How to Make a Router Sled

If you want to cut clean and precise wood pieces for the completion of your woodworking projects then why don’t you choose a router sled? This is a modest jig to provide you with the fine cutting of wood at 90 degrees without any stress. This versatile tool can be used for multiple projects including cutting, shaping, or trimming.

But what to do if you want to make a DIY router sled? Many people are asking how to make a router sled effectively. What you need for this making is the right tools and the necessary material. After that, you have to follow the instructions which are explained in this article for your convenience.

So, without any delay let’s move toward the focal point which is the making of a router sled.

Why Would You Want to Make a Router Sled?

When you are opting for a router sled then the first thing in your brain is why would you need it. This versatile tool can be used for multiple tasks. Some of the important applications of this tool are mentioned below. 

  • Flattening Large Surfaces

Flattening the woods like tabletops, slabs, and panels at a large scale can be a bit challenging for you. But with the assistance of a router sled, the process will be effortless and smooth for you and will save you time also.

  • Woodworking Projects

A router sled will be amazing in woodworking projects as it can help you to attain precise and consistent results by providing you with flat and smooth surfaces of tabletops or workbench. 

  • Cost-Effectiveness

A DIY router sled will be an affordable option for you as compared to the other tools. With the help of easy-to-approach materials, you can easily build a good router sled at a cost-effective price.

Customization and Adaptability

When you are making your tool then it would be easy for you to change its features according to your need. According to the different dimensions of the workpiece, you can adjust the size and height of your router sled easily. 


This multiple-purpose tool can be used for different woodworking projects. Along with flattening surfaces, this tool can also be used for bevels, dadoes, and chamfers creation on large wood pieces.

Learning Experience

If you build your tool then, it will be an excellent learning experience for you. You can develop different woodworking skills with the use of this incredible tool and attain an amazing experience in woodworking and craftsmanship.

Materials Needed:

  • Plywood or MDF: For the sled base and frame.
  • Straight, sturdy lumber: For the rails.
  • Screws or bolts: To assemble the sled and frame.
  • Router: To attach to the sled.
  • Clamps: For securing the work piece to the sled.
  • Measuring tape, pencil, and square: For measuring and marking.

Process of making a Router Sled

When you have all the necessary material then the next step is the making process of the router sled. Below, a step-by-step guide is explained.

Step 1: Designing the Sled

First, you have to measure the size of the sled base according to which you are going to design the sled. A rectangular plywood or MDF piece will be best for making a sturdy sled’s base. The width and length of the must be enough to adjust the size of the work piece conveniently. 

Step 2: Creating Rails 

The next step is the cutting of two equidistant and equal in size rails made up of lumber. These rails must be larger than the size of the base for the extension on both sides of the base. The lumber’s surface must be clean and flat to ensure the sled’s accuracy. 

Step 3: Attaching the Rails 

Then, you have to adjust the rails in a parallel direction to each other on the surface of the sled base. To assure the safety and strong grip of the rails on the base, you need to use screws and bolts.

Step 4: Mounting the Router 

To mount the router in the sled, you have to keep one end of the sled base open. The opening side must be equal to the size and shape of the router. Due to this open side, the router will easily be leveled on the surface of the sled base for accurate working. To ensure the alignment of the router, you can use screws and bolts to adjust it firmly on the base of the sled. 

Step 5: Adjusting the Router’s Depth 

The bit of the router must be protruding slightly below the sled surface to adjust the depth of the router. This adjustment will be beneficial to provide you with desired results while working. 

Step 6: Securing the Work piece 

Now you can place the work piece on the sled surface but it must be balanced on the surface. With the assistance of clamps, you can secure the work piece and will get desired cuts.

Step 7: Routing the Work piece 

Now it’s time to turn on the router and move it on the surface of the work piece back and forth for even edges. In the beginning, you have to use the router for shallow passes but gradually you can move it evenly to attain the desired flat surface of the woods. If you don’t want to get into any worry then, you have to move the router steadily.

Step 8: Finishing Touches 

So, it’s time to check the results. Now take out the work piece and check if the results are according to your estimation or not. If not then you can repeat the process and at the end, you can apply an elegant finish on the work piece as well.

Tips for Using a Router Sled

To handle the router sled with perfection, you need to follow some tips. These tips can help you to achieve success within a short time.

  • If you are going to handle a flattening process, then you have to take care of secure adjustment of the work piece. You can fasten the work piece with the use of screams and clamps to avoid its movement during the routing process. This secure adjustment will be advantageous for achieving consistent and accurate results. 
  • When you are initiating the routing process then, you have to pass the router shallowly to the work piece surface. You should move towards the deep cuts gradually. If you try for deep cuts in the beginning then, it can generate pressure on the bit and can harm your woodworking projects. 
  • You should not go for jerky or erratic movements on the work piece surface as it can lead you to bad results. You have to maintain a consistent speed and pressure during the routing process for removing the material evenly.
  • You can overlap the routing paths for even flattening. This overlapping will exclude the ridges that may be due to the size of the bit or due to the uneven surface of the work piece. 
  • For achieving fine results, you need to check the wooden surface periodically. It will help you to enhance your routing skills and help you to find out the areas where more attention is needed. 
  • Must clean the router bit after every pass, as the sawdust and debris of the work piece can accumulate in the router bit and can affect its performance. If you clean the bit periodically then it can optimize the working of the router as well.


So, when you are fully equipped with the material that a router sled-making necessitates, you can easily learn how to make a router sled. After following the above-given step-by-step process and useful tips, you can easily get over this task. But always keep in mind to be safe while doing any woodwork. So always take safety measures for your safety as well 

I hope after reading this brief guide, you can tackle the woodworking issues easily.

What size is a router sled?

A router sled can be 4′ to 10′ in length along with crossbar widths of 40′, 48′, or 60′.

Why do routers spin so fast?

The spinning of the router is fast so the inertia of the work piece can be maintained to adjust it in the sled for a long time for precise cuts.

Can a router sled replace a planer?

Yes, a router can be used for different woodworking projects. So, you can easily change it to a planner in a very short time.

My name is Johnathan James, and I have a lifelong passion for woodworking. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Furniture Making and Architectural Woodworking, which has further reinforced my knowledge and skills in these fields. I have gained considerable experience in the woodworking industry through my employment with a woodworking company. As a result, I am well-versed in a diverse range of specialized equipment, including but not limited to wood routers, router table, table saws, track saws, and chainsaws.

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