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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After studying the numerous posts on router skis, many from Harry and BJ, I have created my own. The cheeks aren't finished yet - they need a coat of something to prevent them absorbing moisture, and to make them more slippery. The cheek shape is an exact copy of Harry's, however the rod attachment method is certainly BJ's. Although I've yet to actually use them, they seem very good. I used 18mm MDF, the rods are 12mm stainless steel (very smooth), the slots were routed with a 12.7mm spiral - the excess there doesn't seem to have created any wobbliness. Haven't been able to find any star washers (at all!) - let alone some that will permit a 12mm rod through. BJ says the rods will slip down the cheeks without star washers - so I need to get my hands on some.

Observations thus far:
1. the springs are easy to tension using a Irwin quick clamp with the rubber 'shoes' removed. I simply put the plastic feet of the clamp on the two lock collars, tighten the clamp then tighten the allen key to lock the lock collar in place. The springs seem to make the entire setup very rigid.

2. The inside lock collar might get in the way of the rails on my camboard (yet to be created so I don't know yet) - depending on how high in the slots I set the rods. I could always use a lower profile rail (was going to use 18mm mdf) if it's a problem.

3. The Makita 3612C's handles butt into the cheeks when the rods are at the bottom of the slots - I might modify the cheeks to remove this issue, if it becomes an problem.

Matthew

PS - here are a few pictures...
 

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Top Job!
They look good.
Just give them a few coats of varnish to seal them.

This is my next task, I started with my cam board after finding 30 or so blindnuts and a piece of mdf for 1.20 euro.
 

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Very nice, Matthew.

And I see you have the right router for the job...

Keep us up to date on progress
 

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Looking really good Matt. I'm eagerly awaiting for your report as to how well it works on a fairly heavy job like planing a rough block, also how long it takes to re-set the height making sure that all corners are the same height.
 

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HI Matt

Nice job :) :):big_boss:

" absorbing moisture" " more slippery " use some Johnson Floor Was (paste in the yellow can ) about 3 or 4 coats will do the trick, just for kicks do the same thing to some scraps and than put some water on them and watch the water bead up and run right off and than slide the stock over the work bench and you will see it just slides right over it with almost no drag...plus when you cut the slots out for the handles you cab re-coat them easy, the MDF will soak the wax right up and lock into the wood..

Star washers, just make your own, washer,, cut it with the hack saw, in 4 or 5 spots on the washer, take pair of wire cutters and turn the washer parts to the right (all the same way )(Stainless steel works best ) it will not rust and is very strong,it's not spring steel but almost..

"inside lock collar" should be fine, yours look about the same size I used and the rods will keep them up and out of the way.

To set all the rods the same on the cheeks, I put a scrap block under the router let it rest and lock them all it place at one time..then pull the scrap block out and you are set to run..

Here's a small tip, drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the cheeks on the bottom side so you fit in a 1/4" x 3/4" dowel pin and you just made a great cir.jig. one jig for more than one job...like a great edge guide..by just dropping one of the cheeks down and adding a slide block to rods to keep the router level..


Looking forward to your feed back..

Just a quicker way to adjust the rods on the cheeks and compress the springs..all in one move, you can get one for about 8.oo dollars, small eng.repair parts supply store or auto parts store parts ,off the spin rack..I know the tool below will get Harry going, he will say what the hell is that, don't Americans know about wing nuts ? or what .. :)

see below. ▼

KD Hand Tools 379 Small Engine Valve Spring Compressor

========

After studying the numerous posts on router skis, many from Harry and BJ, I have created my own. The cheeks aren't finished yet - they need a coat of something to prevent them absorbing moisture, and to make them more slippery. The cheek shape is an exact copy of Harry's, however the rod attachment method is certainly BJ's. Although I've yet to actually use them, they seem very good. I used 18mm MDF, the rods are 12mm stainless steel (very smooth), the slots were routed with a 12.7mm spiral - the excess there doesn't seem to have created any wobbliness. Haven't been able to find any star washers (at all!) - let alone some that will permit a 12mm rod through. BJ says the rods will slip down the cheeks without star washers - so I need to get my hands on some.

Observations thus far:
1. the springs are easy to tension using a Irwin quick clamp with the rubber 'shoes' removed. I simply put the plastic feet of the clamp on the two lock collars, tighten the clamp then tighten the allen key to lock the lock collar in place. The springs seem to make the entire setup very rigid.

2. The inside lock collar might get in the way of the rails on my camboard (yet to be created so I don't know yet) - depending on how high in the slots I set the rods. I could always use a lower profile rail (was going to use 18mm mdf) if it's a problem.

3. The Makita 3612C's handles butt into the cheeks when the rods are at the bottom of the slots - I might modify the cheeks to remove this issue, if it becomes an problem.

