Router stands in for a surface planer
You need a small piece of thin stock for a project, but not enough to justify the cost of a planer. Or, maybe you have a planer, but the piece you need to plane down is just too short to run safely through the machine. Are resawing or hand-planing your only choices?
Put your router on the job with an easy-to-build elevated base, shown opposite. Bore a 2" hole through the center of a piece of clear acrylic plastic or plywood that's as wide as your router's base and about twice as long. Attach the router over the hole on top of the piece with the handles aligned lengthwise. On the bottom, attach a 3⁄4 x3⁄4 x12" cleat centered across each end.Fasten the workpiece to a saw table or other flat, smooth surface with double-faced tape. Use plenty of tape, and tap the face of the wood lightly with a non-marring mallet to ensure a tight bond. Now, with a hinge-mortising bit in the router, adjust the depth of cut to skim off enough material to leave the thickness you need. If you need to remove a lot of material, take it off in small increments.
—William Kappele, Mission Viejo, Calif.