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Using a router as a planer

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Forum topic by PhilLight posted 03-13-2018 01:55 PM 1157 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PhilLight

12 posts in 457 days


03-13-2018 01:55 PM

I haven’t done it but I’ve seen the technique of using a router with a jig to flatten a large surface such as a workbench or tabletop or something like that. Can this same technique be used safely on end grain? A friend is needing to flatten a large round cut from a tree with a chainsaw. It is white oak and approximately 30 inches in diameter. He tried using a power plane on it and it destroys blades very quickly and efficiently. Is it likely to do the same thing to a router bit?


18 replies so far

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TheFridge

10723 posts in 1686 days


#1 posted 03-13-2018 02:04 PM

People do it with end grain cutting boards all the time. As to what bits? Don’t know

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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TechTeacher04

392 posts in 1732 days


#2 posted 03-13-2018 02:19 PM

Any straight cutting bit will work, size depends on the router you have and the size of the work you are trying to flatten. Obviously a larger router can turn a larger bit and you can cover more ground quicker. It really depends on what you have at your disposal. Center cutting bits are not required as long as you can ramp you first cut or you can start the plunge off the stock.

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John Smith

1482 posts in 363 days


#3 posted 03-13-2018 02:27 PM

and ~ take small bites at a time.
several passes will give you less tearout other issues than one or two full passes.
the last couple of passes should be 1/8” or less.
you will be telegraphing the profile of the router sled to the stock you are working on.
so – your sled and router base must be as straight and accurate as possible
a hefty router (2-3hp) with 1/2” shank and very sharp 1” to 1-1/4” bottom bit will be fine.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

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OSU55

1966 posts in 2190 days


#4 posted 03-13-2018 02:45 PM

It will work well on end grain, hard to get tearout (major issue with face grain). I think my bit is 2”, light passes to allow good control. Dont rush the cutting – trying to save time there after the time put into a slide, rails, and mounting makes no sense. It will leave lines between passes almost impossible to prevent. Sand or handplane to remove.

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UncleBuck

249 posts in 281 days


#5 posted 03-13-2018 03:27 PM

JUST BUILT A NEW ONE THAT WILL DO 6 FOOT X 24 INCH SLABS OLD ONE WAS WOOD ON WOOD THIS ONE HAS BEARINGS SO IT RUNS NICE USED POLY FOR THE ROUTER SLIDE. A LOT CHEAPER THAN THE WOOD WIZ THEY ARE HIGH PRICED.

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View Drew's profile

Drew

350 posts in 3300 days


#6 posted 03-13-2018 06:08 PM

Infinity tools makes a router bit specifically for that.

Dado & Planer Router Bits

-- TruCraftFurniture.com

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AZWoody

1413 posts in 1424 days


#7 posted 03-13-2018 06:18 PM

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1482 posts in 363 days


#8 posted 03-13-2018 06:27 PM

wow, thanks Drew !! I just ordered the 1-1/2” bit. looks like it is pretty versatile.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View BoardButcherer's profile

BoardButcherer

144 posts in 295 days


#9 posted 03-13-2018 07:11 PM



wow, thanks Drew !! I just ordered the 1-1/2” bit. looks like it is pretty versatile.

- John Smith

I would have recommended the Amana myself. The replaceable blades are handy for leveling since you can find all kinds of trash in a large rough cut piece of wood like that. You can damage a bit on your first couple swipes and get stuck with a bunch of finish work or stuck waiting until a new bit arrives if you hit something big.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

3880 posts in 790 days


#10 posted 03-13-2018 08:12 PM

I use one so often to flatten mesquite slices for trays and lazy susans, that I have my DW625 router dedicated to it with the bit always chucked up. For a bit, I went with the Freud 1-3/4” dia. bit (12-194). It cuts beautifully. and makes a huge mess in the shop.

My method is to simply locate the low spot on the board, set the bit to that depth, then give the adjustment a half turn (1/32”). Depending on the board, the cut depth can go 1/4” and beyond. Someone mentioned tear out, but I’ve experience absolutely none at all. Even deep pours of epoxy are no problem for this router/bit combo.

I’ve found that getting the optimal RPM is helpful. Too slow and the router tends to walk — even to the point of moving the sled on the bed — when the cutting gets deep. Naturally, with a bit that size, you don’t want to go too fast either.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Firewood

525 posts in 1834 days


#11 posted 03-13-2018 09:01 PM

I built a sled for flattening slabs too wide for my 6” jointer. I put it on a pair of horses. One important step is to place a level on the sled over each horse and shim as needed to ensure you don’t plane a twist into your slab. Then shim the slab to make sure it’s stable during the routing process. I’ve had great success with this setup so far.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View PhilLight's profile

PhilLight

12 posts in 457 days


#12 posted 03-14-2018 01:11 AM

I greatly appreciate the advice and the links. Now I have to figure out which bit I want. Thank you!

View PhilLight's profile

PhilLight

12 posts in 457 days


#13 posted 03-14-2018 01:37 AM

I just ordered the same one. :-)


wow, thanks Drew !! I just ordered the 1-1/2” bit. looks like it is pretty versatile.

- John Smith


View Drew's profile

Drew

350 posts in 3300 days


#14 posted 03-16-2018 12:30 AM



I just ordered the same one. :-)

wow, thanks Drew !! I just ordered the 1-1/2” bit. looks like it is pretty versatile.

- John Smith

- PhilLight

Glad I could help

-- TruCraftFurniture.com

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5193 posts in 3444 days


#15 posted 03-20-2018 08:00 PM

I made a jig with two bed frame rails and a sled to flatten a 36×84 surface. Took time, but turned out good.

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