Router Sled for Planing - On the Cheap

  • Advertise with us
Project by GlennsGrandson posted 03-28-2013 05:17 PM 25028 views 72 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been recently trying my hand at some end grain cutting boards that a co-worker has been haggling me for. The first board glue-up didn’t go so well, I figured that out with a jig on the second one though (more on the Trials & Tribulations of End Grains CB’s another day).

I hand flattened the first side with my MillersFalls No.22, what a workout!! Dripping sweat and sore shoulders. I decided that I can’t do that for every board and I’m not sending it through the planer as I experimented with just an extra strip of end grain about 1 1/2” wide and didn’t even get it in 3/4” before it tried to spit it back out at me.

So I was looking at router sleds on here and I remembered that I had favorited this one quite some time ago.
Click for details
I figured I have a dead flat workbench that is square (well, close enough) where I have great clamping options, so lets skip the runners and just make something to hold the router.

The outer sides are 3/4” birch ply with walnut…runners I guess, the “cradle” is 1/2” ply on the bottom and ends and it’s sides are supported with some QSWO. The walnut is twice as wide as the cradle for extra stability I guess. The bolts are 3/8” x 2 1/2” carriage bolts. Wing nuts and washers on the outside. Carefully cut slots for the bolts so the carriage bolts don’t turn upon tightening.

This is the second project in the past week that I remembered but didn’t reference it’s precursor until after the build and realized that I did something different. Oh well. My bolts are side by side whereas OldTool’s bolts are above and below. His may keep it from rocking better but hand tightening all four bolts with the wing nuts still proved to be very solid. Also, make sure to take off as little as possible but make sure your bit is plunged low enough to touch all of the board. I used marks on the board for leveling, works good.

Now how do I get those lines out? It feels nice and flat, but the lines…I will probably try a bowl bit in the future, this was just a 3/4” straight bit. But still, any tips or tricks?

A few more pictures.

The board with some mineral spirits on half of it after a bit of sanding. See the lines? (notice the arsenal of flattening/smoothing tools in the background)

All questions/comments are welcome and thanks for looking!!

-- Grant - N Dakota

25 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30637 posts in 3551 days

#1 posted 03-28-2013 05:20 PM

Looks good. A router planer is high on my projects list.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1133 posts in 3525 days

#2 posted 03-28-2013 06:44 PM

Looks good. You might be able to “disappear” the lines if you rotated the board so that the cutter “cleans” the lines away. Just a thought.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Oldtool's profile


3309 posts in 3403 days

#3 posted 03-28-2013 06:52 PM


Looks good, nice work. As for the bolt pattern, I don’t remember why I used a side by side setup, but I’m guessing it was because of my laziness & the desire to cut only one slot on each side piece.

Enjoy, it saves a ton of hand work.


-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Marty5965's profile


161 posts in 3158 days

#4 posted 03-28-2013 07:52 PM

You could use a card scraper to remove the lines.

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

View GlennsGrandson's profile


444 posts in 3522 days

#5 posted 03-28-2013 09:58 PM


I have card scrapers, they do not work near as well or as easy on end grain, I can’t get them to bite on the end grain, and I feel that I have a good burr on the cards too.. Have you successfully used them on end grain? Maybe I’m not reapplying the burr correctly. I hit them with a file to make sure that they are flat, then I use a stone to clean off the sides, hit them with my high carbon rod at 90 deg (perpendicular) and then tilt it about 15 deg off from 90 deg a few times, running the rod with a thin film of oil.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View Gary's profile


1501 posts in 5537 days

#6 posted 03-28-2013 10:18 PM

I usually stay below 10 deg, closer to 5, when pulling for the final burr.
Good work on the boards.

-- Gary, Florida

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3903 days

#7 posted 03-29-2013 01:17 AM

Grant- A drum sander would make you soooo happy! Great job on this jig!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3106 days

#8 posted 03-29-2013 03:13 AM

Love the jig, great job. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Arcola60's profile


119 posts in 3596 days

#9 posted 03-29-2013 03:16 AM

Nice job on the router sled. It gives me some improvement ideas for my sled. I have some rough sawn Pecan boards to flatten.
I will be building a V-drum sander very soon. I have tried all of the methods you have described. I even have the same ROS. End grain is hard to clean up the lines, very slow process.


View Dakkar's profile


359 posts in 3140 days

#10 posted 03-29-2013 03:21 AM

I recall a cover story in one of the woodworking mags awhile back. An actor on that sitcom “Community” (I think) is also a woodworker and he had a router planing rig he was using to plane huge log-cut table tops that were too wide for most any conventional planer. I think his was motorized. Seems like it took hours to complete. I guess it’s not as important how we get there as long as we get there.

View kajunkraft's profile


197 posts in 3423 days

#11 posted 03-29-2013 04:28 AM

Sorry for being so ignorant, but what bit do you use in the router to plane the surface?

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4788 days

#12 posted 03-29-2013 12:42 PM

Nice job on that sled Grant !

View GlennsGrandson's profile


444 posts in 3522 days

#13 posted 03-29-2013 12:52 PM

Gary Thanks, I’ll try that angle

gfadvm I agree 100%!!

kajunkraft No question is a dumb question. It’s a Vermont American 3/4” straight bit.

Thanks everyone!

-- Grant - N Dakota

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 3238 days

#14 posted 03-29-2013 02:58 PM

I have been wanting to make one. I like the way you did this. I think this just went close to the top of my “to do” list.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3461 days

#15 posted 03-29-2013 05:06 PM

I’ve done the router plane thing, but it still requires A LOT of clean up. I’ve had much better luck recently with a 3*18 belt sander an 36 grit belts. I have gotten a lot better at the glue ups, which definitely helps.


showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics