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Author Topic: Router sled...  (Read 2158 times)

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Offline Hooterspfld

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Router sled...
« on: April 29, 2019, 10:24:00 PM »
Anybody built a router sled out of metal? Right now I'm looking at running some 30" oak slabs, and feel like builing a sled that can run on any stock 2" square for instance, would be nice. All the videos on youtube are wood construction, but it seems to me at least, that I could build someting smaller out of metal that would take up less space but work as well if not better. Any pictures of what you had would be great! 

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 10:54:18 PM »
Here is my sled.  Angle iron, bed rails and sliding door wheels:


 

 

 

 

 
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Hooterspfld

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 10:58:42 PM »
I like the angle iron, lighter than square tube! Thanks for the ideas!

Offline mddillon78

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 11:01:55 PM »
I have been considering making one out of angle iron or even aluminum extrusion.  I havent seen any videos out there, but if I make one out of metal I will share it in a YouTube video.  This is a very interesting topic for sure.  Thanks
Michael Dillon
Dillons Woodworks - New Hampshire
Custom Sawmilling and Woodworks
Dillonswoodworks
Dillonswoodworks - YouTube

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2019, 02:03:21 AM »
What you can't clearly see is the supports.  The cedar slab is sitting on saw horses with wedges to level the top.  The 10' angle iron side rails have some tube supporting them in two places along their mid-length with threaded rod at each end.  I adjusted the threaded rod to take out any sag on the ends.  What I really need is a big table to support the slab and the track all in one.  The garage floor would work but that would be really hard on my back!  The next time I do a slab, I think I might try using plastic milk crates  -  they are light, uniform in size and sure stack nice.  I would just need a bunch!

If I were to do it over, I think aluminum extrusions would work better - lighter but stiffer.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2019, 07:10:35 AM »
Here's a recent topic in Drying and Processing where there was good discussion with a couple designs shared.

Router sled for surfacing slabs

I hope that works

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2019, 12:33:31 PM »
I was just about to link to that thread. Thanks dwyatt. 

The linear bearings and 8020 worked great for me. When I was done with the router it left a smooth enough finish that I did not need to sand at all. 

I watch so many ppl go across the grain. I think going with the grain leaves a much smoother finish. it is definitely easier with my setup.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2019, 03:40:28 PM »
I was just about to link to that thread. Thanks dwyatt.

The linear bearings and 8020 worked great for me. When I was done with the router it left a smooth enough finish that I did not need to sand at all.

I watch so many ppl go across the grain. I think going with the grain leaves a much smoother finish. it is definitely easier with my setup.
Yes I agree, I don't understand going across the grain. Going with the grain I was able to start sanding with the orbital and  120 rather than the 80 I had to use when I went across the grain. 

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2019, 06:33:15 PM »
I don't understand going across the grain

But the router bit is going in a circle so no matter what direction you go, you are getting a mix.   As you head off "with" the grain, it is cutting across the grain first then then along it on the edge.  If you go "across" the grain, it is cutting with it and then across on the edge.  What I found to be the most critical is that the cutting plane of the bit needs to be exactly parallel to your runners.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline richhiway

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2019, 06:59:42 PM »
Woodmizer LT 40
New Holland 35 hp tractor
Stihl Chainsaws

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2019, 07:24:37 PM »
I don't understand going across the grain

But the router bit is going in a circle so no matter what direction you go, you are getting a mix.   As you head off "with" the grain, it is cutting across the grain first then then along it on the edge.  If you go "across" the grain, it is cutting with it and then across on the edge.  What I found to be the most critical is that the cutting plane of the bit needs to be exactly parallel to your runners.
I'm thinking it depends on how much of the bit is in the cut, if there is only the outer part of the bit (25% ?) in the cut, going with the grain would give you a mostly with the grain cut.

Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2019, 07:58:21 PM »
 

 

 

 

 

 

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2019, 08:22:45 PM »
I don't understand going across the grain

But the router bit is going in a circle so no matter what direction you go, you are getting a mix.   As you head off "with" the grain, it is cutting across the grain first then then along it on the edge.  If you go "across" the grain, it is cutting with it and then across on the edge.  What I found to be the most critical is that the cutting plane of the bit needs to be exactly parallel to your runners.
I agree 100%. I do not know why I got a better finish going with the grain. thats just what I observed. its also easier. I do not have to fight the router. But my slide moves on linear bearings one way and friction plate the other so going lengthwise works better for me anyhow.

Online D6c

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2019, 08:59:56 PM »
Been thinking about building a router set up to flatten slabs ( something like 4' x 12') and I like the linear bearing with round shaft rails idea.
The biggest problem I see is with getting the rails perfectly straight and parallel.
With that length even fairly heavy rails get flexible.  There's "flat", and then there's "FLAT!".  Would need a solid base that doesn't get moved around or it will warp with the floor changes.....then shim the rails into alignment, possibly with the use of a precision level or an instrument.
Then once it's all set up you can't move it or you lose all alignment.
I'm sure  that's over thinking it a bit.... blame the machinist in me.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2019, 07:07:16 AM »
D6c I have the same issues :) I like precision. I am also part machinist. if your that worried about it I would build a heavy steel frame with adjustable feet to mount everything to. Make sure you use supported linear bearings and you will not have any issues with flex. The biggest problem I had is the max length supported linear bearing I could find for reasonable money was 1500mm. which is only 59". The good news is they butt together relatively well and the bearing bridges the gap pretty smoothly. If you are willing to spend more money than I was then you can get longer. But I am to cheap / broke to do that. especially the only reason I had the linear bearing was it was supposed to go on my mill for the uprights. I ended up using cam followers instead (thanks MM).

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2019, 07:16:58 AM »
I don't understand going across the grain

But the router bit is going in a circle so no matter what direction you go, you are getting a mix.   As you head off "with" the grain, it is cutting across the grain first then then along it on the edge.  If you go "across" the grain, it is cutting with it and then across on the edge.  What I found to be the most critical is that the cutting plane of the bit needs to be exactly parallel to your runners.
I'm thinking it depends on how much of the bit is in the cut, if there is only the outer part of the bit (25% ?) in the cut, going with the grain would give you a mostly with the grain cut.
I'm going to agree with Hilltop here, when I used the sled I built I would cut with the first 25-50% of the cutter. When I tried to bury the whole cutter, I would get too much uplift causing a not flat surface. By only using the normal cutting direction of the cutter (i.e. not climb cutting) the initial contact of the cutting edge is in the direction of the grain rather than perpendicular to the grain. where as if you use the same logic going across the grain, your initial contact is nearly exactly perpendicular to the grain.
I also used a trick Crusarius taught me and would make my cut then back away from the freshly cut face slightly for the gig back. If there was any uplift of the router on the initial cut, it would be taken care of by taking ~1/64" or less on the return.
Maybe the logic behind it isn't right, but it did yield the best results and smoothest finish which reduced time needed for further processing.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2019, 07:21:47 AM »
Dwyatt, I am very happy that worked for you. I thought it may be a fluke for what I was flattening. Guess not :)


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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2019, 08:32:30 AM »
This may be a stupid idea, but has anybody build a router sled to go on their mill? I donít know if it would be easier to build a new carriage/head but it would be cool if you could incorporate the power feed as well. I know wood mizer makes a planer attachment, but Iím getting an LT15 wide and it doesnít fit on there so Iím trying to come up with plan B.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2019, 08:35:48 AM »
Kbeitz made one. I thought about making one. My thought about that was I would need to go get the mill set it up next to the garage so I had power then surface my slabs that way. I felt it was better to just have a setup in the garage. One day I may do what you said and make it sit on my mill but for now I do not have much reason to.

The clamping and height adjust would be extremely nice to have for the router sled.

Offline Florida boy

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Re: Router sled...
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2019, 12:56:39 PM »
I figure if they fit on the mill why not just take a skim cut to flatten it out? Then just sand and finish as usual no further  flattening is required?


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