Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents - Tools & Equipment - Contractor Talk

Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents

 
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Old 12-16-2018, 04:22 PM   #1
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Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


Decided to make some gifts this year rather than buy them. My sister loves cooking so I figured I'd make her a cutting board. Sounded easy enough, except I don't have a jointer or thickness planer. Figured I'd have a go at making a flattening sled similar to how a CNC router table functions.

Made the whole thing out of half a sheet of 1/2" Maple ply (only thing HD had that was even remotely flat) Cut the bed 26x48, with 2(2) pieces of 2-1/2"x1/2"x48" laminated together and glued/nailed to 48" length of the bed. 4 strips 1-1/2, glued together to make (2) 1-1/2"x1" stiffeners, routed a notch in the inside bottom corner to allow the router base plate to slide in while holding it flat. Used the router as a spacer then glued/pocket screwed the rails to the guide.

Used router with panel pilot bit to cut center out of the guide for router bit to pass through. Thing worked great, way better than I was expecting.

Attached Thumbnails
Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_163401.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_164955.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_165121.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_165214.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_165323.jpg  

Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_171146.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_172926.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_172950.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_175736.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_181006.jpg  

Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_205037.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181215_205927.jpg  

Last edited by TRThomas; 12-16-2018 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 12-16-2018, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


Nicely done sir.

I doff my hat to you.

Andy.

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Old 12-16-2018, 11:55 PM   #3
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


And so it continues.

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Old 12-18-2018, 12:30 AM   #4
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


Finished this thing up this evening. Tt was fun and all making it with job site carpentry tools and all but if I'm ever going to do something like this again I NEED a jointer and thickness planer. And of you guys have any recommendations? Definitely can't have either as stationary tools, as much as I'd love some old solid cast iron 3 phase variants. Something I could easily move around and store on a shelf (meaning its light enough for 1 person to pick it up and set it on a shelf). Also, the cheapest non-POS would be preferred. Might get used 5-10 times a year, or maybe not at all so light duty would be fine.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:16 AM   #5
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


looks like a fun little project and it looks great. I've been thinking of making a chess board, not ready to tackle it yet though.

timely post about making your sled. just saw a similar article in Fine Woodworking (I think) where they flattened a large slab using this method. cool (y)
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:22 AM   #6
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


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looks like a fun little project and it looks great. I've been thinking of making a chess board, not ready to tackle it yet though.

timely post about making your sled. just saw a similar article in Fine Woodworking (I think) where they flattened a large slab using this method. cool (y)
Thanks, it was interesting to try something like this and definitely something I can see myself doing more of. A chess board would be very similar to make, a bit simpler though as every piece of wood would be the same dimensionally. Can't say I'm not contemplating making a chess board, and the cheapo Harbor Freight lathe I recently acquired is perfect for turning chess pieces.

I actually ordered a 1-1/2" flattening bit last night which should yield a much better finish for nothing but finish sanding, along with the fact that it will cut over 2x more per pass. I think I'm going to use the rest of the 8/4 Walnut, Maple, Purple Heart and Padauk I have to make 4-5 more cutting boards, and maybe a chess board depending on what kind of material I'm left with. I also found the jointing shims for my router table fence, so I should be able to joint the pieces should they need it.

I've been mulling over the process and I'm thinking I can turn out 4 of them in the time it took me to make the first one and eliminate the alignment issues I had.
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Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181217_235325.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181217_235225.jpg   Made a router flattening sled to flatten Christmas presents-20181217_235135.jpg  
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


For stuff like this, I usually start out with just a scrub plane or maybe a #4 plane to hog out using winding boards to site the flatness. Then use my #7 jointer plane to get a flat surface over the entire board. Then use a low angle block on end grain like this.
That's a butt load of work though. If I was to do four at a time I like your method.


Andy.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:36 PM   #8
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


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For stuff like this, I usually start out with just a scrub plane or maybe a #4 plane to hog out using winding boards to site the flatness. Then use my #7 jointer plane to get a flat surface over the entire board. Then use a low angle block on end grain like this.
That's a butt load of work though. If I was to do four at a time I like your method.


Andy.
Thanks for the info. I've been passively looking for an old #7 to restore/use. I only have a low angle block and #4 and 92 shoulder plane. Theres nothing more satisfying than hand planing something to a perfect flatness/finsih. Like you said, it would take a lot of time. I can see myself making a cutting board with nothing but hand tools, probably not end grain like this simply because there are so many cuts rip and crosscut through 1-1/4" to 1-5/8" really hard hardwoods.

Depending on how well the surfacing router bit works, I may make a better, adjustable bed/sled out aluminum extrusions on HDPE slides or bearings and spare myself the need for a thickness planer.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:37 PM   #9
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


I've used this for some really enormous slabs.

Get a Whiteside or CMT spoil board bit. They're spendy but they're 2" and have carbide inserts. Well worth the price of admission being as when you buy them, you'll probably never buy another flattening jig.

If you make rails to hold the jig and coinciding rails to hold the workpiece you will joint and plane at the same time. Make sure the to perpendicular rails are exact measurements apart. It also works if you just want to Jerry rig something with a water level and saw horses.
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:45 PM   #10
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


Meh, 30" jointer is my go to.

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Old 12-19-2018, 04:21 PM   #11
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


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Meh, 30" jointer is my go to.

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Just seems soooooooo much simpler that way.
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:39 PM   #12
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


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Just seems soooooooo much simpler that way.
The 36" facer will be even more simple. Lol

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Old 12-19-2018, 11:16 PM   #13
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


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Meh, 30" jointer is my go to.

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Feed it with the forklift?

That's a giant friggin jointer. The 24" I saw was massive enough.

Go big and just get one of those monster greenlee or Yates American double sided planers
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:28 PM   #14
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Re: Made A Router Flattening Sled To Flatten Christmas Presents


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The 36" facer will be even more simple. Lol

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What would something of that size even be used for? Facing slabs? Facing a large entry door? Or just the ability to feed a whole bunch of pieces side by side?
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:19 AM   #15
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Feed it with the forklift?



That's a giant friggin jointer. The 24" I saw was massive enough.



Go big and just get one of those monster greenlee or Yates American double sided planers
My whitney 970 is 13k pounds of awesomeness

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Old 12-20-2018, 06:20 AM   #16
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What would something of that size even be used for? Facing slabs? Facing a large entry door? Or just the ability to feed a whole bunch of pieces side by side?
Slabs, any rough stock. Just start feeding away.

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