DIY Router Sled – Planing, Flattening, Leveling Live Edge Wood

DIY Router Sled - Planning, Flattening, Leveling Live Edge Wood

In many of my past live edge woodworking videos, I demonstrate how you can level out an uneven piece of wood…sometimes very large pieces of wood…with a routing sled as one of the first steps to getting it ready for a project. If you have access to a large, industrial planer, or don’t mind coughing up a pretty big chunk of cash to have a professional lumber mill operation level and flatten out a large slab of wood for you, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if neither of those is an option for you, then using a router, a router sled, and a large planning bit is the way to go. In this blog article, I’ll share with you a fast, fairly inexpensive way to make a sturdy, adjustable routing sled that you can use for all your future projects for years to come.

When I first got into live edge woodworking, I made a router sled out of some scrap lumber I had laying around the garage, as a sled doesn’t have to be anything too terribly fancy. Afterall, a routing sled is simply an adjustable, sturdy rail that secures and guides your router as it slides back and forth over a piece of wood. While my first couple of router sled designs worked fine, they were a little bulky, and they also began to slightly warp over time, which resulted in a not so smooth or even finish on the wood that I was trying to level.

router sled, router sled planer, router sled diy
One of my first wooden router sled designs.


Recently I decided to build a new and improved router sled for some very large upcoming projects. I wanted this one to be stronger, lighter, and easier to set-up and adjust. There’s really only a few basic components to this design, which are two pieces of aluminum angle bar, a couple of blocks of wood, and some screws. To put the sled together, I simply drilled two holes in each end of my aluminum angle bars, filed down the rough edges, and attached the bars to a couple pieces of 2×4’s while leaving about an eighth of an inch of room for the base of the router on each end.

router sled jig, router sled bit, router sled for slabs, router sled rails

router sled to flatten large slabs, router sled angle iron, router sled aluminum

router sled for planning, router sled for slabs, router sled ideas, router sled live edge

router sled plans, video, woodworking, woodworking projects, wood craft


Most of the wood that I level out with a router sled I plane down to around 1 to 1 ¾  inches thick, so using sections of 2×4’s as the bases for the sled works fine, but if I’m leveling a larger slab of wood that I want to be thicker, I simply attach the rails to thicker bases, such as 3×4 or 4×4 blocks of wood.

, how to flatten wood with a router, how to flatten wood with a planer


After the sled is all put together and set up at the proper height, I usually secure the wood I’m working on with some wood clamps or a big, heavy weight, and then start routing away with a large, 2 to 3-inch planing bit, which makes the job go quite quickly. If you’d like to check out some great router bits, as well as routers, click here.

router sled, router sled planer, router sled diy, router sled jig, router sled bit, router sled for slabs


As a word of caution, if you’ve never used a router or a routing sled before, it’s important to be very careful: take your time, go slow and always be aware of your where your fingers are. Also, be sure to use eye and ear protection, a dust mask, and be prepared to clean up an enormous mess of wood shavings afterward.

If you’d like to see more, check out the video below…

Don’t miss out on all the adventure! Click here to sign up for the Wild Revelation Outdoors Newsletter!