Cutting a thin wedge for a ramp. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cutting a thin wedge for a ramp.

In order to use all my woodworking machinery, I typically have to 'walk' or carry the machines from their storage area in my garage to a hard-standing outside. I have just purchased a few sets of industrial grade locking PU castors and intend building mobile bases for the heaviest items such as my 14" Bandsaw, Planer/Thicknesser and Table Saw. My problem though is that at the exit from the garage, there is single 4" step to go up, currently I either carry the stuff over the lip or carefully walk it (Bandsaw) up the step.

For the mobile bases I plan to build a ramp which will have a shallow angle and for the main part I intend to use 3/4" plywood which will be supported underneath by a bit of 2x4 at the back with a couple of wedges to support the plywood under the slope of the ramp.

The problem I am having is working out the best way to cut the bottom edge of the plywood to match the angle of the ramp. The only way I can think of is to build a couple of rails just below the finished height of the ramp, put the 3/4" plywood inside the rails upside down and supported at the same angle as is required for the finished slope and then use the router to cut straight across the board back and forth to reduce the thickness of the plywood as it comes forward until such time as the slope is complete.

Can anyone suggest an easier method to do this please?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 03:04 PM
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Hi, Eddie;
you could use a 2x4 on the flat, at the bottom, going across, saw or plane to the correct slope. Rout a rebate across at the top edge to receive the bottom edge of the plywood. Obviously the plywood edge is 3/4" thick and a 90deg. face.
Two advantages:
-plywood isn't weakened at the bottom
-it doesn't sit against the concrete, never a good thing.
Two other other possibilities are to simply do a 3/4" roundover on the top of the bottom; or buy a metal transition strip from the flooring shop.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Hi, Eddie;
you could use a 2x4 on the flat, at the bottom, going across, saw or plane to the correct slope. Rout a rebate across at the top edge to receive the bottom edge of the plywood. Obviously the plywood edge is 3/4" thick and a 90deg. face.
Two advantages:
-plywood isn't weakened at the bottom
-it doesn't sit against the concrete, never a good thing.
Two other other possibilities are to simply do a 3/4" roundover on the top of the bottom; or buy a metal transition strip from the flooring shop.
Hi Dan,

Thanks, some useful suggestions there, it's funny how you get single minded with an approach to a problem and can't see other easier options.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 06:20 AM
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I have a picture in my mind, but it might be different than where you want to end up.

My thought would be to add thin gauge steel to the bottom of the ramp. Not too thin. It is also possible you could find a premade extrusion that would fit over the plywood.

I thin that kind of solve will add life to your ramp. Might be a good idea for both ends...

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 08:53 AM
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Eddie, do you have a table saw and a tapering jig? That's the way to cut wedges. Make the deck (the top surface) from plywood and space several identical wedges under your deck. This isn't a router project.

Physics 101: The flatter the angle - the easier the move upward. Bigger diameter wheels also roll easier than smaller diameter wheels - especially across "humps and bumps".

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 09:40 AM
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I can't help thinking that concrete would solve the problem.

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Last edited by harrysin; 06-05-2014 at 09:44 AM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 10:13 AM
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My cheap solution to the 'step' between my drive and garage is a piece of 1/2" pipe. The 3 inch casters have no problem starting up on this when rolling them into the garage. My jointer was the hardest to get in and out because it has the lowest 'ground clearance' of my mobile tools, and it works pretty well.

The 4 inch casters on my other tools glide over it very nicely.

The ramp is one I bult a while back, it is PT 2 x 6 lumber cut down into the ramp shape I needed. It originally had pallet wood decking covered with carpeting, now it has PT decking on it. Where the radiused edge of the decking comes down, it makes a pretty decent transition. You could proably use a larger roundover if necessary.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 10:37 AM
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FYI the ADA standard for ramps is 5°, 1 in/ft or 1 cm/12 cm. From experience I cantell you that even this slope can be steep. especially if the ramp is at all slick.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 01:30 PM
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Default Step to lower level ramp.

Hi Eddie,
You should be able to tilt the arbor or table of your saw to make the cut at the top of the ramp (abuting the step riser) with the panel flat on the saw table. The narrow angle where the ramp meets the lower surface is best made by adding a transition piece - 2X4 or 2X6 ripped to the proper angle. The narrow angle in the transition piece) can be cut with the stock positioned on edge on the saw table. Use a feather board clamped to the saw table to hold the bottom edge of the transition piece against the fence and clamps (I like parallel jaw wooden handscrews) on the transition piece at such a position to ride against the top of the saw fence. This will give you something to hold which is well away from the ever present danger of amputation by saw. If the cut is too long to complete in one pass make a secong (right angle) cut to remove most of the waste, then plane the remainder of the bevel. Congratulations on asking other experienced workers when you are not certain of operations. Eyes and fingers are irreplaceable - don't risk loosing them from careless operations.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 02:20 PM
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I agree with Harry. If you leave the plywood in place, touching the ground, it will absorb water and rot, even the treated stuff. It is not made for ground contact. You could make you a slot in a treated post (made for ground contact) to receive the plywood and bury the post down to ground level. I think the post is good for at least 20 years. But concrete is forever.
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