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.
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,
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:
For questions and answers to all things router, also see:
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.
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.
Split fence, when needed, is indispensable. When? Full thickness cuts,
Frequent enough to justify a fence like this:
, rarely. A
A straight fence does not have as much application but it is used 10x
More on router tables: See the http://patwarner.com/router_table.html
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.
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.
*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 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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.