Planer Sled 2.0

glenn bradley

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10,356
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SoCal
This is straight out of Keith Rust's plans here:

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesPDF.aspx?id=24118

I just wanted to share how even I could do this :eek: :

The desire is to be able to face joint a board that is wider than your jointer. First you need some parts:

1 Parts.jpg

I used 3/4" BB Ply to make some braces. The result is like a torsion box. You want to build this on a known flat reference surface:

2 Braces.jpg

The top and bottom are glued and screwed to the braces. I offset the panels by about 1/2", marked and drilled the holes. This prevents the screws from running into each other from opposite sides of the base (a little blurry on this one, it must have been getting late):

4 Off Set.jpg

Gratuitous glue up shot. The panel and supports at the back of the bench are just setting there. This is not part of the assembly:

3 Glue Up.jpg

So here's the base assembly. The extra 5/16" hole at each end is for a dowel that will hold the bungee cord:

5 Base Assembly.jpg

Here's my amazingly refined and sophisticated jig to slot the support rails at 15 degrees to accept the leveling wedges:

6 Slot Jig.jpg

A little double stick tape, squared off 2x4 and some phony credit cards for shims and I can cut the 15 * wedges on the CMS:

7 Wedge Jig.jpg

And cut to length without changing the setup:

8 Wedge Jig 2.jpg

The end result is a row of adjustable supports to compensate for the irregularities of your board. The black stuff is stair tread, there's some on the wedges as well. The supports and wedges are loose. The bungee cord keeps them in place while in use and while being stored:

9 Adjustable Supports.jpg

Once adjusted the board sits still and you can plane the exposed surface. Once flat, you can set the jig aside and plane the board to thickness like usual. You want to keep the front of the board closer to the support than the distance from your infeed roller to your cutter head so that the board is under control before machining begins:

A Ready for Planer.jpg

The actual construction was not as involved as writing this post. This should tide me over till I can get a real jointer.
 
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glenn bradley

Member
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10,356
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SoCal
Very well. The trial run is what taught me to keep the front support close to the front of the board. If the infeed roller pushes down and the board's leading edge is not supported; things get ugly. DAMHIKT.

Update - This 2 x 4 could have been done on even my little jointer but, he was a pretty ugly duckling so I used him for an example.

Take out the wobble and make a pass:

2 x 4 Pass One.jpg

Take a couple more:

2 x 4 Pass Two.jpg

Put the jig away and machine as usual:

Swan.jpg
 
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glenn bradley

Member
Messages
10,356
Location
SoCal
Mine is a DW734 which is a 12 1/2". This was convenient as the Author used the same planer (or maybe a DW733 which looks real close) so I could use some of his measurements directly.

In general the base on mine is 12". This allows plenty of clearance in case you have to jockey the supports a bit. I used it again a little while ago and it is surprisingly easy to use.
 

Dan Strockis

Member
Messages
1
How do the supports not move?

This sled is something I really need. I'm halfway thru making it but I still can't wrap my mind around how the supports don't move at all as the sled travels thru the planer? Are they at all fastened down or do they at least have tread tape on the bottom?
 

glenn bradley

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10,356
Location
SoCal
This sled is something I really need. I'm halfway thru making it but I still can't wrap my mind around how the supports don't move at all as the sled travels thru the planer? Are they at all fastened down or do they at least have tread tape on the bottom?

There is tread material on the tops of the support blocks and on the tops of the wedges as you see in this pic above. The plans called for the wedges to have tread material on the bottoms. It works better on mine with the tread material on the tops of the wedges as far as keeping things in position until the little screws are 'pinky tight'. In this pic from the OP you can see the screws in the ends of the support blocks.

The tread material (don't use sandpaper unless you like grit in your knives) keeps the board from moving, the wedges are locked into position with just finger pressure on the screws which keeps the supports from moving and everything stays very solid. As of this writing I have used it a bunch and have never had anything shift on me. Watch the video again. It took me a couple viewings but then all of the sudden you get this "ah-ha" sensation. ;-)

P.s. I was very cautious my first few runs until I was sure nothing could get in the way of the knives. Support at the infeed and at the outfeed is crucial to safe use. I keep the outfeed a little high to avoid snipe.
 
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Messages
161
Location
Stockport, England
I like it, Glenn!

I have a 10" jointer but rarely use it for face jointing. This sled looks like it would be a lot easier in use.

I'm going to make me one and hang it up right next to the 'Evans Edger'!
 
Messages
2
Planer Sled cool, but question

Do you have the plans for the jig to make the slot in the support beams? I want to be sure all my angels line up.
Thanks AL
 

glenn bradley

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Messages
10,356
Location
SoCal
Do you have the plans for the jig to make the slot in the support beams? I want to be sure all my angels line up.
Thanks AL

Sorry, I just made that one up and tossed it when I was done. Basically it is a cradle similar to one you might use for making miter spline slots. I don't recall the angle but it is in the plans (15*?). I cut the cradle with two angled rips on the tablesaw. I then roughly screwed two stop blocks to hold the support rail in place during the cut.

The depth of the cradle was determined by the length of my router bit. The bit must cut through the cradle and into the support rail to the desired depth. I just took the max depth my bit would cut and reverse engineered it from there.

I know a diagram or at least some measurements would be much more helpful but I just sort of "winged" it. The slots just need to match the angle of the wedges. I wish this was more helpful. Anyone else out there who built this keep their jig or use another approach that could help Alan?
 
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Messages
103
Location
Shorewood, WI
The article says 15 degrees for the wedges, but I don't suppose it makes a lot of difference. I made one, and put tread material on the bottom of the wedges and the top of the crosswise supports as described. It is important to have a support at the very beginning, and the very end of your stock, as mentioned.

The wedges are quick to set if you do them in sequence. Start with the beginning and end ones, then as you set the others, hold the board down firmly, and jiggle the support back and forth as you slide the wedge tighter with the other hand. When the support stops moving, the wedge is set right and you can tighten the screw.

If you don't like the idea of running metal screws through your planer, even though they should stay away from the blades, there is another approach to fixing the wedges in position. I drilled holes through some of the crosswise supports, and then planed a wedge shape into some dowels that fit through the holes. These dowels sit alongside the wedges, and squeezing the dowel into place locks the wedge. These work, and are actually quicker to set than the screws. The disadvantage of the dowel wedges is that they are slower to remove, or to loosen for readjustment. Screws work fine.
 
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