Router Planer Sled

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Project by TZH posted 11-22-2009 06:36 AM 53985 views 76 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This planer is a centerpiece of my workshop. It is a variation of several plans I’ve seen for router planers (I went through several iterations of design before settling on this one as the best of the lot I had come up with). Most of the planers I used as my inspiration were for smoothing rough lumber. In my case, I needed something that was height adjustable because I work on slabs that are much thicker than rough cut lumber and on table bases that need to have top and bottom be parallel (I tried the chain saw, grinder, sander method and found I’m about as inept as I can possibly be at getting a really good, level surface doing it that way). So I came up with a configuration I’m really happy with. It includes the piping shown (all of which are available at your local hardware store). The stop collars allow me to micro-adjust the height of the rails so I can accommodate any piece up to 36” in height. I’ve done some sofa and coffee table bases with really good results. The angle iron I used for the sled provides a track in which the router moves back and forth rather than attaching the router to a sled where the whole apparatus moves. My sled runs on the rails very nicely and gives me a lot of control when making passes over the piece I’m working on. I’ve taken a 13” thick piece down to a thickness of 6” (second photo) flat on both sides. This piece will eventually become a wine rack for another one of our sons. I really need to be patient when planing a really thick piece as the depth of cut is very limited on each pass I take off. But, the best part of all of this planer is that it was really cheap to make. The only cost was the piping and the flanges they mount to. The rest of the materials I already had on hand. When I’m done routing, the table comes apart easily for storage, so takes up very little room in my shop.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

26 comments so far

View peruturner's profile


317 posts in 4335 days

#1 posted 11-22-2009 06:48 AM


View HalDougherty's profile


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#2 posted 11-22-2009 06:58 AM

great setup for a router plane that does any size chunk of wood. I like it…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4661 days

#3 posted 11-22-2009 08:07 AM

Great job …very versatile : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View studie's profile


618 posts in 4120 days

#4 posted 11-22-2009 08:40 AM

That’s great Ted! I want to make one myself & you have given me the inspiration to do so. We can’t all have the space or money for the kind of tooling that your machine can do but this is the answer to my need for making slabs flat & parallel. Thanks for posting such an ingenuous device. This is why this site is so great, INVENTION! YAY AMERICANS!

-- $tudie

View studie's profile


618 posts in 4120 days

#5 posted 11-22-2009 08:52 AM

This has me at the desk designing & I want to have screw jacks at all 4 corners. Great idea Ted!

-- $tudie

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4563 days

#6 posted 11-22-2009 11:56 AM

Great idea!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View stefang's profile


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#7 posted 11-22-2009 12:19 PM

Wonderful inventive jig. It looks like you have to make a bit of a stretch to slide the router from one side to the other. I wondered if you attach a handle to the router to push and pull with to save your back? I was also thinking that this jig would be great to flatten one side of a log so it could be sliced up in the bandsaw. I would love to have something like this, but I’m afraid it would be a sawdust nightmare in my small shop. I saw you had a fan with a filter strategically placed, and I think that is also a very good idea. Thanks for sharing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TZH's profile


597 posts in 4113 days

#8 posted 11-22-2009 04:37 PM

Stefang – There is a “bit of a stretch” from one rail to the other. I haven’t tried a piece yet that fits snugly between the rails. All the pieces I’ve done so far sit pretty close to the rail closest to the edge of the table where I stand. Please understand, I placed the rails as far apart as I possibly could to accommodate any size pieces. They don’t necessarily need to be placed that far apart. I don’t think a handle on the router would work either because of the upward pressure on the router as a pass is made. Unless you could come up with some sort of hold down or slot for the router that would keep it firmly in the track, I don’t think I’d try just a handle. As far as flattening one side of a log for milling in the bandsaw, that’s primarily the idea behind having a planer like this. My original intention was to make fireplace mantels out of lags too big initially to run through my bandsaw, and plane them down to a size that would fit. On the dust collection, the fans went away as the amount of air flow created just contributed more to the dust in the shop. What I ultimately came up with (not shown) were two large pieces of plywood that acted pretty much as shields against which the sawdust just fell to the tabletop. I imagine a day when I’ll design something more practical, but until then, the plywood seems to work pretty well.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4865 days

#9 posted 11-22-2009 05:19 PM

There are a few Lumber Jocks that have built planer sleds. I don’t know if anyone has seen it, but Woodhaven has just come out with a planer sled that is available in three different sizes. The price also looks very attractive.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View SteveMI's profile


1167 posts in 4267 days

#10 posted 11-22-2009 05:53 PM

TZH – Super simple concept. I’m amazed you don’t see any bowing in the angle iron when the router is in the center. What bit do you use?

I’ve been looking at Whiteside CNC spoilboard cutter that is 2 1/2” cutting diameter for 1/2” shank. Bit pricey at $225, but has package of 10 replaceable carbide inserts at 10% of the cutter price.

Closetguy – just looked at the Woodhaven sled and it seems to be a bargain with the router plate, extruded frame and bearings.


View TZH's profile


597 posts in 4113 days

#11 posted 11-22-2009 06:13 PM

SteveMI – The reason I’ve not seen any bowing so far is because the angle iron is pretty heavy duty, and I haven’t put that much pressure on the center of the rails. I’ve been using a 3/4” straight bit, but am going to go to a bottom cleaning bit as soon as I can afford to get one. The Woodhaven sled looks like it would take care of the issue that stefang identified (a long stretch from one rail to the other). I’d get one, but my planer design is going to have to work for awhile until I can afford to upgrade.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4550 days

#12 posted 11-22-2009 06:17 PM

View Kolmar's profile


20 posts in 4102 days

#13 posted 11-22-2009 07:37 PM

I need to build me one of those!

-- Kolmar

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4261 days

#14 posted 11-22-2009 07:41 PM

great idea

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View JoeinDE's profile


450 posts in 4296 days

#15 posted 11-23-2009 04:44 AM

I like your plan. I use something similar to what gharard made because I don’t have the funds for a planer. I also use the same economical airhandling system that you use (filter over a fan).


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