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Router fence alignment

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Forum topic by willhime posted 05-23-2016 07:39 AM 561 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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willhime

81 posts in 1005 days


05-23-2016 07:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig tip question trick router

I’m wondering if there’s any advice on fixing my alignment conundrum I’ve got myself into. I wanted to make a router fence that would slide perfectly even on both sides to take advantage of a miter/trak combo rail I’ve installed. The plan was to get miter rail tracks, and miter inserts (the incra one that I have pieces of). I knew it was going to be a pill but figured I’d put the time in to adjust it just right. 3 days later… not the case. I squared up the fence on the table, marked with an ultra fine marker the gaps in the slots on my fence, took a mechanic’s metal toothpick tool, stuck it in the slot, turned it, scrawled a line on both sides of the gap on the bottom, and went to work. I know miter nuts would be a lot easier, but was hoping this would prove worth the effort. Is there a better way to go about this ?

-- Burn your fire for no witness


11 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#1 posted 05-23-2016 10:49 AM

I suspect if you put something like miter bars (maybe 6” long) under the fence rather than the small nuts (and aligned them perfectly perpendicular to the miter track) that would keep the fence in position as you moved it. Probably easier to just set it parallel with a square each time the need arises.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1418 days


#2 posted 05-23-2016 12:21 PM

Agree on mounting bars under the fence. What operations on the router table do you plan that require that the fence move in such perfect alignment?

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 919 days


#3 posted 05-23-2016 02:12 PM

Duh. A router is a circular tool. There is nothing to be square to!

It doesn’t matter what the angle is, just the distance from the bit.

You’re chasing your tail.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1196 days


#4 posted 05-23-2016 02:29 PM

Mad mark is right on. You purchased a bunch of stuff not necessary for the job. A board long enough to span the table, and a couple of clamps is all you need to square up your fence to the bit. Do it diagonally, across the table, or any position on the table and you’re good to go.. Distance from the bit and the direction of travel is the only critical things you need to concern yourself with. Nuff said….... Jerry (in Tucson

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

697 posts in 853 days


#5 posted 05-23-2016 03:04 PM

Maybe I don’t understand the problem exactly or how the fence is attached but perhaps the solution is to make it so that the miter inserts connected to the bottom of the fence can pivot (i.e.; attached at one point). If they don’t pivot, they will jam if they and the tracks aren’t perfectly parallel AND exactly the same distance apart. This will allow them to move regardless of the alignment as long as the distance is close enough. When setting the fence, the only thing that is important is the shortest distance between the fence and the cutting edge of the bit. If the inserts can pivot, you may be able to nudge just one end to make minor adjustments.

If this doesn’t help, a picture of the underside of the fence would help.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1418 days


#6 posted 05-23-2016 04:32 PM

The last picture is the underside of the fence. He has short runners. If he really needs a fence that will retain its relationship to the TABLE EDGE, then longer runners might help.

I, like the others, can’t think of a reason to make a fence like this for a router table, but the OP might have something unique in mind. That’s why I asked him about it rather than tell him he is clueless.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#7 posted 05-23-2016 04:57 PM

I find it easier to reference jigs off the router fence, rather than the miter slot. That way a perfectly square fence doesn’t really matter.

The miter slot is still useful for featherboards.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View willhime's profile

willhime

81 posts in 1005 days


#8 posted 05-23-2016 06:06 PM

my previous shop built router table does have the normal fence concept of ‘not mattering’ how square the fence is, just the distance. There are few coping sleds, and also the incra style sliding table end idea that require the slot to be perfectly parallel to the fence. So I understand that the circular bit makes squareness not matter, but was shooting for something on the more precision scale I guess. The pivoting guides are a good solution, so I think I’ll go with that and not worry about the unnecessary ideal of table saw fence dynamics.

-- Burn your fire for no witness

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 386 days


#9 posted 05-25-2016 05:40 PM

willhime,

I like to use the mitre slot when end milling profiles and coping rails. A fence that is not parallel to the mitre slot becomes a problem. In addition, I like to make several light passes in general. Taking light passes and simply moving the fence a little works ok but controlling the depth of cut precisely is a nice feature.

My solution was to ignore how the fence travels in its slots and go with adjustable fence stops mounted to the router table on the back side of the fence. Shims of various thicknesses from 1/16” to ½” provide precise adjustability. By adding or removing shims placed between the stops and the back side of the fence, precise adjustments are made in the depth of cut while the fence remains parallel to the mitre slot. I upgraded to a spindle shaper but have used this same concept on the router table.

The Stops. The stops are a pair of scrap boards milled flat and square. The stops are long enough to reach the back of the fence with about a 1-1/2” overhanging the back of the table. The width is about 2-1/2” and the thickness is about ¾” or slightly less. The stops feature a through slot centered in the stop running the length of the stop, but stopping about 1” from each end. The slots are wide enough to accept a pair of knobbed bolts. The slots are really unnecessary, but I like them because they afford a little more adjustability and they are not hard to create.

The Router Table. A pair of threaded inserts whose threads match those on the knobbed bolts is installed in the router table behind the fence at each end of the table (a pair of inserts at each end of the table). The pair of threaded inserts is in a line that is perpendicular to the fence and separated enough so that the knobbed bolts can be adjusted without interference.

The Shims. I ripped strips of scrap to thicknesses of 1/16”, 1/8”, ¼”, ¼”, and ½”. The strips were cut to length, about 2-1/2” long. The thickness of each shim was marked and a hanging hole drilled. I cut a number of these shims so they could be stacked to achieve various widths. A duplicate set of shims are required for each stop.

Mounting and Use. The stops were attached at each end of the table with the pair of knobbed bolts. The fence was adjusted perfectly parallel to the mitre slot so that the face of the fence is slightly behind a ½” straight bit chucked in the router. With the perfectly aligned fence locked to the table, the stops were slid up to contact the back of the fence and locked down with the knobbed bolts. The stops were labeled “right” and “left” to keep track of their positions when mounted on the table.

The shims are divided equally for duty at each stop. The shims are placed between the back of the fence and the stops. More shims set the fence further away from the cutter while fewer shims allow the fence to set closer to the cutter. In practice, this system works well keeping the fence parallel to the mitre slot and affords all the adjustability needed.

At times the router table is best used by removing the fence. This means the stops must also be removed. Before removing the stops, a block firmly registered against the back edge of the router table and clamped securely to the stops allows the stops to be removed and replaced without losing their registration.

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 919 days


#10 posted 05-25-2016 06:45 PM

I use my Incra for both the ts & router.

And combine with a DRO gives perfect router precision.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#11 posted 05-25-2016 07:25 PM



Duh. A router is a circular tool. There is nothing to be square to!

M

- MadMark

except his miter track…....

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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