Modifying a tablesaw fence for router table in extension wing

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Forum topic by dvhart posted 02-23-2010 02:53 AM 13434 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 3042 days

02-23-2010 02:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router fence

I’ve placed a router plate in the extension wing of my Jet JWCS-10A Cabinet Saw. Up until now I’ve used the basic Rockler router table fence mounted via slots in the table. Two disadvantages:

1) The slots can catch material during a rip operation (especially thin plywood)
2) The %@#$!&* fence turned out not to be straight (explains all the trouble I’ve had using it to edge joint)

I’m looking at building my own router table fence that avoids the two issues. Some that I’ve looked it will clamp to your existing table saw fence, this is nice as you can eliminate #1 right off. The trouble for me here is that my fence side faces (Xacta II) are solid plastic (HDPE) with no t tracks. The resulting fence is really wide and therefor difficult to store. Much of the width comes from providing space between the subface and the tablesaw fence to allow for dust collection.

I’ve come up with an idea to incorporate the dust collection in the 3”x1.5” rectangular steel tube that makes up the tablesaw fence body. It would require me to use a 3” bimetal hole saw and remove a semicircle from the bottom of the middle of the tube and a three inch section of the side of the tube. This would be right behind the router bit. I would then pop off the tube cap on the tail end of the fence (opposite the lock) to provide access for dust collection. To the modified side of the fence I would add a 3/4” thick baltic birch subface with tracks to mount a split fence on for the router table as well as the bit guard, featherboards, etc.

So finally to the question – would I be an idiot to modify my fence body in this way just to save four to six inches of width on a router table fence? Seems to me the fence body will remain extremely rigid even with the cutout for the bit.

-- Darren

8 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3315 days

#1 posted 02-23-2010 03:17 AM

oh yea! there are other ways to mod your fence without cutting anything and causing permanent damage. you can make your own fence faces out of the same material that is there (HDPE) and cut a groove fro a T- track. theres also clamps u can buy from rockler and make a router fence and use these to clamp the router fence to your TS fence. anyone here on LJ will give advice or even plans on how to do it a much better way they ways i explained if given in detail i bet one will work for ya or u will like if not atleast u can change it or start over once u cut the fence there’s no going back!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3083 days

#2 posted 02-23-2010 04:01 AM

I”m with bigike. I’ve used my saw fence as the basis for my router fence for years. In my case it has t-slots in the fence, but I have the rockler clamps too and they work fine for attaching things to the saw fence. In my case the shop-built router fence is quite deep, but since the router is in the extension table I have lots of room to work with. I don’t think I would cut a hole in my fence. I made the router fence about 6” deep so I could incorporate dust collection. Sorry I don’t have a photo.

-- Glen

View dvhart's profile


111 posts in 3042 days

#3 posted 02-23-2010 04:09 AM

@bigike, thanks for the thoughts. My initial designs used either the rockler TS fence clamps you mentioned or t-bolts and knobs into a new side face with a t-track. I have no problem with that clamping system. The thing I don’t like is the extra 4-6 inches I have to build into the new fence to accommodate dust collection. Consider this one from Wood Magazine for example:

If the bit opening were in the fence body itself, that entire bracketed L-shaped assembly can be done away with, making the entire router fence attachment being about 1.5” thick – the new fence side plus the sliding faces. I’m an optimizer to be sure, and perhaps it simply isn’t worth cutting into the fence body. It is pretty heavy duty steel though and seems like it could afford a carefully placed opening or two.

-- Darren

View dvhart's profile


111 posts in 3042 days

#4 posted 02-23-2010 04:10 AM

Commercial versions are bit less bulky:

-- Darren

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3206 days

#5 posted 02-23-2010 04:41 AM

Is this one too wide for you? Router Fence
You can do this in just a few inches, not 4-6”.
I do like your idea to incorporate it into the fence itself, sounds like a good idea if executed properly. You don’t need that side of the fence for much anyway. I still think you might want to put a face on that side for taller items or to change the opening size.

You can kinda see the one I made for my cabinet saw here

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3402 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 05:54 AM

HTC makes a router fence that replaces the right side Jet Exacta and HTC fence faces:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View dvhart's profile


111 posts in 3042 days

#7 posted 02-23-2010 06:06 AM

@Jason: I ran across that fence early on in my search but something about it didn’t excite me – but it seems to be working really well for you, I’ll give it another close look.

@knotscott: Hah, well would you look at that. Do you happen to know the model number of that thing? Is that your equipment in the photo? If so, how do you find the dust collection? I’d be concerned that the vertical attachment would be awkwark (just as my other router fences have been). Off to google for the HTC Xacta Router Fence…

-- Darren

View dvhart's profile


111 posts in 3042 days

#8 posted 02-23-2010 06:16 AM

The HTC Multi-Fence Router System goes for about $125-$150 and doesn’t seem to be well liked. Knotscott, was your experience different?

-- Darren

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