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Router sled and 'Unibase'


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I made one of these sleds while still at work to cut the many tenons I needed to make for an oak commemorative bench that eventually went into a churchyard. That was a very simple affair, made out of scrap wood that we had lying around, and when I retired, I left it there. This one is a bit more sophisticated, as I have plenty of time on my hands now.

The second quick and easy project this week was to make a circular base for my router...Trend make one called a 'Unibase' (around £20) which fits several different brands, but this one will be unique to my Trend T5e.

The sled base and rails are 18mm MDF. The base is 500mm x 380mm, and the rails are 30mm high. I made a schoolboy error here, but more about that later. The construction of the wooden parts is straightforward enough so I won't go into that in too much detail, but basically just involves glueing and screwing. Some that you might see on Youtube are huge affairs...capable of flattening large slabs of tree trunk...this one has been made to accomodate timber up to 50mm thick and up to 300mm wide. It is especially good at flattening cupped wood, making tenons and halving joints and supporting the router if making recesses in the face of a piece.

This is the base assembled.
Router sled.

As mentioned above, this is to accommodate timber up to 50mm thick, and I originally made the rails that high. It was here that I realised that with the added height of the router trolley, it would have been too high for the cutter to reach the work below, so I had to remove the rails and take 20mm off the bottom of each one. In the pic below, the rail is still at 50mm. Notice the rabbet along the top edge to take the aluminium rail.
Router sled.

The rabbet was cut (on the new router table!) to allow the edge of the channel to sit flush to the surface. The trolley edge will run along this.
Router sled.

Router sled.

Router sled.

It's glued on with CA mitre adhesive...super glue with an activator.
Router sled.

The trolley, or carriage is made from aluminium angle, the top rails 25mm x 25mm equal angle and the side rails 20mm x 30mm odd angle. I ordered 4 sealed bearings, 16mm dia. x 5mm centre hole and 5mm wide to act as rollers. (£2.19 each from ebay, buy 3, get 4th free)
Router sled.

The top rails were then lined with 20mm x 20mm plastic angle to help the router slide smoothly.
Router sled.

Router sled.

The end pieces were cut, rollers bolted on, everything squared up and clamped, then pop riveted together.
Router sled.

Router sled.

Although you can't see it very well (I should have taken a close up), the extra width of the odd angle runs along the outer edge of the top rail and keeps it all square.
Router sled.

Here's how it all sits. I just need to add some end stops to prevent the trolley coming off the ends.
Router sled.

Now it's quite a simple task to flatten a piece of cupped wood which would probably have been discarded before.
Router sled.

...or cut a halving joint...
Router sled.

Router sled.

 

 

The router base I made to allow me to follow templates a bit easier. The Trend T5 base has two flat sides and two curved ends...
Router sub base.

When using against fences, it makes it awkward to change direction as the two distances from the centre point are different. A round base will solve this. Starting with a 5mm thick piece of acrylic, the fixing holes are drilled and countersunk. This acrylic is too thin to counterbore for pan head screws, so I'm using countersunk ones.
Router sub base.

Router sub base.

Router sub base.

Now that I can fix the acrylic to the router, I used a sharp chamfer cutter to centre dot it ready for the circle jig.

Router sub base.

I used the new circle jig to cut the disc.
Router sub base.

Using the same centre mark, the central hole is cut with a hole saw, then all the edges chamfered.
Router sub base.

Now I have a uniform, round base which can be attached as and when required.
Router sub base.

Router sub base.

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At the moment, for these small projects, I'm just getting it from B&Q who seem to stock quite a few different sizes and profiles. They do most in 1m or 2m lengths. I think the 25 x 25 angle was around £4.50 for 1m. (Cheaper than most ebay suppliers from what I can see). Plus the added advantage of being able to go and get it straight away (and check sizes etc.) instead of waiting for a delivery from an online supplier. 

The aluminium T tracks that I use are from ebay though, as B&Q don't stock them.

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Similar price to Wickes where I  got mine, (needed 8 metres ) gulp!!

Dread to think what state a 2m length would look like if bought online and posted. 

I always pick up timber in person now after having garbage delivered from builders merchants in the past.

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I'm lucky in the fact that I get a lot of softwood from my friend who works at Pinewood studios as a set carpenter...they have loads of offcuts, some quite large and it's all skipped! The WBP ply and 18mm MDF that I've used so far was again offcuts from the workshop where I worked. I find that the likes of Wickes and B&Q charge a lot for smaller pieces...for instance a piece of 6mm MDF 16" x 32" (a ninth of an 8' x 4' sheet) is £7.50 at B&Q...the whole sheet is only £14! I know they have to make a charge for cutting it, but that's ridiculous! Unfortunately, I just don't have the room to store a full sheet.

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Yes it's bloody annoying paying a premium for being a 'hobbyist'. I've got a plumber mate over the road from me who has taken me

with his large van to pick up 8 x 4 sheet material in the past but  I hate asking tbh.

 

Got the Shuko plug cut off the pillar drill today, replaced with the best plug Screwfix had. Luckily the wiring is as UK colour coding.

 

large.IMG_20201003_152319008_HDR.jpg.613d447d378e059b63d9a39856a7fdbf.jpg

 

 

 

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