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Author Topic: Router sled for surfacing slabs  (Read 4883 times)

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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2019, 01:05:51 PM »
the 80/20 worked great. If I took a little more time and came up with some better bearing materials it would probably work just fine. currently the plan may be to stick with it if the linear bearing works on my mast. Otherwise it will become really smooth router sled.
Have you seen the linear bearings offered by 80/20 that fit right on their extrusions? I believe I am going to use 1"x2" extrusions for the main rails with the linear bearings on top of those and have the sled portion made like what most people do with a box made from lumber. This would allow me to have 2 or 3 different boxes for different widths of materials being planed and not break the bank. Hopefully I'll have a better idea and maybe some pictures in the next couple weeks.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2019, 01:12:45 PM »
are you talking about the white HDPE linear bearing or do they have another style?

I have thought about putting a set of wheels on the cross slide that drop into the groove on the 80/20. Then maybe just a wheel on the other side that rolls on the table. 

When I start surfacing the big boy slabs I have cut then I will probably put alot more time and effort into this. Right now, I am really looking forward to seeing other ppl's setups.


Thanks everyone for participating.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2019, 01:28:04 PM »
Yes, just the ones with the HDPE pads. I originally thought about using wheels, then I watched one run and the amount of saw dust (chips really) is incredible. I would fear that with wheels that fit in the T-slots of the 80/20 you could possibly fill the slots with sawdust and your wheels could ride up on the sawdust causing issues with the finish. 

Then again, I could just be dreaming up problems that don't happen in practice. I feel much more comfortable with a sliding motion that is constrained in two directions (as the 80/20 linear "bearings" are) that will cause you to either push dust out of the grooves or be come hung up on the dust in the grooves. Either of which would be better than rolling over the sawdust and it impacting your z-axis. 

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2019, 02:17:26 PM »
That may work nice on the cross slide. slide the router to where you want and there should be enough friction to hold it in place then just slide the rails on top of the other rails.

Online charles mann

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2019, 09:11:43 PM »
My dilemma with making one exclusively for the mill bed is the problem with my mill being portable and not setup in a building or under cover. May not even be near electric. Usually wood working is a rainy day or winter project.

But if you made one for the mill and had a set of rails you could just bolt to the table its a win win.
that is kinda my plan too. have a section or track, same width as my mill, say, 3-4 4' sections of frame/track extensions. for mine, it will require the tractor and forks to move my ext sections, but it will require the tractor and forks to move the slabs too.  
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2019, 08:10:35 AM »
They do make sticky back UHMW that comes in rolls as if it were a a teflon tape.  One could build friction slides and then plastic them up for low drag.  


A simple Z axis height control could be to make a few bushing plates of different thickness so that your router sits on an adjustable height standoff.  For more plunge you just pull one out and wack another pass.

I like cam followers, but much care would be needed to brush the tracks ahead of each roller so the sled doesnt bump up over a chip and transfer the Z axis flaw into the cutter point. Maybe mounted paintbrush heads or constant air via some perforated pex tubing along the sled frame.  

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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2019, 09:25:30 AM »
Wood waste on the rails would be a problem, ways to reduce the amount of wood that gets on the rail would be best.

Some possible ideas?

The router set lower (lower cross sled) so the cutting was done below the length wise rails.

Some shielding to guide the waste away (think lawnmower).

A flexible curtain or brushes with dust collector to remove waste.


Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2019, 10:04:03 AM »
They do make sticky back UHMW that comes in rolls as if it were a a teflon tape.  One could build friction slides and then plastic them up for low drag.  


A simple Z axis height control could be to make a few bushing plates of different thickness so that your router sits on an adjustable height standoff.  For more plunge you just pull one out and wack another pass.

I like cam followers, but much care would be needed to brush the tracks ahead of each roller so the sled doesnt bump up over a chip and transfer the Z axis flaw into the cutter point. Maybe mounted paintbrush heads or constant air via some perforated pex tubing along the sled frame.  


Mike, you always have some of the simplest ideas. a pile of C washers that can be removed as necessary. That would be nice not have to constantly fight with the router height adjust.

