Router fence question....


Ive seen UHMW recommended as a router fence material so I looked it up at McMaster, and they have 90 degree pieces, 3.5" on each leg and 1/2" thick.
I was wondering if just using a piece of UHMW would provide enough precision. The tolerances for the UHMW itself are listed on the site (leg length and thickness tolerance are both .06). Its not the cheapest material in the world (8.56/ft) but if it holds up better than MDF, its almost a guaranteed "accurate" 90 degrees and pretty quick to just make a couple slots in to turn it into a sliding fence.
Any opinions?
Thanks! -Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Shellacked and waxed MDF makes great fence material, IMO. I've faced my router fences (aluminium) with MDF and I've had no wear problems, it's extremely slick and totally FLAT. I made a number of ZCIs to go between the 2 fence halves.
Dave
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Yep. I much prefer mdf ... a router fence is going to take abuse; it's nice, hell imperative, to bury a bit in a fence on occasion, and a split fence, which comes in handy more often than not ... all easier/cheaper to maintain with mdf.
Just my tuppence ...
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Swingman wrote:

I agree with MDF over UHMW, but I'll also suggest MDO. The resin coating makes it about as smooth as you could want.
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Ive never seen MDO at the borg-like stores. Unfortunately, thats about all I have to shop at around here (without needing to buy lots of material I dont need).
Looks like MDF wins! Which makes sense.......when I accidentally destroy a fence its just a quick cut of MDF away from being fixed.
I was just worried about sealing it, but it looks like Shellac is the answer.
Thanks! -Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

For future record, they can usually order it.
MDF or scrap wood works fine for me.
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my bet is you could start by going to the $1 offcut rack near the panel saw at HD and then use a sled to make a 90 or four or five, 6 right angles from plywood, then screw them together. Just make sure you use the same slots at any later date. U probly wont need to.
-
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woops, ....for a piece of melamine. I made my sled this way. I may need to loose it, and unscrew the parts if it expands too much with moisture, but then again, maybe not. I waxed it and it glides like the wind.
-
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Sure, it's as accurate as any piece of wood you'll put up against it. You can also use your jointer to get a good square if it's not. The shavings stick, but a router or jointer/planer will do a good job on it.
Me, I use the tape and stick it to fences made out of wood products. Slick, renewable, and a lot cheaper.
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On 23 Feb 2006 08:26:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I don't know that I'd necessarily use it as fence material, it seems like overkill. It's a lot easier to just use MDF or MDO, especially since you're going to likely use sacrificial pieces for zero clearance and you don't want to go chewing up your expensive UHMW. I don't know that you need something that slick for a fence either, I've found that UHMW makes excellent guides and runners for jigs, but beyond that, it's not really better than MDF or MDO.
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Does this also apply for the table itself?
Ive been planning on laminating with inexpensive formica, but if a fence gets "slippery" enough with shellaced MDF, then why would the table itself need to be laminated if its already MDF?
As long as shellac can seal out humidity, I should be able to get away without laminating it, no?
Thanks! -Chris
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Got a half-dozen years on my shellac-coated MDO table. Still slides nicely.
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Check out Pat Warner's site. His router table has an MDF top finished with Watco. That said, I have laminate on mine. Had some left over from a job. Available and paid for. The fence I use is UHMW. That too, was free. Got a chunk from work. 4 feet by 4 feet by 1.5 inches thick. Was supposed to be an airplane part until the guy on the mill didn't clamp it securely and threw it off the machine. After cutting out the bad parts, I have a stack of fences that should be good for life.

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On 23 Feb 2006 12:47:31 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

A lot of people do use straight MDF for their tabletop. Mine is melamine, but I could have just as easily gone the other way.
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Don't look to a piece of plastic to be an accurate anything unless you make it that way.

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Does anal retentive have a hyphen?

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Thanks for the constructive reply!
FYI - I dont believe it requires it, but you can probably get away with using a hyphen in that case.
I find it funny though, some people would say a tolerance of .06 is not close enough. Thats why I asked the question.
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Sorry about the late-nite sarcasm .. it was a long day.

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It could be +- 1/4" on any dimension and it would be fine. Straitness is what counts. .060" out of strait would be a real problem. Being extruded plastic, I wouldn't expect it to be any straiter than that.

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