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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Valla Beach
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    Default My mini overhead router sled

    Hi gang, Over the years I have made a few overhead router sleds for various purposes, but never really been happy with any of them. Now that I am spending a lot of time making boxes with resin lids (a lot of time being the operative words), and using my homemade drum sander to sand the lids, I needed something better. The drum sander was taking forever. So with a lot of planning I built my latest overhead router sled. The photos here give you a bit of an idea of what I do to start off a lid.

    After the lid is removed from my mold it would be about 15mm to 16mm thick. Then I want it down to about 11mm to 12mm thick. Bearing in mind I still add another 2mm of a flood coat later to create the glass look finish.

    I did a lot of searching for a new router, something small, compact, powerful and not that heavy. This new De Walt combination plunge router/fixed router is perfect. With the flick of a lever the main part of the router slips out of the plunge base and slips into a fixed base. I must admit I have not used the fixed base yet, I need to get my brain working for some ideas for that. The only negative with this router is it only takes 1/4 inch bits. I have two planing bits that remove 32mm each go.

    You might notice in the photos I added an extra length (200mm) to my length as I originally purchased a set of 600mm and a set of 500mm linear tracks. Not knowing exactly how much distance they would traverse for both axis. I was just a tad short in the length. I could have just moved my adjustable timber clamps/wedges and moved the job a couple of inches. But I purchased another 200mm set, making my length now 800mm. At least this gave me another 4 mounting blocks should I ever need them. The mounting blocks have a heap of tiny ball bearings in them, that just allow the blocks to slide over the circular rails very easy.

    I just had to rebuild the base when I extended it. Just another piece of white chipboard.

    I used 10mm polycarbonate to build the cradle.

    Love it.

    Paul
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leopold, Victoria
    Age
    64
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    4,436

    Default

    That looks fantastic Paul, almost as good as your boxes Those linear bearings are great to build anything with that needs precision and ease of movement. Did you just buy them off Ebay or similar?
    How well does the dust extraction work? Is the carriage made from Perspex or Polycarbonate? Looks like it's about 10mm thick.
    Sorry for all the questions but I just appreciate all the work you have put into it.
    Dallas

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Valla Beach
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    Default

    Hi and thanks Dallas. I forgot to mention the timber in this box is,........in the lid some offcuts from an old slab of Huon Pine. In the box the blonde timber is Jacaranda milled from a tree planted in 1932. Given to me from a bowling mate from Brisbane who visits my Club regularly. I wish I had more of it, lovely to work with. Also some very old Rosewood. And the hinges are from Aldav.

    The dust extraction, it works ok, not brilliant. It's just a cheapie Ryobi vac system from Bunnings. I removed the bag from it and it goes direct into the vac. I also hook it up to my De Walt table saw. Just so happened the nozzle fitted perfectly onto the De Walt Router. I can then just remove the nozzle and turn the vac on and suck up all the dust around the job.

    The carriage I made from 10mm polycarbonate. I used 5 minute epoxy glue to do the butt joints and later put some nice screws into each joint to try and make it as solid as I possibly can.

    Paul

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kew, Vic
    Posts
    963

    Default

    Great sled AND great box, Paul. I can see this saving you a huge amount of time. Sounds like you have lots of orders in the pipeline

    Brian

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,164

    Default

    Hello Paul. I really like your sled and the product!!! Very nice.
    I see some great uses. I have googled linear slides and come up with heaps of places to buy, sizes etc.
    Would you be willing to let me know what sizes you used, and what do you call the end stops (end stops???)
    There is a place close-ish to me, Beresfield out from Newcastle, that might have those linear bearing and slides. But if you could tell me the specific names and lengths, that'd help me enormously.
    Can I print out a photo of your sled to show them what I want to make?
    The sizes you used enable you to dress it looks like about A4 size, ( 210mm x 300mm) is that right. Do you add 'runners' along the length if you want to size thicker material.
    Thanks in advance
    Lyle.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Valla Beach
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    Default

    Hi Lyle and thanks, Sure you can print out a copy of my sled and show it to your local shop. There are probably others on here that have already started to think about making one. As you say there are heaps of places that sell these linear rails. The ends are called stop collars and they would be available from wherever you decide to buy your rails from. Mine are the 20mm size, meaning the circular rail on top is 20mm diam. They do come in smaller sizes.

    I made mine for a specific purpose, only to do my resin/timber lids. My largest size is for my large boxes, the size being 320mm x 190mm coming out of the mold. Gives me a few mm for trimming for a finished box size of 315mm x 185mm. I do have various size molds made for smaller than that. That's where my clamping system comes in and the length of timber (chipboard) on the inside of the tracks to lock it all in.

    I have a lid out of the mold waiting for me to work on. It is 16.2mm thick. I want to get it down to about 11 to 12mm. I did another two pours yesterday. I can have lids made before I even think about starting the box.

    Not sure what you mean by "add runners along the length". You can't add runners to lift the height of the rails as they are screwed to the base. You could add say a wide piece of timber under the job to lift it up, but that is the opposite to what your getting at. I guess you could add a removable piece of timber between where you screw the rails on and the main base,...!!!

    The depth of the base of the carriage where the router is mounted is critical as you are already losing 10mm for the router bit to protrude though prior to it touching your job. So you cant have too much distance between the underneath of the carriage and your job.

    The good thing about that new De Walt combination router is that the plunge base stays mounted to the carriage all the time. You just flick a little lever and the inner slips out and goes into a fixed base.

    Good luck,

    Paul

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks Paul.
    Understand what you've said.
    I'll start my research.
    Lyle

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