A Router Planing Jig

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. A combination of a new job and lots of other things to do has eaten into both my woodworking and blogging time, but I’m going to try and add a few of the missed projects over the coming weeks.

A few months ago I built a jig I’ve been meaning to do for a long time – a router planing jig. Basically it’s a framework to allow you to use a router to plane a surface dead flat. It’s made up of two parks – a use shaped base that you put the wood to be planed into, and a sled that runs over the rails and contains the router. Because it’s on the rails the router always cuts parrallel to the base, letting you flatten warped pieces easily.

First I cut a bit of plywood to size. It’s only about 5mm thick, if I had to start over I’d make it thicker just to avoid any chance of it flexing

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Then I cut two bits of hardwood to the same length as the ply. You want to use hardwood as a softwood like pine will wear too quickly with the sled running over it and this could leave you routing uneven depths.

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Then I glued one to each side, to make a U-Shaped channel. Once the glue is dry, nail these on as well from underneath.

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I cleaned up the sides with a block plane before sanding them as well

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Then I made sure the sides were dead flat and level with each other, because the more accurate the base of the jig the more accurate the result when you use it to plane a workpiece

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Now for some reason I don’t seem to have taken pictures of the sled being built, so here’s one from today showing the router mounted in the sled. I waxed the rails of the sled so I can slide the router side to side as well if I want to, which is great for when the wood being planed is almost as wide as the base so you need to be careful not to cut the base as well. All you need to do is put the wood to be planed into the sled, and then lower the router bit to the desired depth. If the wood being planed is too thin for the bit to reach, just put a piece of scrap underneath to raise it up. I usually use a piece of rubber drawer mat underneath whatever I’m planing to keep it from moving.

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