DIY Router Planing Sled - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default DIY Router Planing Sled

I've been doing a lot of projects lately using spent wine and bourbon barrel heads. I needed a good way to plane them as the coopers often use planks of varying thickness, not to mention the fact that wood+water=warpage.

I didn't want to drop the money (or take up the space in my garage) for a planer. Additionally, the full barrel head is ~24" in diameter, so most consumer planers wouldn't do the trick. I figured I'd just make one myself!

I used a piece of 3/4" MDF for the base and attached two 36" pieces of Uni-Strut 1-5/8" to either end. I then made a sled to ride over the top of the struts out of 1/2" and 3/4" MDF pieces that I glued and screwed. I used a 1.25" bottom-cutting bit (CMT 852.503.11B with the bearing removed) to cutout a channel the size of my router base. I attached to pieces of 1/2" MDF to the underside of each end to keep the sled from moving backward or forward.

To use it, I draw the router toward me, across the piece that I pin-nail to the jig, push the router back to the starting point, slide the sled over a bit, then take another pass. As always, it's best to make multiple shallow passes.

In the first pic, you can see the jig and a partially finished first pass (don't mind the "dummy marks"...I was stupid and tried to hold the router and the shopvac by myself, as my router won't work with both the dust attachment and edge guide). In the second pic, you can see the results...that's after a quick hand sanding with 120 grit, so you can tell the jig get's things pretty smooth. In both pics, you can tell that I need to clean my workshop. That's a neverending uphill battle.

All in all, I'm happy with the results!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 01:12 AM
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Welcome to the forum N/a.

There are many variations to the ski set up. That is another useful set up.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huckyourmeat View Post
I've been doing a lot of projects lately using spent wine and bourbon barrel heads. I needed a good way to plane them as the coopers often use planks of varying thickness, not to mention the fact that wood+water=warpage.

I didn't want to drop the money (or take up the space in my garage) for a planer. Additionally, the full barrel head is ~24" in diameter, so most consumer planers wouldn't do the trick. I figured I'd just make one myself!

I used a piece of 3/4" MDF for the base and attached two 36" pieces of Uni-Strut 1-5/8" to either end. I then made a sled to ride over the top of the struts out of 1/2" and 3/4" MDF pieces that I glued and screwed. I used a 1.25" bottom-cutting bit (CMT 852.503.11B with the bearing removed) to cutout a channel the size of my router base. I attached to pieces of 1/2" MDF to the underside of each end to keep the sled from moving backward or forward.

To use it, I draw the router toward me, across the piece that I pin-nail to the jig, push the router back to the starting point, slide the sled over a bit, then take another pass. As always, it's best to make multiple shallow passes.

In the first pic, you can see the jig and a partially finished first pass (don't mind the "dummy marks"...I was stupid and tried to hold the router and the shopvac by myself, as my router won't work with both the dust attachment and edge guide). In the second pic, you can see the results...that's after a quick hand sanding with 120 grit, so you can tell the jig get's things pretty smooth. In both pics, you can tell that I need to clean my workshop. That's a neverending uphill battle.

All in all, I'm happy with the results!
Welcome to the forum............(insert name here), whilst your jig is just fine, I'm sure that you would find the ski mounted router far more versatile.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 07:19 AM
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Question for Harry. What do you use to stop the holes in the router base from wearing when sliding on the ski sled? Greyghost(65)
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 08:51 AM
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Good idea and great job
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 10:32 AM
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The router is locked in position when using the ski jig. Once you have finished the area the router can reach by moving the jig back and forth you reposition the router towards the side and continue. The router is not constantly sliding on the rails so there is no wear.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 05:08 PM
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Here is a short demo:

The usual method is to lock the router to the rods and move the whole set up using the cheeks of the skis, not the first method of sliding the router along the rods.

Using router skis demo1 - YouTube

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Last edited by jw2170; 02-24-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 06:34 PM
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Good one James. Now this one (your demo) should be put up as sticky note...or with the other videos on the forum..many ask just what is a ski jig AND how do you use it ?, this would take of that.. GOOD JOB BUD


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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
Here is a short demo:

The usual method is to lock the router to the rods and move the whole set up using the cheeks of the skis, not the first method of sliding the router along the rods.

Using router skis demo1 - YouTube


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2013, 10:24 PM
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Nice set up and seems to work well for your application. Good job.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyghost(65) View Post
Question for Harry. What do you use to stop the holes in the router base from wearing when sliding on the ski sled? Greyghost(65)
In use the router is positioned along the rods and locked. the whole assembly is moved by holding the ski ends, this gives a great deal of mechanical advantage and for jobs like routing signs with or without raised letters the assembly can be "inched" where necessary.
Here are a few examples of what can be done with the ski mounted router. I've added a pdf showing the making of a set of router skis.
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