Click here to download a PDF drawing of the sled I built. I used a Kreg Pocket Screw System to put all the pieces together. Once the slab is leveled to my satisfaction I add one more block to each stack that simply pushes against the side of the slab and traps it so that it can't slide around. 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 based my jig off of Nick Offerman’s design presented in Fine Woodworking’s Dec 2011 Issue No 222. Usually all that's needed is to make sure each stack of shims is the same height. dustless router sled, the amount of fine wood dust in the air dramatically decreases! Once you have made multiple passes and cut all of the way through, you should end up with a groove ( Pic 3 ) that you can now pass your dado bit through and surface any piece of wood, etc. This provides plenty of material to tie the box together and gives room to shim the slab. Does it machine crisply? Just about anyone can flatten and thickness even the largest slab. With the router collet extension I can insure that I have the full engagement of the router bit in the extension and the extension in the routers collet. The router should now slide freely within the sled. If one corner hangs lower than the other three, the three high corners will have to be planed to match the lowest. If my slab had an inch or more of twist I would do the flattening in stages. Measuring from the bottom of the bridge to the top of the sled is the easiest way to check that the slab is shimmed properly. The sled itself is simple. In this project, you need to cut the wood planks to create the carriage. The Infinity large router baseplate keeps the router on track in the bridge and the router collet extension ensures that the Router bit can reach the workpiece. The most important thing is to make sure that the top surface of the slab is as level as possible in relation to the top of the sled box. Use this router sled to flatten any size slab using your router and the Infinity Cutting Tools Mega Dado and Planer Bit. I'll also assume that you have a router with some kind of base, it can be either a plunge base or a fixed base.Watch the sled in action: Make all your cuts. That's it! Most of the time, the MDF squares will get you close but you may have to switch to thinner shims or wedges to get everything perfect. The router bit has to reach through the large router base plate and the 3/4" MDF base of the sled bridge. You seem to be going cross grain. It's wide enough to securely hold the router mounted to an Infinity large router blaseplate (11-5/8" square). How Make a Flattening Jig for a Router: For this project you'll need a piece of melamine and a couple 2x4s. With the slab in the box you can shim the slab to make the top of the slab as level as possible. Posted April 23, 2020 May 4, 2020 Joe Classen. Your demanded dimensions you get according to to the following calculation: Amax is your maximum slab width. You can use any lengths of the rails, which will exactly fit your needs. It certainly is a great time to be a woodworker. The saw kerf from the track saw makes it easy to finish the cut without wandering. Hey! The base plate is important because it keeps the router on track as it slides back and forth across the sled bridge and allows the router bit to do its thing. You can now plane the slabs. Go with the grain. I marked out index lines spaced 1" apart on the top edges of the sled box. "Clean your work area often. The plans I made fit my router, but you can modify to fit your router. You can then assemble the whole piece with the bolts, washers, and nuts. The box acts as a pair parallel rails and the bridge holds the router and allows it to slide back and forth along the rails, creating a flat surface on the slab. Slab Flattener! And debris that the casters roll over will cause the finish to not be as smooth. 2 years ago, Reply Use the bottom edges of the bridge as a reference to make sure the slab is where you want it. I recently bought a radial arm saw that ended up having a broken motor, and I disassembled it to see how it worked. I start slow, looking for the highest spot on the slab and working my way down in 1/8"-deep passes until the entire slab is flat. They are extremely inexpensive. These lines provide a reference for locating the sled bridge for each router pass. During flattening with TOT! Just brainstorming out loud. Please enter your email address below to receive a password reset link. TOT! I found it easiest to make this cut by drilling a hole on either end and using my jigsaw to make the remaining cuts. But be careful when choosing a slab. combined that is over an inch of plunge just to clear the bottom of the bridge. I take dust collection pretty seriously. I keep adding blocks under each corner of the slab until the slab is level. on Introduction. is the first dustless system for PRO and DIY router sled. If I run out of travel with my router and the bit won't reach, add another square of MDF to the bottom of each shim stack to raise the slab up. Making a simple and cheap router sled for flattening boards and slabs. Used with a router and router sled, they also work well for flattening end-grain cutting boards or wood with difficult grain patterns such as crotch wood. I see in Step #3 your sled design is different? The router collet extension solves this problem. A router sled is in a sense, a cheap homemade CNC when it comes to flattening. Don't forget that once you have the slab, give it time to acclimate to your shop just like any other piece of lumber. I modified it half way through so it would be more accurate. Pictured is the bottom of the Sled Bridge. Be blessed! The router base was 5 3/4" so I made the inside width of the sled 5 7/8" The router will fit into this with an offset of 1/8". Sanding should go reasonably quick on this slab. 95 The wheels strung onto U-bolts form the glide mechanisms that allow the router carrier to travel along the rails. I use a Triton 3.25 hp router mounted to an Infinity Large Router Base plate. The dimensions can easily be modified for a slab of just about any size. With the sled built, the slab must be positioned and leveled inside the sled box. My opinions on the router are my own and believe me when I say my opinions of this router are very high (spoiler alert). I recommend checking out the good video by Matt Cremona below. Easiest DIY Router Sled. The details in the magazine article were a little sparse since they are dependent on … I measure from the bottom of the sled bridge to the top of the slab to check my progress. I provide tips on how to build it and obtain a smooth finish, along with a link to the free plans! Wow this would be super interesting to see! $9.90 Creating beautiful furniture from a live-edge slab is easier than you think! Oh my, that's a brilliant idea! I wrote a blog specifically