Planer sled - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 07-16-2012, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Planer sled

Hi, Guys. I recently bought a 12.5" benchtop planer. The red oak boards were bowed some so I thought I would make a planer sled to try and get a flat surface. I do not have a jointer. I glued two pieces of MDF together. They were about 10" wide and a little over 5' long. I noticed that the MDF had some sag in it depending on where I rested it. Therefore, I decided to rip some true strips of plywood to attach to the sides to serve as runners. I thought that my sled was flat. After shimming the boards and running them through the planer with the concave side down, a slight bow in the other direction was created. I think that I can just plane the other side of the boards to get uniform thickness and will be able to use them. What could have caused the boards to be planed with a slight bow in the other direction? Was my sled not 100% true?
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post #2 of 35 Old 07-16-2012, 03:33 PM
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The sled may not be the problem.

The wood was likely pushing itself against the planer blades in the middle more than at the ends. A slight difference in the cut, but if you have enough passes, the difference accumulates.

Without a jointer, I would have tried doing the same as you.

Another option for the future is getting a hand plane to see if you can take off the high spots to get closer before planing.
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post #3 of 35 Old 07-16-2012, 03:48 PM
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I think your runners must have been below the highest point of your board. The way I see it you would need the runners to be slightly taller than the board to start with. Is that what you did or did you attach them with the top of the edges of the board?
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post #4 of 35 Old 07-16-2012, 04:12 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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there's a lot of ways to make a planer sled

Thought I would try this since I already had the frames set up for glue ups. Explanation here:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/pl...d-rails-14940/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 35 Old 07-16-2012, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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The runners are below the bottom of the board. I glued and screwed them to the sides of the MDF because I didn't think that the MDF would be rigid enough and would flex or bend.
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post #6 of 35 Old 07-17-2012, 08:45 AM
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I guess I was thinking of gluing the runners to the sides of the board. In that case they'd have to be taller. The way your doing it there isn't any support under the middle allowing the board to be pushed flat by the rollers before it starts cutting. To reverse the cup it would have to be popping back up as it gets to the cutters right? Need something solid under the board throughout the cut.
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post #7 of 35 Old 07-18-2012, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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I attached strips of plywood to the bottom of the sled in the middle to avoid that.
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post #8 of 35 Old 08-10-2012, 06:18 AM
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I don't even attempt this because a planer is the wrong tool for the job. How about a used jointer?
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post #9 of 35 Old 08-14-2012, 03:41 PM
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jointer is the only way to go
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post #10 of 35 Old 09-29-2012, 09:08 PM
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I need to do the same thing. So guys, what if you don't have a jointer and/or no room to put one even if one was available. Just table saw, thickness planer and router table (which I use to joint the edges of the boards). Buying the rough stuff is considerably cheaper than the surfaced on one side and one edge. It looks to me like a planer sled is the way to go...slow going even.
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post #11 of 35 Old 09-30-2012, 08:02 AM
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Buying the rough boards may be cheaper, but even WITH a jointer, processing them takes a considerable amount of time. W/O a jointer, it'd be like pissing in the wind. How much is your time & aggravation worth? At best it would be so worth your while to just buy the surfaced boards. Where I live, they're maybe 50 cents more a BF.

Now, I like cars. I'd love to have a nice weekend car. I don't have the space, money, or tools. So I just dream. To try and build an awesome hotrod in my driveway with $1000 and a 10 pc. wrench set just aint gonna happen. I admitted that to myself long ago, it's just reality.........

BTW, personally, if I did just buy the surfaced boards, I would feel compelled to re-mill them. The lumber company just can't take the time to do the job to my standards. That's the real reason I joint & surface them myself.....
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post #12 of 35 Old 09-30-2012, 09:08 AM
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Next to the table saw I think the jointer is the most important tool in my shop. I guess I would have a hard time doing most work without one. I give you credit for trying, but I really would think seriously about how to fit a jointer in the shop. Life would be sooo much easier.
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post #13 of 35 Old 10-04-2012, 08:06 AM
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I thought I'd add my two cents.... if you get a jointer, I suggest getting one that is easy to setup and adjust. I got a jointer that was not easy to adjust and it's been a royal pain in the neck. I found that my planer required basically no adjustments to get it to work out of the box. But I've had to fiddle with the jointer table and knives and everything else.

