Planer Sled for Flattening Boards

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Forum topic by dsbwoodcraft posted 07-23-2012 02:06 AM 2859 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3216 days

07-23-2012 02:06 AM

Hello Lumberjocks—this is my first post.
I have some slightly bowed maple and walnut boards that I need to flatten before I resaw them. I know that if I run them through as they are, I will end up with smoother bowed boards. I have read somewhere that you can make some kind of a fixture that enables you to send the boards through the planar and get them flat. I just cant remember how it is done.

I have thought of screwing or stapling the sides of the boards to a pair of runners that I know are flat and running that through the planar but I’d like to check with you all first to see if someone had a better idea. Has anyone out there done this before? If so, I would greatly appreciate you sharing your experience- especially if you have pictures. Thanks!

12 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3772 days

#1 posted 07-23-2012 02:50 AM

I put thin wedges under my problem board where there are gaps after sticking it to a known flat board, chalk the surface, and run rthrough the planer until the entire surface is free of chalk (or Pencil) marks. Then take it of the flat board, flip it over , and plane to thickness. If your board has very much cup, twist, or warp you can end up with very thin stock!

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

View dsbwoodcraft's profile


3 posts in 3216 days

#2 posted 07-24-2012 02:13 AM

Sounds easy enough. Do you just use a little carpet tape to hold the board onto the flat stock? I will give it a try. Thanks.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 07-24-2012 02:47 AM

I use double faced tape for smaller boards and screwed on cleats for bigger ones. Just make sure your cleats/screws are well below the planer blades!

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

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3918 days

#4 posted 07-24-2012 02:51 AM

Although there is a longer wait time I just glued shims to the bottom of my board due to length. I can use my bench to test out a 6’ board but don’t have flat plywood to build that large a sled on so I grabbed a bunch of thin cut offs out of the garbage to use as shims and when I had just the right shims I glued them in place. Mine was twisted so made sure to shim both ends so that one end wouldn’t be made to thin by only shimming the one end.

-- A posse ad esse

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 3866 days

#5 posted 08-04-2012 12:01 AM

I use a melamine shelf and hot melt glue.
The glue keeps the shims in place and set up fast. It also comes off the boards easy.
It just takes a little glue on each and I use some glue on the trailing end to help keep it from slipping.

-- Website is finally up and

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3464 days

#6 posted 08-04-2012 03:43 AM

If you can get hold of Wood magazine Sept. 2012, #213, there’s a good article & picture. I am going to try it with a twisted piece of maple I have.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 3437 days

#7 posted 08-04-2012 05:39 AM

I knew there was a purpose for Melamine boards! Great tip.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View pintodeluxe's profile


6377 posts in 3895 days

#8 posted 08-04-2012 06:25 AM

If you don’t have a jointer, those techniques mentioned will work. Don’t expect perfection.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View volfan's profile


6 posts in 3204 days

#9 posted 08-07-2012 03:59 PM

The January 2005 issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine has plans for a planer sled that works great. I made a 4 ft. and 8 ft. version. I use them often.

-- JLD, Tennessee

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4802 days

#10 posted 08-07-2012 06:30 PM

I built the Fine Woodworking sled in the video listed here, and it works great.
(not sure how to make the address a direct link)

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12325 posts in 4511 days

#11 posted 08-07-2012 07:26 PM

As did Rich, I built that sled, too. It does work great.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 3283 days

#12 posted 08-11-2012 10:11 AM

Try glueing straight and flat runners on both sides of the board…... make them 6 or so inches longer than the board and it will help with any planer snipe you may have. Remember also a good drum sander will do the same. When your done just saw off the runners. Hope this makes scense…. I normally use poplar for the runners I call them cause it is cheap.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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