about this router bit titled "Go Big or Go Home" definitely check it out if you want the finer details on this awesome router bit. The flattening process itself is pretty straightforward. No, I never put this together. Blocks fastened tight against the sides of the slab keep it from moving if gravity fails. My slab started with 3/4" of twist overall and I feel comfortable doing all my flattening from one side and than flipping once to do the other. DIY Router Sled – Planing, Flattening, Leveling Live Edge Wood. Once I'm done flattening the slab, I'll find other uses for the MDF such as making jigs. Making A Router Sled, Wood slab flattening Like the video and SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video!) And the main reaon I built the router sled was to have a way to quicky flatten a raw slab. did you end up trying this? Good slabs take time and experience to be properly cut and dried. With the 2"-diameter Mega Dado Planer bit I like to take 1" wide passes. I also found with my red eucalyptus slabs that setting the router to 16,000 rpm seemed to be a good speed. Clean your work area often. Make sure you keep the flattened side parallel to the planing sled. Router Flattening Sled: 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 like to have a little more room and make the slot 4" wide and long enough so that the bit doesn't interfere when the router is at either end of the bridge. There are a lot of different ways to shim the slab level and it's important to ensure that the slab doesn't rock or move while routing. You can go a little deeper (about 3/16" or so), especially on the first pass or two where only the high spots are being hit. The second part of the sled is a bridge that holds the router and rides on top of the sled box. I’m going to make a bench, a table and an office desk out of some of my slabs for the sawmill office and line the wall with slabs ready for customers to buy for their own projects. Infinity large router blaseplate (11-5/8" square), Live-Edge Slab Table Part 2 – Sanding and Applying a Finish | Infinity Cutting Tools Blog, Famag Bormax 2.0 Forstner Bits, A Cut Above, Think Outside The Box With Bird's Mouth Router Bits, Our Carver's Vise Is A Must-Have In Any Shop. In this video I go over the process I use to make a DIY Router sled a.k.a. The bridge also has a slot for the router bit. This project is on my to-do list. An Infinity Mega Dado & Planer Router bit is my bit of choice for this task for a number of reasons. If you are getting stepped pass lines that are hard to sand out, you have an issue with the sled that is causing the router to not sit parallel to the sled rails and tipping the bit so one edge of the bit is cutting deeper than the other. There's also a 3D SketchUp model you can download from our web site and modify to suit your needs. Thanks. Excellent Idea. In the past I was doing all of the leveling of the slabs with hand planes which was a lot of heavy work sometimes taking days to do just one slab, now the process is able to be reduced to no more than an hour or so per slab. or any other large surface that will not fit through the planer. This slab will become a live-edge table with a Shaker-inspired base. Assemble all the pieces according to the plan using wood glue and screws. Because the router bit cuts from the side and not straight down like a drill bit I have never found the need for the hold downs, but could be helpful to keep the router on track especially on wider slabs. I was using a sled with a plate attached to the router and a bit extender (Infinity set up) so the dust just shoots out the bottom at the slab. I also use a Router Collet Extension to increase the reach of my router. Yes, if i ever make a new one - it will have a design like that! this ensures that the slab can expand and contract without cracking. In my experience, they sand out at the same rate with or across the grain. Dust Collection. In comparison to the rest of DIY router sleds is there almost no fine wood dust in the air. I also rough-cut the slab to size because I don't want to waste time and energy flattening large areas that will just be cut off later. Drywall screws tie all the blocking together. :) See attached image for an example of a radial arm saw. "I would suggest some kind of edge track for the router guide to run on to avoid the debris under the casters issue. Because slabs are typically larger and thicker I try to give them at least a week of acclimation per inch of thickness before I start cutting. Flattening a Slab table top with the Festool Router Sled ... Great piece and a great technique. Just a big hunk of wood and a can-do attitude. To build the router sled, you’ll need nominal 1 1/2" electrical metallic tubing (EMT), tools and a router with a suitable flattening bit. I set the bit height to remove about 1/8" of material per pass. I find flatting slabs across the grain works just fine and simplifies the sled design. This is most important on slabs with twist to minimize material loss. If you end up with a slab that has a lot of twist or cup, I recommend doing the flattening in a few stages, flipping the slab over a few times. 1 year ago infinitytools.com has a Shopper Approved rating of 4.7/5 based on 22761 ratings and reviews. Logged Roger Savatteri . Next, cut out the sled sides. Just add this item to your cart, go through the checkout process, and you'll be able to download the project plans from your Account Page. As woodworkers, I think we all have the desire to work with the big stuff but it definitely can be intimidating. You can use the Mega Dado Planer bit to make a zero-clearance slot. Follow that with a reciprocating saw to finish the cut. Click here to download a PDF drawing of the sled I built. I'd be interesting to see how it turned out! I provide tips on how to build it and obtain a smooth f… It opens the number of potential customers to those who don’t have a way to flatten a slab to make a bench or table. Twisted or warped slabs have a lot of tension and if you flatten one side then flip and flatten the other, the slab can continue to twist and lead to frustration. From a finish standpoint, you should not see any significant difference other than pass shadow lines will be running across the grain. You can see that my sled is made almost entirely of 6" wide strips of 3/4" MDF. I use pocket screws to build my sled, they are perfect for this type of project. I provide tips on how to build it and obtain a smooth finish, along with a link to the free plans! […] the live-edge slab flattened (Part 1), the real question is what to do with it? Hi! 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, Reply Depending on the size and species, a slab may take as many as two years of air drying before it can make its way into a kiln. 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