EZ Planing Sled – Future Improvements

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As it often happens with my ideas, the moment I start thinking about some type of innovation or another I gravitate to my sketchbook and try to evolve it on paper until I feel certain it has ripened enough and is ready to be built. But sometimes, at least with me, I have to force myself to put aside my sketchbook and go to the shop and give the basic ideas a chance – even before exhausting all my designer’s neurons on it.

In these moments I remind myself that the rabbit hole of design can go deep, split into different tunnels, and consequently take me away from my original intent, so I’d rather stop at some early point and give the damn thing a chance before spending additional time and brain resources on the drawing board. 

The EZ sled idea was one of those notions where I had to stop myself from sliding too deep into the design rabbit hole.

Early on in the process, after buying and trying 3M Safety-Walk Gray, I decided I should give the concept of enhancing traction via this product the first chance on a simple sled. But now as I like the result and I feel that it works, I decided to share my  additional sketches with you. 

In the improved design, we don’t need to affix the 3M Safety Walk on the entire surface of the sled. It is only needed in the dados, the grooves, and on the shims.

The improve sled resembles a shipyard dry dock, where multiple wedges can be tucked under the board in relative stability to provide for optimal support during the milling process. This support system has fewer chances of moving on you as you feed and retrieve it from the planer. The secret to this Planer’s Dry Dock (Planing Dry Dock?) is its network of grooves and dados that prevent the wedges from moving along the length of the board. The PDD should also include a central groove capable of flanking a pair of long wedged to support a cupped board etc. 


The 3M Safety Walk strips should be affixed inside the dados and grooves and be attached to the wedge’s sole and top. When making your wedged consider arching their top (b) to increase their board support capabilities.

Check these drawings to see where my designer mind took me. While this idea is still only on paper I don’t see why it would not be very successful on plywood or MDF too.

I wonder who is going to build it first?

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