Plane with a router

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Project by SASmith posted 11-18-2010 11:15 PM 10180 views 10 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently purchased a 3 in thick maple butcher block table at auction. The table is 30” wide over 6’ long and way too heavy for my drum sander and too wide for my planer. My solution was to scab on a couple of 2×4s to my router planer sled I built to surface cutting boards (before I built a drum sander). This jig uses torsion box construction(glued buttjoints with brads). The core is made of particleboard and skinned with thin plywood.
pic 1: Jig on table after the job was complete.
pic 2: Underside view of the jig.
pic 3: Skin showing pencil lines of where the core pieces are placed.
Pic 4: Shows method used to mount the router

The table was cupped just over 1/4” on the top. I used 4 passes in about 30 minutes to resurface the top with the router then some light sanding. I bought this table for $20 because most people did not know what it was….it was covered with formica. Do you think that formica on the top and not on the bottom caused this top to cup? This top will find a new home on a workbench I intend to build soon. Questions and comments welcome.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

14 comments so far

View olddutchman's profile


187 posts in 5271 days

#1 posted 11-18-2010 11:34 PM

The formica on one side held the covered area while the bare area could take on moisture. Sounds like a good buy and a great cure for Your table top!

-- Saved, and so grateful, consider who Created it ALL!!!

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4377 days

#2 posted 11-19-2010 12:48 AM

Nice Idea !!! Good Buy, Recycled !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View TheDane's profile


6029 posts in 4999 days

#3 posted 11-19-2010 03:05 AM

Wish I would have run across a deal like that … Nice Work!


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 4283 days

#4 posted 11-19-2010 05:36 AM

Great idea, should make a super bench top. thanks.

-- Smitty

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4219 days

#5 posted 11-19-2010 06:15 AM

Great find!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4697 days

#6 posted 11-19-2010 11:32 AM

Sweet find.

View Ken90712's profile


18099 posts in 4525 days

#7 posted 11-19-2010 11:48 AM

Smoking deal nice score!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1369 posts in 5335 days

#8 posted 11-19-2010 10:36 PM

That’s a lot of routing but well worth it!

-- Bob A in NJ

View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 4289 days

#9 posted 11-23-2010 05:00 AM

Nice job.

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4323 days

#10 posted 11-24-2010 02:13 AM

Thank you for all the comments.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Belg1960's profile


1161 posts in 4401 days

#11 posted 10-31-2011 12:59 AM

Real nice job on the save of this piece. Could you walk thru how the actual cutting was done? Do you use stops on the sides so it doesn’t cut out of the 2×4 frame? How do you progress forward do you measure a little less than the width of the bit and then slide it back and forth??

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4323 days

#12 posted 11-01-2011 01:07 AM

Belg1960: I did not use stops. You easily could clamp/screw some wooden stops to the underside of the the router jig. In pic 4 the 2×4 on the left is sacrificial and is planed/routed just like the maple. The sacrificial 2×4 gives you 1 1/2” of play on each side of the table and keeps you from rubbing the 2×4 guide(the 2×4 on the right in pic 4)

The way I did it: As I recall I made 1 or 2 passes down the 6’ long edge. Then I started making all the short (24”)passes. No measuring or marking needed. I think the bit I used was about 1 1/2” in diameter and I tried to only take about 3/4” at a time in width and about 1/16” in depth. I would route the whole top then go back to get the few spots I missed. Then I would lower the bit another 1/16” and do it all again.

If you have any more questions just ask I would be happy to try and help.


-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Belg1960's profile


1161 posts in 4401 days

#13 posted 11-01-2011 02:45 AM

Scott, thanks much for the explanation makes perfect sense. Now when I have a project like this I’ll know how to flatten it.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View oldnovice's profile


7769 posts in 4704 days

#14 posted 12-04-2012 07:40 AM

Don’t let the plane-aholics see how you did this!

Good trick well worth the effort!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

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