That being said, if you're looking to get a jointer and don't want to break the bank, take a look at the jointer I bought. The Harbor Freight 6 inch jointer. It's got a powerful 1 HP motor and is a free standing machine. The tables on mine are flat. It's a hell of a lot of jointer for the money, especially if you find it on sale and combine it with one of their 20% off coupons.

The biggest problem with this jointer is that putting the stand together is the opposite of pleasant. And the instructions are sparse and poorly written.

But the fine folks on here should be able to help you. They've been of great help to me.
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post #14 of 35 Old 10-05-2012, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
I suggest getting one that is easy to setup and adjust.
Maybe you could suggest one? I have always considered a jointer to be a high maintenance thing just because of what it is. The knives dull quick. There are a lot of parts that interact and affect one another. I have a JET 6", and it was a $400 machine new, and it's been pretty good to me. About my only complaint really is I could use more capacity.
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post #15 of 35 Old 10-06-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooPicky
Buying the rough boards may be cheaper, but even WITH a jointer, processing them takes a considerable amount of time. W/O a jointer, it'd be like pissing in the wind. How much is your time & aggravation worth? At best it would be so worth your while to just buy the surfaced boards. Where I live, they're maybe 50 cents more a BF.
.
Surfaced doesn't mean flat/straight, just smooth. Most of the time it's just as useless as the lumber you buy at Home Depot. The jointer is an absolutely indispensable piece of shop equipment, especially if your projects include and precise joinery.
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post #16 of 35 Old 10-06-2012, 08:43 PM
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I agree about a 6-inch jointer being too small. When I was a kid my Dad a carpenter and avid woodworker had a 4-inch jointer which he thought was the top of the world (this was back in the 50's). When I started I first had a 4-inch, then I upgraded to a 6-inch Tiawan built jointer. After about 15-years I decided it was time for a new jointer I could not afford or justify an 8-inch so I bought a 6-inch Delta Professional model. WHile I like the planer I have found that 6-inch has its limitations. If I were younger and had the available funds I would have a 10-inch.

As for set up of the blades I use a Magna-Set. It is a magnetic arm that hangs over the blade and holds it at the proper height. You can set the blades within .002 and they all can be done within 10 or 15 minutes. In addiition, I sharpen my own blades and I keep a set ready to be installed whenever necessary.
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post #17 of 35 Old 10-07-2012, 08:39 AM
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In addiition, I sharpen my own blades and I keep a set ready to be installed whenever necessary
There is the benefit to being a wood AND a metal guy. Last time I did the knives in my jointer, I took them to work and sharpened them. Came out pretty good. But, I have no special tools to install them, so I just compensate with swearing.
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post #18 of 35 Old 10-09-2012, 03:01 PM
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I can suggest the Harbor Freight 6 inch jointer. It won't break the bank. BUT, it is a pain in the ass to set up. If you know anyone locally that knows jointers and can go over it with you then you might have a winner. I do not, therefore I know it's not "tuned" right. When I looked at other jointers the starting price was around 500 bucks and I couldn't find any used in my area.

Swearing is also highly useful.
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post #19 of 35 Old 10-09-2012, 05:46 PM
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Try Craigslist. I bought a used Rigid 6 1/8 for 150 bucks. Worth every penny and then some. And learning how to set up all your shop machinery is really important. The equipment is useless if you can't change knives and dial it all in. Take the time to learn how, it eliminates the cussing ;-)
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post #20 of 35 Old 10-09-2012, 07:28 PM
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you can do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrmaster View Post
I can suggest the Harbor Freight 6 inch jointer. It won't break the bank. BUT, it is a pain in the ass to set up. If you know anyone locally that knows jointers and can go over it with you then you might have a winner. I do not, therefore I know it's not "tuned" right. When I looked at other jointers the starting price was around 500 bucks and I couldn't find any used in my area.

Swearing is also highly useful.
There are several ways to set and check the height of the knives. I use a straight block with a mark. I rest the block on the outfeed table and rotate the knives forward as if they were cutting. This will propel the block forward and by adjusting the height on each side and each kive so the block moves the sawe amount no matter where you put it on the table or which knife you use. I try to achieve about 1/16" of forward travel.

Thintz uses a micrometer called a One Way Guage. It's fairly expensive but sets them dead on.

This will help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu0OADJAikw&feature=relmfu

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-09-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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