Building a Router table


Hi everyone. This is my first post on this newsgroup so be nice. ;-)
I'm working on a router table and have everything complete, router mounted. Now I need a fence.
The Craftsman router table I had before was miniature and had two separate fences that could be adjusted forward/back to aid in planing wood. The left fence is forward the distance of the cut.
Is this better than a single fence running straight across? or just different? I can make it either way.
Thanks for any tips.
Doug.
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Mud wrote:

In my experience, a single straight fence is perfectly sufficient about 98% of the time (or 100% depending on your intended usage). The only use I've heard of for a split fence is for jointing - google or search this group for 'router table jointer'. I've found that useful occasionally, but I also found it easy to make a split "subfence" - basically a hardboard face for the fence on each side of the bit, with a extra strip of veneer behind the "outfeed" side, which makes it about 1/32" thicker and just right for small-scale jointing. I'd say wait and see if you need it - these "subfences" can be added at any time. With this setup, you still have the rigidity of a single solid fence, but the flexibility to diversify if you don't have a jointer. Hope this helps, Andy
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I had that same POS router table. The fence on both sides of the router bit need to be coplanar to accomplish decent routing. The fence on either side of the bit is only offset when the cut removes the entire edge - like jointing or certain cuts, say using a lock miter bit. The fence could be a single piece with a notch cut out of it for the bit to fit into. A more versatile approach is to have two adjustable subfences or face pieces that attach to a single fence support piece. You can spend lots of $$$s on fancy setups, or use a piece of plywood or MDF with a piece for a fence clamped onto it, or lots of choices in between.
Pics of the router table I built are at: http://home.san.rr.com/jeffnann/WoodWorking/Shop/Shop.html .
For questions and answers to all things router, also see: http://www.patwarner.com /.
--
JeffB
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A strait board and two C clamps on mine.

mounted.
left
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Mud wrote:

I made mine with a backer board with a large cutout for the blade, and then split subfences. I really like being able to open up the subfences just enough that they don't quite touch the bit.
Also, you may wish to incorporate dust collection. I make a port for the 2.5" hose from my shopvac and it gets essentially all the dust when working on edges. I still need to deal with the dust when doing dados/grooves as I havent gotten around to that bit yet.
Chris
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Mud wrote:

http://store.woodstore.net/rofe.html
Easy to make and dust collection works great, has an option to use it as a jointer. If I had to build it again I would have made it a little longer since my router hangs on one of my TS wings.
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Split fence, when needed, is indispensable. When? Full thickness cuts, essentially. Frequent enough to justify a fence like this:
http://www.patwarner.com/images/bdpwf.jpg , rarely. A A straight fence does not have as much application but it is used 10x more frequently. More on router tables: See the http://patwarner.com/router_table.html link. ________________________________________________- Mud wrote:

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snip
I agree with Pat. A flat, one piece fence is fine for simple jobs, however, when doing edge work, where the finished profile is smaller than the original stock, a split fence is required. Dave
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The guys on the Router Workshop just use straight boards clamped to the table. Sometimes they glue a sliver of laminate to one end to make a jointer fence.
Jim
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I made mine with adustable faces, but they are attached with four machine bolts that ride in slots on the fence. That way, if I wanted a straight fence for a particular job, it wouldn't be much trouble to swap it. So far, it's never needed to be swapped out.
OTOH, it might be worth your while to google the program "The router workshop" It's been a while since I last watched it, but IIRC, they used a lot of stand-alone jigs, and the *fence* was just a flat hunk of wood attached with c-clamps. Those guys do everything a person could want to do with their routers, so there are probably some good reasons for the setup they have.

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I have been spoiled with my joint tech fence with dust collection from underneath and the fence. The micro adjust is great.But whatever you decide have it include dust collection.
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Doug,
If you're looking to making a tool that will last you a life time, accurate to .001" and was fun to make - look at Pat Warner's site www.patwarner.com for some excellent advice and pictures of an outstanding router fence.
A few years back, this fence was a feature article in Fine Woodworking (FWW) and Pat wrote the article on how to build this fence. It's not brain surgery but will give you a challenge or two during the building process. As Pat states on his site, you can use a 2x4 as a fence but if you need and want accuracy and repeatability - this is one of the fences that should be on your short-list to consider.
I built the fence using the article Pat wrote and the materials and suppliers he suggested. Don't go cheap on the hardware - this is a serious tool and deserves using the good stuff. I made several of these using just MDF and some pine just to see if I could make any improvements over what Pat had already designed. Nope - all the functionality is there and it's a rock solid design and nothing I did could improve on its effectiveness. My final version was made using the materials and processes as described in the article and all went well. Had to email Pat a couple of times for some advice on how to do something with a router and he was gracious enough to provide suggestions and some work-around ideas based on the tools I had.
You should consider getting several of Pat's books - they're a great read and you will learn a lot from the way he presents the material. I'm not sure if the article is available from Pat or if you have to get it from FWW. Of course, you can always buy it pre-built directly from Pat also.
I've purchased several items from Pat over the past few years - never a problem and top-shelf quality.
Bob S.
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Mud wrote:

*Mostly* you just need a single straight fence. There are two exceptions that I can think of.
The first, as mentioned, is if you're going to use your router table for edge jointing boards. Having split fence will allow you to do this with a straight or spiral bit and the "outfeed" fence slightly closer to the bit.
The second, is related. If you're using any bit that reduces the leading edge such that there would be a gap between the outfeed fence and the routed edge (straight bits used in jointing are an example, but some molding bits, etc. do this as well) then having the split fence will allow you to support the wood on the outfeed side.
~Mark.
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