up panels - just a pain for me to flatten! (like the smileys here, BTW).

What are my current options: 1) Jointer (Yorkcraft 6"); 2) Makita 12" thickness planer; 3) Belt sanders (several of various sizes); and 4) Planes up to a jointer size (not very good but improving in this area). Thus, I can 'flatten' my glue-ups but takes TIME!

SO (and I did a search to try to find an answer to my question), what are the options for a versatile router jig to handle this issue; and what might be the best router bit to achieve this purpose? I own a number of routers that can handle 1/2" bits.

SORRY, if my search did not 'turn up' an obvious answer, but still interested in YET another option to flattening these panels; plan to start making MORE! Thanks - Dave
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 09:17 PM
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Hi Dave.

What are the dimensions for the panels? that has a big influence on the best method to use.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Dave.
What are the dimensions for the panels? that has a big influence on the best method to use.
Hello James - of course, the panels will vary depending on my project, but the main dimension is the width beyond 12" (which will not work w/ my thickness planer), the length could be similar or more likely up to 24" to 36" (such as a glued-up book shelf).

My main issue in the past (and I've made plenty of glued-up panels) have been in slight uneven margins @ the glue lines - possibly a router jig to reduce those lines and then some planing & sanding may be a solution for me? Not sure, but was just curious if others here have used a router to partially or completely flatten panels w/ a jig? Thanks for any comments or advice from members here - Dave
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 12:04 AM
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giradman View Post
Hi All - I'm new to this forum but a member of Woodnet Forums for 8 yrs, so not a 'new' woodworker, but one that has been retired for a year and wanting to do more w/ wood and as easily & efficiently as possible.

Glued-up panels - just a pain for me to flatten! (like the smileys here, BTW).

What are my current options: 1) Jointer (Yorkcraft 6"); 2) Makita 12" thickness planer; 3) Belt sanders (several of various sizes); and 4) Planes up to a jointer size (not very good but improving in this area). Thus, I can 'flatten' my glue-ups but takes TIME!

SO (and I did a search to try to find an answer to my question), what are the options for a versatile router jig to handle this issue; and what might be the best router bit to achieve this purpose? I own a number of routers that can handle 1/2" bits.

SORRY, if my search did not 'turn up' an obvious answer, but still interested in YET another option to flattening these panels; plan to start making MORE! Thanks - Dave
Welcome Dave,

If I'm planing a wide surface, then I use the method Chris posted in the second video he linked to. Lots of members here use what is called a router ski... It's basically the same thing. (I built one...)

Both methods work. It's slow and tedious. If I had to do that to every glue-up panel I made, well time is money and I'd be losing money. So isn't the real question on how to glueup panels to where all you have to do is scrape off some glue and sand?

If so, we just had a recent thread on glue-edges that has a lot of those answers. Yes, it boils down to prep work and your work flow. Check board thickness. If different, plane. Match the grain and color in your pieces. Set the finished side, order and orientation. Get your glue-edge between adjacent pieces. Glue and set on kauls, Clamp and tighten/clamp kauls. Wipe excess glue. Tap all pieces towards the finished side and that kaul side, to line up the finished side of the joint. Let dry. Scrape off any excess glue. Sand.

So my glue-ups end up with very little sanding to do on the finished side, with a little more to do on the unfinished side. All my glue-edge tooling is from the finish side. All my tooling is referenced from the finished side. The finished side is the most visual.

If your having to plane every glue-up... you're doing a lot of work & you're putting a lot of wear on your tools. This is a hobby(?) It sounds like you are making it harder that it should be.

Now- When I get a piece of oversized rough sawn with some to die for grain, yes I spent my time planing it and feel it's time well spent.

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 07-24-2012 at 01:14 AM.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 09:33 AM
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The router skis are very versatile.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 11:03 AM
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Hi Dave

I built my own jig to flatten a laminated bench top of about 36 inches by ten feet. I took the parallel tubes from an old rowing exercise machine, and replaced the seat with a platform to hold my router. I built clamp supports at each end of the tubes, and set it up so the router platform could slide back and forth sideways across the bench top. I put guide boards on each side of the top to provide a level surface for the jig to sit on. Once built I set the jig on top of the bench top and just kept working it back and forth and moving it along the length of the bench top. It worked very well. Of course, once I was done with the router I had to finish smooth with sanders. Old rowing machines can often be found very cheap at thrift shops and garage sales.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:09 PM
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"but still interested in YET another option to flattening these panels"
***************************
Have jointer & planer? Then I can get you to finished stock without remilling.
T&G on equal thickness stock, glue up on a press frame. Not much more than that.
Email for finer points if desired.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Chris - thanks for the links! You know I rarely view youtube videos but there is a LOT of information available - should use the service more! I was rather surprised by the young man doing a LARGE table top w/ his router jig - did not notice any 'ear or eye production' nor a dust mask - Dave
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
Welcome Dave,

.....It's slow and tedious...........

If so, we just had a recent thread on glue-edges that has a lot of those answers. Yes, it boils down to prep work and your work flow............

So my glue-ups end up with very little sanding to do on the finished side, with a little more to do on the unfinished side. All my glue-edge tooling is from the finish side...............

If your having to plane every glue-up... This is a hobby(?) It sounds like you are making it harder that it should be.
Hi Mike - thanks for your comments - just left a few highlights in the quote above.

Those sleds are certainly going to be a tedious experience w/ the size of router bits, which would likely be another discussion, e.g. the bigger the better to a point?

I'll try to find that thread on 'glue-up edges' - I've done plenty of options in the past from just edge joining (if the boards are really flat and fit together well - probably should be my goal in the future?), biscuits (which are just too loose to correct minor edge problems in my experience), dowels (which bring a tighter fit but are time consuming and jig dependent which I have), and others that I'm not recalling @ the moment.

My panel 'flatness' has varied - sometimes 'spot on' and other times glue line ridges to correct - in the past I used my belt sander first, but have invested in a lot of planes (mostly Veritas) over the last decade, so just trying to learn how each fits into this process.

In upcoming projects that require panels, I'll spend some more time preparing the stock for flatness and fit - NOW that I'm retired, the time is there - thanks again - Dave
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