surfacing thin pieces?

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Never tried it, but...
I've read somewhere about using a spindle sander or Drill press with a sanding bit in conjunction with a makeshift fence to create a miniature thickness sander for small pieces. In any case, it seems safer to me than using the planer. If you try it, let us know how it works.
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I have a makita combination machine with "rubberized" infeed rollers. I made a bed liner out of 1/4" tempered masonite and screwed a batten to the bottom of the infeed end. the liner just slips into the planer and sits on top of the regular bed and the batten prevents the liner moving with thw stock. Then I waxed the liner with candle wax [as now there are no bed rollers] to allow the stock to slide easily .The infeed rollers not being serrated do not marr the planed surface. I can easily plane boards to 1/4" thickness in most cases much less......mjh
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I feel like all this advice about building a sled is due to the misunderstanding of my original question. How would using a sled be any different from the material riding on the planer's table? Isn't a sled used when the capacity of the planer is limited? What prevents the material from lifting up into the knives when using a sled?
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mel asks:

The sled is much longer. You can actually make it any length you want, but with most tables under 2' in length, I wouldn't bother with a sled under 6' long.
Obviously, as above, the upward pressure on the last few inches of the piece are going to be less, so there's less chance of snipe.
A sled does limit the capacity of the planer, but by a whole 3/4". When was the last time you actually used the 6" capacity of your planer.
The sled material won't lift into the knives because the material being planed is on top of it, holding it in position. There is also a cleat to keep it from sliding through. On exceptionally long sleds, the cleat can be made to overlap the underside of the infeed table so that it can't rise after the material being planed goes through.
Charlie Self "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." Mark Twain http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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It gives you something to attach the thin material to. What I use is a spray 3M adhesive. Spay a light coat on the sled. Spary a light coat on the thin veneer. Put the veneer on the sled. Now you can run the sled throgh the planer without the thin veneer causing problems. Use a light tack glue and the veneer will peel off. Then wipe it down with the correct solvent for the glue and you are good to go.
Disclaimer. I only needed to do this once. I needed some 1/16 inch balsa. I had some 1/8th and the hobby shop was closed. It worked great.
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Hey Mel,
It ultimately, eliminates the flex in your material. This is especialy significant, in thin stock. Your rollers on your planer table might be a few of thou above the table itself. As the knives come in contact with your stock, the stock is thin enough to flex slightly, your more likely to get tearout, etc,etc. The rollers usually do not present a problem in thicker stock (the stock won't flex).
Carriage/sled, potato, patato, all you need is something to give you a reliable/repeatable process. "A jig for planing thin stock".
The longer the better, but even a few feet will do, especially if you don't plan on using it very often, and your tolerances aren't exceptional.
Cheers,
Andy
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