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Thread: Using Harbor Freight scaffolding for welding booth and router sled frame

  1. #1

    Using Harbor Freight scaffolding for welding booth and router sled frame

    A high school friend posted on facebook her husband fell off a ladder and got a concussion while installing a ceiling fan reminded me I wanted the Harbor Freight scaffold so I printed the coupon and got one for $150 after joining "inside track club" for 1 year.

    First off Sherry's husband suffered minor hemorrhaging and appears to be okay and he did own a scaffolding just wasn't using it, I don't know why.

    It has been hot and dry here in California which makes me very careful about welding so I used the scaffold as a frame to hang welding blankets from to weld up my router sled.

    Now I have set up the scaffold with the router sled to flatten the American elm crotch slabs ~30"x30"x4" I cut with the chainsaw free hand in April 2019 so to give them uniform thickness so they dry well.

    I like the scaffold it is very sturdy and well built much better than my picnic table I was using previously. I think I am going to get a couple of screw jack ball joint leg pads to swap out wheels on one side so I can use it on my sloped driveway to replace the batteries in my wireless weather station mounted on the garage peak next.

    Quite a versatile scaffold for $150 and I know I am going to love shuttling the router across the angle iron rails instead of humped over a table with it mounted in the middle of a trough so I can't see it sleeping off the far end and into my work piece. I am setup to give it the first try tomorrow. Leland
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,215
    Leland, I have a two level scaffold that I use for installing signs plus the hand rail for the top. Honestly I rarely think about using my scaffold for projects like yours but I have used a one level scaffold strapped to my trailer to paint and install vinyl siding. I pull the trailer around with my mower so its easy to move the scaffold around and sometimes I use a walk board on the scaffold as well. Much safer then a ladder especially when you use the platform instead of cross bars and heavy scaffold boards.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas, I will surely think about additional uses for my scaffold in the future.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    2,471
    Great ideas! Love the router sled. I know I'll need one of these scaffolds when I tackle building my shed, so it's good to know there are other options for using them.

  4. #4
    Ted, I noodled around various ideas on welding the router sled and used the Harbor Freight butt weld clamps because it would heat the unsymmetrical angle cross section the least so I would not end up with a unusable potato chip sled. I made a wood spacer the width of my router base and clamped it down. I ended up with a very flat sled with no twist. The butt weld clamps are not shown in this picture but here is the URL https://www.harborfreight.com/butt-w...-pc-60545.html I used 1-1/4"x36"x1/8" angle iron for the rails because that is what Home Depot had in stock but may buy 3/16" thick angle iron from my local Moose Metal but they make me buy a whole 10 foot bar and their steel prices are higher. I will post how this worked out so you don't have to learn at the school of hard knocks where I do most of my learning. Leland
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  5. #5
    Sawmill Creek Sawyers, The Harbor Freight scaffold router sled works great. 1-1/4"x1/8" angle is rigid enough on the 30" span. The scaffold platform provides an excellent flat reference surface. I had cleaned the mill scale and weld splatter with my angle grinder, Rustoleum rust remover (phosphoric acid) brushed and rinsed and I soaped the sled and 2x4 rails. I shaved off maybe 3 to 4 passes of 1/8" deep the 1-3/4" bit at 28,000 rpm, I have speed control but it worked best full throttle through the bypass switch. Much easier on my arms and back than the wood trough sled I previously made that barely had 22" capacity and limited visiblity. With outriggers I could now sled across 36". American elm crotch in last photo has a spritz of water it is going to look amazing in 2023 when dry and finished, I think it is a table top. Leland
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,215
    Ted,

    Your welcome to borrow my scaffold to build your new shed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    2,471
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Outten View Post
    Ted,
    Your welcome to borrow my scaffold to build your new shed.
    Keith, Thank you for the offer. I've been procrastinating on this shed for three years and am getting close, but I really do need to buy one of the scaffolds because, in addition to the shed, my family room ceilings are very tall and I need to do some work on them too. Might as well wait for a sale and bite the bullet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leland Frayseth View Post
    Sawmill Creek Sawyers, The Harbor Freight scaffold router sled works great....
    Leland...that's pretty slick!!!

  8. #8
    Ted you will love having your own scaffold and I am sure Harbor Freight and others will get you a good price a high school friend said he got the same scaffold I got for $99 at a Harbor Freight Black Friday sale.

    Just a little more router sledding to go on the back side of the near crotch and these babies are ready to be lathered up in Anchor Seal 2 and sticker stacked in the shed. I am seeing 16-20% moisture content with pin prick moisture meter, I have an RF meter I haven't put on them yet I will do that before seal them. I am measuring 1/64" flatness you cannot beat that reinforced scaffold platform for a reference surface and the angle iron sled soaped up slides smooth across the 2x4 rails.
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    I have a couple American elm 18" cookies to flatten with the router sled then I am done sledding.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    678
    I am glad I came across this thread Leland. Thanks for posting it.

    Keith, I need to reside my house and using the trailer to gain some more height, and move tg\he scaffolding on is a GREAT idea. Thankyou for mentioning it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Shorewood, WI
    Posts
    739
    This is just an idle question, as I have neither a sled for flattening with a router, nor a hand-held power planer.

    My question is whether anyone has used a hand-held power planer instead of a router in such a flattening sled? I'd expect it to be much faster, though it would be more prone to tearout.

    Anyone?

  11. #11
    Hi Alan, We'll see if anyone answers if they have made a hand power planer work with a router sled. The router will work on the end grain of cookies a planer would not work on end grain. The sole of the power planer doesn't allow the cutter to hang below the sole more than a 1/16" which is the thickness of my rails. A router allows you to lower the router base to lower the cutter and when I am being aggressive with initial flattening cuts I can cut a 5/16" swath. I noodled around the power planer and sled idea, even thought about outriggers and couldn't see a way to make it work but we'll see if anyone responds they have used a power planer sled. Leland

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Shorewood, WI
    Posts
    739
    Thanks Leland. I like your use of angle iron for the sled, and the scaffold is a good way to get everything stably to a convenient height. Certainly for endgrain cookies a router would be better as you say. I suppose the potentially faster and wider pass of a planer may not compensate for the deeper cut of a router if the sled can't readily be moved quickly.

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