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araz

Router Planing Jig

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araz    3

Hi all,

Nothing earth shattering here but I designed and built a jig for planing with a router. I'm sure it has been done many times before but here it is anyway :D I was motivated by David's (Myka) neck pocklet jig and Martin Kosh's jig (p108 of his book).

The whole thing is made of 5/8" thick MDF and is really solid. I just planed a blank made of three Jatoba wood pieces and it worked amazingly :D

Anyway, here is the plan if anyone wants to build one. I can also take a photo of the jig itself if anyone is interested.

The base and rails should be long enough so the sliding rig can cover the entire wood to be planed. Mine is 4' long, more than enough! (I plan to eventually build David's neck pocket jig on the right-hand-side, but that's for later...)

The sliding rig should, well..., slide over the rails with ease. The MDF surfaces are perfect for this. They are smooth enough for sliding and rough enough to prevent unwanted movement.

The rails are made from 2 pieces stacked together and can either be glued or screwed together (I started to glue them but realized that there was a lot space to cover and finally just screwed them). You can add more pieces (height) for thicker plancks of wood. The screws are counter sunk so the sliding rig doesn't snag. The rails are then attched to the main board with screws from under.

The MDF router support 1 has a 3" opening so the router bit can safely fit through.

The MDF router support 2 has 3 functions. i) doubles the tickness of the sliding rig so the rig doesn't bend under the weight of the router; ii) the long edges guide the router along a straight line and iii) the short edges prevent the router from going too far and hitting the rails.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Araz

41router_planing_jig2.jpg

Edited by araz

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Southpa    5

Thanks, I will make! I got 2" thick mahogany here and I don't plan on sanding that down, :D . What do you use to hold the "wood to be planed" steady?

Edited by Southpa

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GregP    8

Nice work, showing what you can do with just a bit of MDF and some creativity.

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jay5    2

Very cool! What program did you use to draw that?

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araz    3
Thanks, I will make!  I got 2" thick mahogany here and I don't plan on sanding that down,  :D .  What do you use to hold the "wood to be planed" steady?

Good question! I don't have a good solution for now. I placed a long piece of MDF flat on the main board, one end touching the side of the wood to be planed and the other gripped to the end of the board with a clamp (same thing on the other side of the wood). Hope my description is clear. Either way it's not a perfect solution but it does seem to hold the wood in place. If you have any suggestion please let me know.

Araz

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araz    3
Very cool! What program did you use to draw that?

The program is called sketchup. Check it out at www.sketchup.com

Araz

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mledbetter    0

My setup isn't as nice, but it's the same idea. Router on a sled hanging over the piece of wood. I use carpet tape to hold the body blank down just like you'd use on a template. You don't need much hold as there isn't lots of pressure. You just don't want the thing sliding or popping up anywhere.

dbl stick tape may not stick too well to MDF though so you might consider putting a layer of hardboard on the bottom to have a better sticking surface.

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Mickguard    0

I built a similar jig, using Setch's design-- steel hollow square beams. I used 8mm thick steel strips for the rails.

But my router wasn't up to snuff --it refuses to stay completely locked down--there's a significant variation (up to 1 mm) in depth between passes--don't know if it's me, or if it's the cheap router.

That's not a big deal when I'm routing a cavity--and I haven't had problems routing small cavities and such-- but I couldn't come up with a smooth surface on my practice wood.

Didn't want to try it on the real piece -- a 40 x 50 x 4 cm single piece of mahogany I found lying around in the loft over my offfice...

Anyway, my problem was solved when the drummer in my band (who's also a great amateur carpenter) walked in, took the piece of wood from me and told me he's bringing it to a buddy of his-- a professional with a pro thicknesser :D

Still, I think I'm in the market for an upgraded router...

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araz    3

I thought about double-sided tape but I'm worried that it's going to remove a skin off the MDF when I pull it off. The rubber router mat idea reminded me of Myka's setup where he placed a piece of sandpaper under the wood to be worked on. This may be enough in my case to stabilize the wood, it really does not get pushed around much, specially if I'm only routing (planing) 1/8th" or less at a time.