Matthew

PS - here are a few pictures...
 

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I'm thinking of finally getting around to making some skis myself now that I have a workshop space.
I think I have all the details I need except for one.
How often do ski users have the need to set up the router so it's not level within the skis ?
Seems to me it would be a rare need, so why have 4 different heights to adjust when you could just have 2 ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Bob

Thanks! Johnson Floor Wax - better than some kind of varnish, by the sounds of it? Should be easier to apply, that's for sure!

Will try making my own star washers...

One way to minimize the chances that the inside lock collar or washer will foul on the edge guide : lower profile edge guides. I cut two 20mm wide strips of 18mm thick MDF - however it does foul on the collar. I guess I could use something like 6mm ply edge guides - that way it would run under the collar/washer. The only risk is that the skis might jump over the low edge guide. Your thoughts?

Thanks for the tips re setting the heights, and the circle cutting jig - good idea!

One thing - I hate cutting corners with a bandsaw - see all those nasty saw marks on the mdf? That's after sanding them too! If I'd known how to cut the corners with the router, I would have done it.

Matthew

HI Matt

Nice job :) :):big_boss:

" absorbing moisture" " more slippery " use some Johnson Floor Was (paste in the yellow can ) about 3 or 4 coats will do the trick, just for kicks do the same thing to some scraps and than put some water on them and watch the water bead up and run right off and than slide the stock over the work bench and you will see it just slides right over it with almost no drag...plus when you cut the slots out for the handles you cab re-coat them easy, the MDF will soak the wax right up and lock into the wood..

Star washers, just make your own, washer,, cut it with the hack saw, in 4 or 5 spots on the washer, take pair of wire cutters and turn the washer parts to the right (all the same way )(Stainless steel works best ) it will not rust and is very strong,it's not spring steel but almost..

"inside lock collar" should be fine, yours look about the same size I used and the rods will keep them up and out of the way.

To set all the rods the same on the cheeks, I put a scrap block under the router let it rest and lock them all it place at one time..then pull the scrap block out and you are set to run..

Here's a small tip, drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the cheeks on the bottom side so you fit in a 1/4" x 3/4" dowel pin and you just made a great cir.jig. one jig for more than one job...like a great edge guide..by just dropping one of the cheeks down and adding a slide block to rods to keep the router level..


Looking forward to your feed back..

Just a quicker way to adjust the rods on the cheeks and compress the springs..all in one move, you can get one for about 8.oo dollars, small eng.repair parts supply store or auto parts store parts ,off the spin rack..I know the tool below will get Harry going, he will say what the hell is that, don't Americans know about wing nuts ? or what .. :)

see below. ▼

KD Hand Tools 379 Small Engine Valve Spring Compressor

========
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looking really good Matt. I'm eagerly awaiting for your report as to how well it works on a fairly heavy job like planing a rough block, also how long it takes to re-set the height making sure that all corners are the same height.
Hi Harry

Thanks! I'm looking forward to using them too - will let you know how they get on. It sounds like you're expecting them to slip... ;-))

Matthew
 

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Hi Matt

Thanks and Your Welcome

The router is a great tool to get the corners nice and true and clean, I use a sandwich jig the norm on the router table it's just two 1/4" thick parts of MDF stock and some project stock, I make a sandwich so to speak,the 1/4" MDF is (bread) cut on the band saw than project stock is screwed inside of the 1/4" thick MDF, I push in the project board in (the meat ) and chuck up a trim router bit in the router table and buzz off the corners ,they come out very clean and no band saw marks at all and they are always just the same, I will some times remove some of the corners to make it easy on the skew trim router bit, I do like to use the bigger CMT trim bit ( 3/4" OD bit) most of the time buit I also like using the MLCS trim bit below also.
Spiral Flush Trim Router Bit
MLCS solid carbide router bits

Star washers are easy to make :)

You may to get some
UHMW Slick Tape
UHMW Plastic Sheets and Strips

http://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/5768-corner-radius.html

=========

Hi Bob

Thanks! Johnson Floor Wax - better than some kind of varnish, by the sounds of it? Should be easier to apply, that's for sure!

Will try making my own star washers...

One way to minimize the chances that the inside lock collar or washer will foul on the edge guide : lower profile edge guides. I cut two 20mm wide strips of 18mm thick MDF - however it does foul on the collar. I guess I could use something like 6mm ply edge guides - that way it would run under the collar/washer. The only risk is that the skis might jump over the low edge guide. Your thoughts?

Thanks for the tips re setting the heights, and the circle cutting jig - good idea!

One thing - I hate cutting corners with a bandsaw - see all those nasty saw marks on the mdf? That's after sanding them too! If I'd known how to cut the corners with the router, I would have done it.

