I am going to be making a router table from some plans that I saw in an
issue of American Woodworker They have an option for a freehand routing
fence that includes a guide pin. I have freehanded several curves and such
without a guide pin and have never had any problems. My question
is......... are they necessary for freehanding or am I just biding my time
before something bad happens?
Please e-mail also if possible since I do not get the opportunity to check
back more than once a week.
If you are thinking the same thing as I am for "guide pin", they are
used when working free hand on a router table to rotate the piece onto
the bit. Once you are on the bit, there is no need to maintain contact
with the pin.
When you are moving a piece onto the bit without a pin, the router has a
tendency to try and throw the piece back at you. This is because, while
you are approaching the bit, there is no real resistance, but as soon as
you make contact, there is. If your reaction time is ever a little slow,
then you may not counteract that sudden resistance on time, and you
may find the piece lodged in your belly.
With a guide pin, you can push the piece against the pin, and start
applying pushing pressure on the piece before you make contact with the
bit, so the router can't throw it back.
I've seen lots of people who don't use guide pins, but personally, if
I'm not using a fence, I like to have the pin.
I had never even heard of the concept before today, but I think I will rig
one up. I do most of my table routing freehand, with guide bearings, and I
have wound up with more than a few pieces flying out of my hands and making
me look to make sure I still have all 10 fingers.
This sounds like a *really* good idea!
What are they, usually? Just a 3/4" dowel or some such?
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Mine are 1/4" stainless rod - they just drop into a hole in the table
insert. You want a smooth surface, so it slides easily.
Another useful guide is a horseshoe guide - a long forked rod with a
pair of rounded fingers at the end (imagine a horseshoe on a stalk).
It clamps to the table from behind so that the fingers are just short
of the router cutter's bearing. It's like a pin guide, but double
My router table has a number of threaded inserts in it, and guides
like this can just be screwed down with thumbscrews, as needed.
Mine is a 1/2" stainless steel rod, with a 1/4" peg on one end that fits
into a hole in my base plate. I have a Veritas base plate, and the guide
pin came with it.
It should be as close to the edge of the hole in your base plate as
possible, so that it is close to the bit, and can be used for smaller
The Router Workshop guys say it should be between you and the bit, but I
prefer it to the right of the bit. I don't know what difference it
makes, but if someone else does, I'd like to hear it.
I'd say it indicates that a) you are an excellent driver (caused no
major accidents) and b) you've been lucky not to have been hit by some
cell phone equipped moron plowing through an intersection in his/her SUV.
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