Using Miter Gauge & Fence on Router Table

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Forum topic by RossCapolupo posted 03-29-2016 12:13 PM 1149 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 895 days

03-29-2016 12:13 PM

I have done a fair amount of reading, and cannot seem to get a straight answer on this: why is it a safety concern to use the miter gauge in combination with the fence on the router table?

I do it all the time on the table saw when I’m NOT throughcutting (like when I’m cutting dados), but I understand that the direction of rotation on the saw blades do not pull the stock into the fence. When reading about this scenario on the router table, I can only infer it has something to do with the rotation of the bit pulling the stock into the fence, and binding somehow? But then I go on youtube, and see videos of people doing it with no issues.

To make a long story short, I want to be able to cut tenons on my router table – have the sled at 90 degrees, and use the fence as a depth stop for the tenon lengths. Is this a safety concern? If not, what situation IS a safety concern that I am misunderstanding?

4 replies so far

View frosty50's profile


46 posts in 2370 days

#1 posted 03-29-2016 01:59 PM

I use my router table to cut tenons along with a co[ping sled. The sled is use because it is heavy, abuts the fence and I can clamp the wood down which is more secure than miter guage. Just remember, your router is turning a 10K to 25K revolutions and your saw is at 1750. You think a kick back from a table saw hurts, get one from a router.

Safety comes first, think about what you are doing and of the consequences if something goes wrong.

-- frosty

View splintergroup's profile


2071 posts in 1245 days

#2 posted 03-29-2016 03:39 PM

Part of it may be due to the fence never being parallel to the miter slot. A typical router table fence does not square up like a table saw fence (it doesn’t need to), however unless it is parallel, using it with a miter can cause problems.

This isn’t really a safety concern, more of a quality of cut concern.

I hope someone can say what the safety issue is, I’m curious now too!
There are always things that can go wrong.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2392 days

#3 posted 03-29-2016 04:11 PM

If you can attach a stop block the fence before the bit, you can use that as a depth stop when positioning your piece in the sled. You’ll want to use scrap to get the tenon depth where you want, then back the sled up and use that to position the fence/block prior to the bit.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 03-29-2016 06:39 PM

Using a sacrificial pusher block to back up the work piece and using the fence to guide would be a safer way to cut the tenon. Any time a work piece is “trapped” between a miter gauge and fence, any small deflection or unintentional motion can cause the cut to go off and possibly bind.

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