Surface planing with router
I would like the groups comments/opinions on this... I have a small project where I want to flatten/plane a 14” square work piece with a router. The materials are Purple Heart and hard maple. I don’t own a thickness planer. YouTube videos and Sketch-Up plans suggest using co-planar rails on opposite sides of the work piece and building a “bridge” spanning them on which you slide a handheld router back-and-forth in successive passes.
Alternative idea: Because I own a fairly large router table with 3 ½ hp router, why not move the work piece across the router rather than the router across the piece? The advantages as I see them are you don’t need the handheld router swinging a fairly large planing bit nor do you need the bridge arrangement across the rails. Also the table is very flat as a running surface as opposed to potential sag with the bridged arrangement. I would rip the guide rails parallel and ensure they are co-planar by clamping them to the work piece while sitting on the flat, cast iron, machined router table. I would then flip the whole arrangement over and re-clamp from the top. This arrangement would run against the fence in successive passes (by adjusting the fence) until each surface is complete. Each pass would be the lightest skim-cut possible to ensure the full surface is flattened. Too, I would have spacers between the rails and the work piece to allow the bit to overshoot the piece slightly to get the entire surface.
I have not seen this approach used anywhere and this make me a little cautious. Are there drawbacks that you see? Would it not yield a good result? Does it appear dangerous? Has anyone done it this way?
Your feedback would be very welcome and thanks.