Router Flattening Sled

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About: Just a girl on a mission to learn how to make stuff.

If you don't have the money or space for a large planer, a router flattening sled is a great option for you to be able to plane large slabs without having to spend too much money to make this. I provide tips on how to build it and obtain a smooth finish, along with a link to the free plans!

Step 1: Make Your Cuts

Free plans can be found here.

Make all your cuts. I used this circle saw and this track, but you could use a table saw as well.

The bottom of your sled should be the width of the base of your router, plus 1/4". The plans I made fit my router, but you can modify to fit your router.

Cut a rectangle out of the middle of this piece so the bit will fit through. The width of the rectangle should be wide enough for your bit to fit through. I used this bottom cleaning bit. I found it easiest to make this cut by drilling a hole on either end and using my jigsaw to make the remaining cuts.

Step 2: Assemble the Pieces

Assemble all the pieces according to the plan using wood glue and screws. After assembly, attach these casters to the bottom of the feet.

You can then assemble the whole piece with the bolts, washers, and nuts. The router should now slide freely within the sled.

Step 3: Plane the Slabs

You can now plane the slabs. A couple tips to get a smooth finish:

  • Go with the grain. This will make a huge difference!
  • Clean your work area often. And debris that the casters roll over will cause the finish to not be as smooth.
  • shim your slab so that it is stable. Shim from all sides, not just one.
  • Wear a mask and eyewear - this will make a ton of sawdust so do your lungs and eyes a favor and protect them.

Now you are ready to plane down some slabs!

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    44 Discussions

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    ClayBall

    2 months ago

    Great idea on the flattening sled. I have often wondered how I could do something like this: now I know. Thanks
    Clay

    1 reply
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    UnderwoodMakes

    2 months ago

    Hi! Very cool idea and instructable!

    I had an idea as I was looking through it because of something I've recently taken apart - What if you used the arm of a radial arm saw as your slider? I recently bought a radial arm saw that ended up having a broken motor, and I disassembled it to see how it worked. If you can get the motor out of the carriage on the arm and mount the arm level across your workpiece, you could mount the router in the carriage and make some pretty complex (or simple) cuts.

    Again, great instructable! Just brainstorming out loud. :) See attached image for an example of a radial arm saw. The one in the picture is $60 in my area on Craigslist.

    Radial Saw Example.jpg
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    seamsterUnderwoodMakes

    Reply 2 months ago

    Oh my, that's a brilliant idea! I have an old radial arm saw waiting for a new lease on life, and might have to give this idea a go . . Thanks!!

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    TheAccentPiecesharonnah59

    Reply 2 months ago

    If the piece doesn’t sit flat (wobbles a bit) then it will move when you are flattening it. It needs to be sturdy and not move for a good outcome

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    efoster6

    2 months ago

    I have a large slab from an old tree and I have been looking for the insperation to do this for years and your idea is just what I needed thank you

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    gbansen

    2 months ago

    I see in Step #3 your sled design is different?

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    TheAccentPiecegbansen

    Reply 2 months ago

    Yes, that was the first design. I changed it to make it easier to level. It was just the only picture I had to show the shimming.

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    GeraldG38

    2 months ago

    "Clean your work area often. And debris that the casters roll over will cause the finish to not be as smooth."

    I would suggest some kind of edge track for the router guide to run on to avoid the debris under the casters issue.

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    TheAccentPieceGeraldG38

    Reply 2 months ago

    Yes, if i ever make a new one - it will have a design like that!

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    ChuckP10

    Tip 2 months ago on Introduction

    I made and used a similar design with an old half inch shank router that I had and for the router bit I used a box bottoming bit I bought from a local supplier it was half inch shank inch and a half and had 8 in radius like the photo I am attaching, originally used for sign making and box bottoms. it cuts down the little edges that a sharp edge bit like you use makes....
    but you have a great design thank you much.

    Screenshot_20181108-140054_Samsung Internet.jpg
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    SigS2

    2 months ago

    Man, I love you! I just passed up some sweet tree trunk wood that would have made beautiful tables because the planer I have access to is small! Great idea! Maybe I can still get hold of it before it gets chopped for firewood lol

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    trike road poet

    2 months ago

    Love the design, simple yet usable over a large area with ease. Thanks for sharing the design, this will be a valuable addition to my small shop.

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    woodlouse

    2 months ago

    Hi, great instructable very clear and concise.
    I will definitely be making one of these.
    Many thanks for sharing.