Planer sled question

Caseykasem

Casey
User
I made an 8ft planer sled using 3/4” birch ply. It’s bottom and top are 100% flat surfaces that are the reference surfaces. Due to its size, I believe, and weight it sags in the middle a bit. My question is if the sag in the middle will effect the end result of trying to flatten a board?
 

SabertoothBunny

SabertoothBunny
User
If I understand your description, you are trying to flatten a slab along the length of the board using this plywood sled? Over that length sagging will negatively affect your slab as it will result in an uneven cut. Maybe consider a sled that allows you to flatten along the width of the board rather than the length. This would serve to reduce the sagging potential of your sled. I do not think doing the width versus the length will be faster either way but cutting across the width would definately be easier than length.

Not sure if this helps but good luck.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I actually prefer a slight sag in the middle, right under the knives. Look very closely at the pic below and you'll see some old business cards I use to raise the sled slightly on the infeed and outfeed sides. I wouldn't want more than a few thousands of elevation, maybe 1/64 - 1/32" at each end.

PS: I've since replaced the formica. :confused:

IMG_1112.JPG
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
I hope this isn’t a silly question, but is your lumber attached to the sled and put through the planer or is the sled stationary and resting on the planer bed/out feed table?

I made an 8ft planer sled using 3/4” birch ply. It’s bottom and top are 100% flat surfaces that are the reference surfaces. Due to its size, I believe, and weight it sags in the middle a bit. My question is if the sag in the middle will effect the end result of trying to flatten a board?
 

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
I attach my wood to the sled and shim as needed to stabilize and level it. Hot melt glue to hold shims and wood in place. Then plane top surface flat. Remove from sled and flip over to flatten the other side. My sled is four feet long. Eight foot is pretty big and will take two people to handle. Try and keep your pieces shorter or you might be removing too much wood.
 
Last edited:

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
I made an 8ft planer sled using 3/4” birch ply. It’s bottom and top are 100% flat surfaces that are the reference surfaces. Due to its size, I believe, and weight it sags in the middle a bit. My question is if the sag in the middle will effect the end result of trying to flatten a board?
Is your board being supported by the sled or not? The idea behind a sled is, its flat and follows the planer bottom rollers maintaining an equidistant plane to mimic a jointer. So if that surface varies, so will your face cut. It must be rigid and straight to function properly
 

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
Is your board being supported by the sled or not? The idea behind a sled is, its flat and follows the planer bottom rollers maintaining an equidistant plane to mimic a jointer. So if that surface varies, so will your face cut. It must be rigid and straight to function properly
My planer only has top rollers.
 

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