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Planing a straight, flat face on bowed or twisted stock can be a challenge. The problem is that the board often comes out of the planer with the same warp or twist it had when it went in. The solution I came up with is a planer sled that carries the workpiece through the planer and guarantees great results (photo at right).
A look at the drawing at right will give you a good idea of how the sled is built and how it works. The simple principle behind the sled is that a series of adjustable screws in the base are used to support the board as it passes through the planer. This way the feed rollers of the planer can’t force the bow or twist out of the board. The result is that only the “high” spots on the board will be planed away. After several passes, you’ll have one face that’s perfectly flat and straight. The opposite face can then be planed without the sled.