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Making an overhead router sled/jig

27529 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  harry21030
Not sure what to call it, but after making a couple decent good router tables, I thought I'd try something different. I got a Bosch Colt palm router, and I really like it for small work. And I've always like working with the router on top instead of under the table. Great visibility & freedom, etc. So... I thought I'd rig up something with rails. Not built yet, but the ideas are something like this:

- a 2'x4' surface to handle 48" x 18" or so
- a pair of small t-rails (a) running along the 4' lengths
- larger rails (b) that slide along the t-rails above, lockable with knobs
- a pair of small t-rails (c) mounted to the above sliders, that run perpendicular to the first set
- a pair of larger rails (d) that slide along this second set of t-rails, again with knobs that can lock their travel
- a router plate (e) mounted to these rails, tying the two together
- So far, then, the plate can move left/right and fwd/back unless locked down, and the workpiece rests on the 2'x4' surface
- straight edges to be mounted lengthwise (since exposed surfaces (b) move)

Note: small rails above fit perfectly inside the larger rails with no slack.
Several problems exist with this design, including:

- there is no mitering, only 0 or 90 degree routing (I have bigger problems!)
(ps: with all knobs loose, this rig could move diagonally in theory)
- there is no way to raise/lower the work piece, nor the router plate
- since the rails are all aluminum, stability/precision may be a problem

I can beef it up by sinking some of the rails into wood. And/or gluing or welding rails (b and c) together, but I'm not sure locking at 90 degrees is a great idea. But the biggest issue is that there's no way to adjust the height of the router or work piece.

Short of a set of chain-driven cranks, I haven't thought of a way to address the height/depth issue. Any thoughts welcome. Anyone tried anything like this? Thanks.......

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Mike, thanks. More I think about it, this is a lot of overkill. It's not for production work at all. Just getting back into it, and my old router tables were fun but not so easy to change bits etc. Although short on power, I really like the palm because it's so tiny, and thought I could rig up something easy with sliders in both directions. But the more I got into it, it started to look less useful, more complicated, and kind of a dumb idea. Before I gave up on it, I thought I'd get some feedback here.

So, thanks for the tip, I'll checkout the Shopnotes article.
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