Making a router table

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?
TIA, Scott
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Sherfey's wrote:

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.
...Mike
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Thanks Mike. Sounds like the effort to use a pin is worth it.
Scott

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Mike Alexander wrote:

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?
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On Sun, 21 Dec 2003 01:43:24 -0500, Silvan
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 sided.
My router table has a number of threaded inserts in it, and guides like this can just be screwed down with thumbscrews, as needed.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Silvan wrote:

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 pieces.
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.
...Mike
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Have your air bags ever deployed in your car??
dave
Sherfey's wrote:

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No, but that could be either a positive or a negative. Which side are you leaning to?
Scott

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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.
dave
Sherfey's wrote:

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