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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are a bunch of different versions of this jig around, but I wanted to share mine with all of you because of the simplicity. I originally saw the basic idea of using the TS top over on Lumberjocks, and made a few changes to it in order to work better for me.

Back story:
I made a few end grain cutting boards as Christmas presents this year, and they were a huge hit with the recipients. I'm sure most of you have experienced this, but as soon as everyone else saw them, the requests came piling in! Originally, I had tried using a belt sander to flatten the boards after final glue up (as Kenbo's instructions suggest) but I didn't have enough skill or control to achieve good results. I ended up finding a guy in town that had a drum sander, and had him flatten the previous boards for me.

I finished two more boards this past week, and as luck would have it, my buddy with the drum sander is out of town. I needed to have one of the boards done for my mother's birthday this week, so I figured it was a perfect time to build a router planer jig. I've always wanted to build one of these, but never had a justifiable reason to do so... until now!


The jig:

Instead of trying to produce two perfectly flat and identical runners, I choose to use the cast iron top of my tablesaw as my reference. It is the truest surface most of us have in our shops, and by using it as a base, it takes out a lot of the extra work. I started by gluing up 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF ripped to 4" wide, and cut to the length of the saw top. I chose MDF because of its flatness and consistency.
runner glue up.jpg

Once they were dry, I scraped off the squeeze out and attached them to the top of the saw. The original jig I saw used 3 rare earth magnets to keep them in place. I didn't have any, so I laid down a strip of painters tape to protect the cast iron, and then a few short strips of carpet tape to hold the runners in place. It worked phenomenally, and did no damage to the top because of the painters tape.
runners attached.jpg

I then built the sled portion using a piece of scrap 3/4" birch ply, and some 1x4 oak. I went with oak because it was the hardest stuff I had on hand. I jointed one edge of each piece, and attached them to the ply using several 1 5/8" drywall screws. I then set up a couple of stop blocks for the router, drilled a 3/4" hole in the waste section, and began slotting out the center making multiple passes, increasing the depth each time, until the center was removed.
slotting.jpg

This is the initial set up I chose. I planned to slide the sled up and down the runners, while moving the router back and forth across the cutting board. The board was attached to the saw top using....... you guessed it, carpet tape!
jig set up.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I had read that these sign making bits or bowl/dish cutting bits work well because they don't produce as much tear out.
sign bit.jpg

The tear out part is true, but I was getting very inconsistent results, and decided to change over to a standard 5/8" straight bit. I also didn't like the fact that the router and sled were moving all over the place, so I attached it to the center of the sled using some short drywall screws.
first finished side.jpg

You can see that I am taking very little off the surface. I just want to get it flat and trying to maximize overall thickness. You can see there is a little bit of tear out with the straight bit, but we'll get to that shortly.
progress.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Once I had finished routing side 1 (I start with what will be the bottom of the board) the surface felt pretty rough, and had a good bit of tear out. I took out my ROS with a 60 grit disc, and the surface smoothed out in no time.
sanded side.jpg

Once sanded, I flipped the board over, and attached it the table top so I could flatten the other side. The first side was so flat, and sat so level on the saw top that I was able to attach it by using painters tape on either end to keep it from shifting!
progress overview.jpg

Again, I took the least amount of material off that I could.
end section view.jpg

This is the finished product. The board closest to us is one that was flattened with a drum sander that I did as a Christmas gift, and the other two are the boards I flattened with the jig.
finished boards.jpg

Each method still required a fair amount of sanding after being flattened. A brand new drum sander costs about $1,000+ and all my method cost me was a little time some scrap wood!
 

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Wonderful tutorial.
It takes a lot of time and thought to produce those so we all thank you.
Nice shop setup.
I like the DC setup. Care to share?

Nice work you do.
Mineral oil finish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wonderful tutorial.
It takes a lot of time and thought to produce those so we all thank you.
Nice shop setup.
I like the DC setup. Care to share?

Nice work you do.
Mineral oil finish?
I am always willing to share!

DC is a 1hp Penn State Industries I picked up for $50 a while back. Immediately ditched the dual bag setup and ordered the cartridge style filter which I think is a must. Got the "separator kit" from Rockler as a Christmas present this year. I planned on making a wooden top for the metal trash can I bought specifically to use as a separator. Installed it on the metal lid temporarily, but it works just fine so I think I'll stick with it.

The clear hose you see is the main line. It is a 10' flexible hose that I connect to whatever machine I am using at the time. In a small shop like mine where only one tool is being used at a time, it works well, and isn't imposing on space all that much.

I ran 4"PVC from the port under the table saw, up under my outfeed table, and have a connection port right near the DC. Much easier than having to get down on the ground to hook it up each time.

As for the finish on the boards, I use Kenbo's recipe of Mineral oil and paraffin wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Off topic question but I have he same ts and was wondering how you attached the outfeed table.
I found this thread a while back, and it was actually one of the reasons I joined the site.

Read the latest update by the OP where he says he put wing nuts on the mounting screws to make it easier to remove, it is a good tip. There is also another good thread on here where a guy built one with a hinge so that it folds down.
 

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THANK YOU MAN!!! I've been thinking about making a end grain cutting board and was thinking about making this jig cause I don't have a grand to spend on a drum sander!!!! I actually went to woodcraft today and talked to them and priced some bits to use!!! You said you got the best results with the least tear out from a strait bit? I was also looking at a bowl bit
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
THANK YOU MAN!!! I've been thinking about making a end grain cutting board and was thinking about making this jig cause I don't have a grand to spend on a drum sander!!!! I actually went to woodcraft today and talked to them and priced some bits to use!!! You said you got the best results with the least tear out from a strait bit? I was also looking at a bowl bit
I tried the bowl bit, but I think the one I used was too small. There wasn't much tearout, but it left a lot of high ridges and would have taken a lot longer with more passes. You may have better results with a bowl bit that's bigger and sharper than what I was using.

The board will still need a good bit of sanding after this, but I recently started using Klingspor pads which cuts that time down to about 30 minutes instead of 3 hours. The stuff you get from the big box stores is nothing compare to the Klingspor stuff.
 
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