Now that I'm inching closer to building my own router table, I'm
beginning to notice details. Some of you have posted pictures of yout
beautiful tables and now I'm noticing you did NOT put in a mitre track.
Why? How would you route the end of a six foot piece?
Here's some of the examples where I do not see a mitre track:
http://www.ronan.net/~woodwork/router.htm (scroll down)
For reference, here's one with the mitre track:
IMHO the tracks are a waste of time.
I have always used a piece of 3/4" plywood that is about 5" x 10" that
slides along the fence and pushes the wood through.
If you use a miter gauge and fence to establish the depth of the cut, you
have to set the fence parallel to the slot. Why not simply set the fence
distance and use it to guide the work with the help of a square piece of
wood to guide and push the work through?
I run a sled in my miter track. Seems to me that it holds the work more
securely than does a piece of plywood. And my sled doesn't ever run through
The plywood is probably much faster to use though.
The beauty of the back up board running through the bit is that it helps to
prevent tear out on the back side of the cut.
How do you consistantly run several ends of boards through and only route a
specific depth in from the end?
I use the fence, though it takes a while to get the fence perfectly square
to the miter track; a big disadvantage.
Tear out is a problem also. Does your backup board prevent tear out on
multiple pieces, or you you have to make a new edge each time?
Yeah. After building my first 2 router tables with out the track and
finally buying a Bench Dog table and fence with the track I tried to use the
track one time. Setting the fence parallel and at a specific distance was
way too time consuming for me. I have never actually used the track to
guide a gauge. I do how ever use the track to fasten feather boards.
Yes it helps on each piece as long as I keep using the same settings. As
long as the back up board has the same cut it helps significantly to prevent
tear out. If debris get under the back up board the cut in the back up
board can become distorted and its effectiveness of preventing tear out can
be compromised. The trick is to simply leave the back up board setting on
the router table so that there is no opportunity for debris to get under it.
Give it a try, I think you will be happier with the results and set up time.
Well if you are building your own table, install the fence first, then use
the fence as a reference point to cut the slot. This will keep the slot
square to the fence if the fence is of a design where it runs on rails so it
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Hear Hear! Don't need extra places to gather shavings on a router table.
That's what miter tracks are good for.
I addition to the advantages of push blocks mentioned by Leon, consider the
advantage of an ad hoc fence which fits the bit and helps prevent chipout
when rabbeting or edging.
LOL... In defencse of the track, it is good for feather boards. I put a
feather board on the fence and the table surface when making 1/4 round
moldings out of 1/4" square scraps to retain glass panels.
My table is a Lee Valley router table - no mitre track.
The absense of the track hasn't impared me in the least - as someone else
has pointed out, the track has to be paralell to the table in order to serve
any purpose other than that of a dust collector.
I use the Lee Valley router table "sled" as depicted here - works great.
My current table has one, my old one didn't. The track has turned into
the biggest waste of $15 in my shop. <G>
The only thing I've ever used it for is attachment of a featherboard,
which could also be done with a $0.25 threaded insert. On the router
table, I've always used sleds instead of miter gauges, just as the
others have mentioned.
I plan on building a sled that uses the miter track, using
down-toggles to hold small pieces at odd angles for routing. I don't
plan on using a miter gauge in it, except perhaps a shop-built one
that doesn't wiggle.
Maybe more easily, eliminate a sled that uses the track for a guide and put
a bar in the front and back bottom side of the sled to be guided by the
front and back of the router table. Many years ago I had a finger joint
sled that was guided by this method.
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