A single layer of uhmw will definitely fix the friction issue.

If I did a roller that rolled on anything there would be some type of a wiper. that is critical. even on my sawmill the one time I ran it without I regretted it.


Offline mike_belben

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2019, 02:25:02 PM »
Well, i try to be a simple guy
 ;) 


High mount gantry rail would help reduce the trash on the rail but then you cant forkload your slabs onto the bed unless using a set of slings.  

If the cam followers rode on turned up flat stock there wouldnt be too much of a shelf to sweep off atleast, a simple track brush should suffice.  Think of a flatbed rub rail, not much bark laying ontop of it. 
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2019, 04:19:51 PM »
Got the parts ordered last night for the router sled I want to build. I'll post some pictures once I get the material and get the router box made :)

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2019, 07:05:11 PM »
DWyatt, that would be great. I know there is only so many ways to build one but everyone has their own little twist that makes them unique.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2019, 08:28:13 PM »
I had to smile at the first post and the minitech .I used tons of it at work, it's kind of like high tech unistrut .Problem is there are so many making it there is no standardization at this time .It's pretty much industrial stuff ,easy fast fabrication but the average DIY person couldn't afford to buy it .

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2019, 08:34:30 PM »
so true. If it was not thrown away I would not have it. But it does work extremely well. it still surprises me for the cost of that vs the cost of a welder that more benches are not just welded 1" steel.

Its not like they ever reuse it if they need to modify the bench. be cheaper to throw away 3 fabricated benches than build 1 out of minitec.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2019, 07:16:57 AM »
Because automotive assembly lines change so much it was a viable option to use the stuff .It was ordered in 20 foot lengths or rather what ever that was in metric by the multiple bundles .I likened the stuff as saying it was an industrial version of the old erector sets of years ago replaced by Legos .
The stuff I assume was the brain child of some European design because I first saw it on German made machinery .
The types of fasteners are almost unlimited,angle braces and so forth .It doesn't do you much good to have the basic channel without the fasteners .In that aspect it's about like unistrut .The cost savings are basically made up due to the fact of ease and speed of assembly as opposed to welded steel which requires a higher skill set .

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2019, 08:15:42 AM »
S&W stocked unistrut, 80/20 and creform.  There was way too much workload for the welders and a simple bench may take a week to have made.  The cut and clamp systems only took.a bandsaw and some basic tools.  The welder got $20+ pet hour and the temp making creform carts probably $11.  It was chinsy throw away chinese garbage but assembly lines change weekly so who cares, it got tossed all the time.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2019, 08:29:57 AM »
Guess I just take it for granted I could grab a welder and build a bench. I forget not many ppl I work with have that skill.

Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2019, 10:28:18 AM »
I built a wood/plywood sled that does about 24" wide stuff using my big 3.5HP Porter Cable router.  It works OK but the friction wears you out when doing longer slabs.   Then I took some of my milling profit and bought a wide prebuilt all aluminum one what has almost now friction as it used wheels.



The wood jig is now hanging on the shop wall. 
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2019, 11:22:07 AM »
thanks dr buck. I been wanting to know how to do epoxy for a long time. that was great. the router sled is nice to. 

Now I may be tempted to try this. Wonder what it would be like adding led's to the epoxy coat? bet it could look pretty amazing.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2019, 11:45:37 AM »
Creform is another option .Again it wasn't heavy duty stuff but it worked and was fast .Fact I've used the discarded roller casters on my tool boxes which has worked out very well and the best part they were free .
After 29 years I amassed  great quantity of discarded Kennedy tool boxes .It took me at least 6 trips using a Ford Ranger to haul them out .Some of them must have had 500 pounds of stuff in them and gave the little truck quite a load .
As for the subject I use a portable power planner which does a pretty fair job .Going cross grain it does get a little noisy though but it works for a job seldom done on the stuff I do .

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled for surfacing slabs
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2019, 01:19:41 PM »
Had to look up creform. yup we use that to. I almost got a bunch of the rollers but they emptied the bin just before I got there. TO bad I kept thinking those would be great at the sawmill for moving slabs.


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