Araz

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toddler68    10
I thought about double-sided tape but I'm worried that it's going to remove a skin off the MDF when I pull it off.  The rubber router mat idea reminded me of Myka's setup where he placed a piece of sandpaper under the wood to be worked on.  This may be enough in my case to stabilize the wood, it really does not get pushed around much, specially if I'm only routing (planing) 1/8th" or less at a time.

Araz

I use double-sided tape on raw MDF all the time without incident. If you're worried, you might seal the MDF with some spray-on poly.

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mleichtl    1

My only issue is the router carriage, being mdf, it could be a little flexible with the router dead center and end up dishing out the work piece.

I've also seen a different concept, a router fitted with a pair of skis. then you could thickness on any flat surface.

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araz    3
My only issue is the router carriage, being mdf, it could be a little flexible with the router dead center and end up dishing out the work piece. 

I've also seen a different concept, a router fitted with a pair of skis.  then you could thickness on any flat surface.

Although the second layer of MDF on top helps a lot, it is, nevertheless, a tiny bit flexible IF you press down on it when the router is in the middle of the carriage. Since I only glide the router up and down the carriage without pressing down on it, no bending occurs.

Araz

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Mattia    1

Cheap and simple fix for flex: work a couple of aluminum U-channel, angle or square rods into the design. Steel's even better if you got it. Don't have to be huge, and a little extra stiffening will go a long way.

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Mattia    1

How's a cast iron tabletop going to prevent the MDF the carriage is made of/router is riding on from flexing?

Angle or U-channel reinforcements are cheap and easy solutions, methinks. Or use plywood (good quality) instead of MDF, which is less rubbery.

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cherokee6    0

I've seen jigs like this in Fine Woodworking magazine. They claims it works quite well. They even had a jig you can make to straighten or rather, cut the wood into a workable piece with another jig when you don't have access to a jointer. :D

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Mickguard    0

Setch posted his version of this somewhere (might be on his web site), it's even simpler.

I use two sets of hollow square steel rails. One set is clamped to the table top.

The other set (each is 100 cm long) is the sled--the router base is attached to that --I use double sided tape to attach it. I also add clamps at the ends to hold the rails together.

That's it.

The square steel rails don't flex at all. They also slide quite nicely.

The biggest issue is making sure the piece you're planing stays flat and doesn't move.

On the other hand, I know a local carpenter who'll plane large pieces for me for 5 euros (I insist on paying him actually, to make sure he'll let me come back :D ). Can't beat the precision of his machines.

For smaller narower jobs, though, I found it easier to make a simple sled out of a piece of MDF flooring (it has a smoothed surface applied). I routed a hole in the center. Again, I attach the router to that with double-sided tape.

Since the surface is narrow, there's little room for the MDF to flex.

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Hi there....

I needed a router Planning Jig as well, not only to plane level, but especially at an angle (for the tenon area)... so I read some posts and did some research but most of the planning jigs I found where for planning level or at an angle but not both. And then their was the flexing MDF problem.

I came up with the following solution, which gives me all the flexibillity I need and non of the problems I saw with other jigs...

I made the base out of thick (2,3 cm; about 1 inch) wood (MDF) of 50x60cm ( approx 20x23 inch). In the corners I put in M12 bolts of about 10cm (approx 0,5 x 4 inch) and put a nut on every bolt. I used aluminium L profiles to put over the bolts (resting on the nut) . I made the holes in the L-profile wide enough so the L profile can be put over the bolts at an angle..

From the same L Profiles I made a router carriage... and it doesn't flex at all!!! On all the parts that glide I put on the smoothest tape I could find....

planingjig2.jpg

By moving the nuts up or down I can either plane level or at an angle...(the angle in the picture is about 3 degrees... ) great thing is that I can just measure the angle and make the nessecary adjustments, or I can calculate the height difference between the left and right side of the L profile for a given angle and make the adjustments by moving the nut up or down....

planingjigangle.jpg

I'm pretty pleased with the end-result!!

Grz Arjan

Edited by ArieBombarie

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