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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Router sled

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.
Thanks Harry for the pics, and to the other gents for the demo and input. Grey ghost
 

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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.
Thanks for the welcome!

While the ski mount seems more versatile, it wouldn't work with my particular router because the base of my router only has the appropriate holes on one half of the router. It didn't seem like it would be a sturdy enough mount in that case due to the radial torque.

Additionally, my workspace is relatively small and I needed the ability to plane up to 24" diameter barrel heads. Due to the larger material size and the small workspace, I ruled out any sort of a jig where the router was fixed and the "sled" would slide fore and aft. That's why, with the sled I created, the router moves in the sled. Because of that, I don't need any space beyond the outside of the dimensions of the base of the jig.

Thanks for the suggestions and I want to be clear: I'm not in any way suggesting that my jig is better than any other (and I do agree that the ski-mount would be more versatile)...it's just what I needed in order to work best in my particular situation.

Glad I found this forum!
Corey
 

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Thanks for this

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.
Harry ..... Your PDF with the photos and explanations was excellent. It made the process very easy to understand. And you know what they say " A picture is worth a thousand words " Thanks for posting it.
 

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Hi, Corey.

Welcome to the forum.

Your planing sled looks great. Do you have a picture showing the conection among the sled and the unis-trut? I have some pieces of this kind of structures and maybe I´ll try this jig.

Best regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi, Corey.

Welcome to the forum.

Your planing sled looks great. Do you have a picture showing the conection among the sled and the unis-trut? I have some pieces of this kind of structures and maybe I´ll try this jig.

Best regards.
I don't have any pictures at the moment but I'll take some when I get home. It's pretty basic, though. I made the top sled piece 3 inches longer than it needed to be and then glued and screwed a 1.5" piece (a little less so the sled could slide freely) of 1/2" MDF to the bottom.

I know the description isn't that great so I'll get some more pictures later!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi, Corey.

Welcome to the forum.

Your planing sled looks great. Do you have a picture showing the conection among the sled and the unis-trut? I have some pieces of this kind of structures and maybe I´ll try this jig.

Best regards.
I attached some pictures. Sorry that the one of the upside-down sled is a little blurry.

I rebuilt my original sled to have a 1/4" MDF insert on the part where the router slides so that would be more uniform and so that I can replace it if needed. I also moved the ends of the sled that catch the Unistrut in so that the fit is a little tighter. Not necessary, but I just like the feel of planing with a lot less fore/aft movement in the sled.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
 

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Harry ..... Your PDF with the photos and explanations was excellent. It made the process very easy to understand. And you know what they say " A picture is worth a thousand words " Thanks for posting it.
Thank you Steve, I'm one of those who find descriptions difficult to visualize, hence my technique of making and posting photo-shoots so that others with the same problem can fully understand how I do things.
 

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Hi, Corey.

Thank you for the pictures. I though that the sled`s supports were placed inside the unistru. It is vwry simplw. Again, thank you very much.
 
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