Reply by bilyo

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Posted on Planer Sled for Face Jointing

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818 posts in 1581 days

#1 posted 01-04-2019 07:51 PM

With almost the exact same setup, I had the same problem. I think you understand the concept so well explained by clin. I solved the problem by making a torsion box for a sled. For me, making the sled straight and rigid worked well. I start a cut by having the sled supported by a roller stand and have another roller stand to catch it on the other side. Of course, as clin stated, it is important to have the work piece well supported with little wedges anywhere the planer rollers might cause it to flex. Doing this I get very flat results.

Another approach using your sled would be to install a temporary auxiliary bed that extends about the length of the sled on either side. Of course, this needs to be straight and well supported. Your sled will then slide on this surface and stay flat all the way through the cut.

In theory, I suppose, as was stated above, your sled should work as is. In practice, I’ve found that the flex in the sled causes inconsistent results as you have also experienced. I understand that others are able to make it work, but for me, the stiff sled is the easiest solution. I have used it to flatten many BF of crooked lumber. The auxiliary bed would also be a good solution if I had space to leave it set up which I don’t.

I’ll add one more piece of advice. Do the best you can to cut your lumber to rough size before planing it. You will waste far less wood that way. For instance, if you have a 6’ piece that varies from flat by 1” over it’’s length you will lose a lot of material by planing it in one piece. If you can cut it in half first, you will lose about 1/2 of that. If you can cut it into 3rds, you will lose even less.

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