Matthew
 

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Get going mate, $30.00 plus about a million for transport, how much do you think it would cost to have the ends threaded, a LOT less than that.
 

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I'm thinking of finally getting around to making some skis myself now that I have a workshop space.
I think I have all the details I need except for one.
How often do ski users have the need to set up the router so it's not level within the skis ?
Seems to me it would be a rare need, so why have 4 different heights to adjust when you could just have 2 ?
Sorry Gav. but I don't quite understand your question. Other than perhaps routing an angled edge, and there are cutters to do this far easier, the cutter must be at right angles to the work-piece. The height adjustment is necessary to accommodate the wide range of jobs that can be performed with the ski mounted router.
In these shots, notice the difference in height of the router.
 

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Hi Harry

Thanks! I'm looking forward to using them too - will let you know how they get on. It sounds like you're expecting them to slip... ;-))

Matthew
And/or tear away the end cheeks due to the star washers, not of course immediately, but after about two weeks of the sort of use that I give my skis. I only post a fraction of the projects that I make, these without photographs (it's much faster that way!)
 

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Harry, I was just thinking that maybe it might be easier to set the skis up level if there was a piece of wood or something that joined the rods at both ends.
Guess I might either need to make what I'm thinking of, or at least do a sketchup drawing to get the idea across.
 

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I'm thinking of finally getting around to making some skis myself now that I have a workshop space.
I think I have all the details I need except for one.
How often do ski users have the need to set up the router so it's not level within the skis ?
Seems to me it would be a rare need, so why have 4 different heights to adjust when you could just have 2 ?
Hi Gavin:

I move my routers around through a variety of methods so every time I use skis, I'm having to "set" the rod height. I use a block of whatever I have handy. However, I might use it a bit differently than others, to wit:

1. I'll set the height of the rods at one end using a scrap block of wood, tighten down the wing nuts.

2. load the router onto the rails and setup the other ski and using the same block, tighten that end down.

3. when you go to set the router depth, the rods will deflect, use the same block to support the middle of the rods when you set the depth.

4. before you start the router, move the bit over where you want to start your cut. Place the block under the rods. Start the router, plunge to your depth and as you begin to move the skis, remove the block. I try to move the skis away from the block rather than "fish" the block out from under the skis while the router is running.

5. An alternative to the removal process, use a wedge to support the rods or router and just move the setup away from the wedge.

Having said all that, there are circumstances where you'll want to set your rods at different heights on the rods. One of the operations that I do is to slide the router across the rails, creating a slight angle on cauls.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi BJ - I couldn't follow those instructions!

Surely to cut a nice smooth round corner with a router, I need a template of sorts? And then either follow the template with a guide collar in the router, or a flush trim bit with bearing? If a template is needed, then a high quality (read : smooth and even) curve on the template is crucial. What about cutting a few different sized full circles with the router on a circle jig, and using them as templates? One could use both the actual circle itself (for convex, or outside corners), and the left over stock from the circle cutting exercise, for concave (or "inside" corners). I guess the trick is in securing the template so that the router can use it as a guide, without cramps and the like restricting the router's path.
 

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Hi Matt

This may help :)

Router Workshop: envelopejig

Router Workshop: rabbet bit pattern

========

Hi BJ - I couldn't follow those instructions!

Surely to cut a nice smooth round corner with a router, I need a template of sorts? And then either follow the template with a guide collar in the router, or a flush trim bit with bearing? If a template is needed, then a high quality (read : smooth and even) curve on the template is crucial. What about cutting a few different sized full circles with the router on a circle jig, and using them as templates? One could use both the actual circle itself (for convex, or outside corners), and the left over stock from the circle cutting exercise, for concave (or "inside" corners). I guess the trick is in securing the template so that the router can use it as a guide, without cramps and the like restricting the router's path.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Bob

Brilliant - thanks. Will have to make one of those "sandwich jigs" and see how I can use it with my free-hand router - I haven't made my RT yet!
 

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Hi Matt

Your Welcome :)

Use some 1/2" or 3/4" MDF stock to make your templates and then you can use your hand router easy..

===

Hi Bob

Brilliant - thanks. Will have to make one of those "sandwich jigs" and see how I can use it with my free-hand router - I haven't made my RT yet!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The big issue is how to get the template curve super smooth - I guess cutting it with the router in a circle jig is the best option? Anything cut with a saw is never going to be perfect.
 

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Hi Matt

Just sand it a little bit no need to get it perfect the bearing on the bit will not pick it up..it will just roll over it.. :)



=======

The big issue is how to get the template curve super smooth - I guess cutting it with the router in a circle jig is the best option? Anything cut with a saw is never going to be perfect.
 
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