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sawdust: projects
Mobile Base for 15" Planer
30 Nov 2009

Mobile Base for 15" Planer, part 1 - pics and design

These are the features that I designed for:
  1. Saves space (with the tables stowed, it is shorter than the planer with the original triple rollers)
  2. Quick setup - it takes about 15 seconds to extend or stow the extenstion tables
  3. Does not require a flat floor (the table supports do not contact the ground)
  4. Both ends of the tables can be adjusted to be perfectly coplanar with the bed of the planer
  5. Tables are very flat (uses torsion box construction) and will not be affected by seasonal humidity changes
  6. Handles 8' boards without additional support on either end
  7. Maximizes unused space for storage
Before boring you with the details, let's cut to the chase. Here's the mobile base with the 15" Planer. It is about 10' long with the infeed and outfeed tables extended.

The infeed/outfeed tables fold up for storage:

The overall length of the base (with the tables stowed) is ~8" shorter than it was with the original triple rollers (4" on each end).

Here is a video demonstrating the process of extending the tables:

And finally, a video of the stand in use. If you've ever watched a planer before, this won't be terribly interesting :)

Design Process

I started with this very rough sketch (which scanned very poorly):

planer stand - rough sketch

After working through a few more detailed sketches, I turned to Google Sketchup to help visualize the plans in 3D.

planer stand model #1

planer stand model #2

planer stand model #3

At this point, however, I did not have a satisfactory design. I opted to continue with construction of the base and the tables. I hoped a good design would become obvious when I had a chance to work with the real parts. Fortunately, it did.

Continue on to the next page for construction details.