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Locating the T-slot and router on a router table top

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Forum topic by jklingel posted 04-27-2017 05:48 AM 1544 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


04-27-2017 05:48 AM

I have an old drafting table that I am using for the top on my Stormin’ Norman router cabinet, and have a question on where to locate the T-slot and router. Since my table is much bigger than what is in Norm’s plans, I don’t have accurate guidance on this. The table is 48” W x 30” deep. The fence’s range of travel is approx 7” to 17” from the front edge of the table. In other words, I can push the fence back all the way and have 17” of table top in front of me. (a) Where should the T-slot that runs parallel to the fence be located relative to the fence’s travel? I think Norm’s fence comes within about 3” of the forward-most position of the fence, but I don’t know if that measurement is critical (for items traditionally used in the T-slot) or just there because of the size of his table. (b) Where should the router be located within the fence’s range of motion? Middle-ish? Farther from the front edge of the table, or closer to the front edge of the table? Thanks. john


14 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

798 posts in 1275 days


#1 posted 04-27-2017 08:13 AM

This is really subjective, and depends on what you are routing and what you are comfortable with.

Having the router closer to the front makes it easier to run small and narrow stuff—no reaching across a lot of table.

Having the router farther back allows greater support for wider stuff (panels and such).

It’s a compromise. About a foot back is pretty common. I think you’ll find that a lot of table behind the router does you no good, and a lot of table in the front means you’re always reaching.

I would position the T-track so your feather boards can get you pretty close to the bit but can be backed off enough for a reasonable board to fit between feather boards and bit.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View Bumpy's profile

Bumpy

31 posts in 315 days


#2 posted 04-27-2017 10:51 AM

I just completed a new router table, the top is 60×26. I placed the Woodpecker lift so the bit is 15 inches from the front. Parallel T-Tracks at 1 1/2 and and 4 inches. With the top height of 38 inches, this is a comfortable set up for me.

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

173 posts in 2841 days


#3 posted 04-27-2017 04:47 PM

My router table is 24×48 (-ish), 38” high and the center of the router collet is 15” from the front edge. I am 6 feet tall and this works well for me. As for the t-track, I don’t have any and I don’t want any. So far I have not needed any.

Wayne

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#4 posted 04-27-2017 04:49 PM

Thanks for the info. As for room behind the bit, I could see it useful for routing farther out in the field of a board instead of along the edge. I will keep all this in mind. Cheers. john

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#5 posted 04-27-2017 04:51 PM

Dog: Don’t you ever see the need for a featherboard or anything in the T-slot? I have no idea about them, and whatever else you might lock into a T-slot. Thanks. j

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jerryminer

798 posts in 1275 days


#6 posted 04-27-2017 05:46 PM

I don’t have a T-track, either (although I can see the utility of them). I have clamped featherboards directly to the table before, but nowadays I use the Jessem guides.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#7 posted 04-27-2017 08:23 PM

Jerry: Do you mean item #04215 at Woodcraft?

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jerryminer

798 posts in 1275 days


#8 posted 04-27-2017 11:04 PM



Jerry: Do you mean item #04215 at Woodcraft?

- jklingel

Yes. Great product. Holds the work down AND against the fence.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#9 posted 04-28-2017 01:46 AM

Cool. I’ll put that on my “possible” list. j

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4505 posts in 972 days


#10 posted 04-28-2017 12:03 PM

I’d use miter track instead of t-track. You can lock featherboards in the miter track too. You may find need to use jigs, miter gauge, coping sleds etc. in the future and will need a standard miter track for that.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#11 posted 04-28-2017 04:10 PM

Ken: That sounds like a good idea, and I don’t see why I can’t have both; I have the room, and I could put the miter track farther toward the front edge. j

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

173 posts in 2841 days


#12 posted 04-28-2017 05:34 PM

I am not a very prolific woodworker at the present time due to foot problems, but there has been a couple of times when featherboards would have been helpful, but were not absolutely necessary. Once, I did make a couple of long featherboards that I could clamp down to the front edge of my table. And once i made some extensions for the plastic Rockler type featherboards that . . . “worked”.

When building the table, I did buy some combo t-track/miter track to put in it, but never put it in. I decided that I would rather have the ability to remove the router plate and fence, drop a flat insert into the plate cutout and have a flat surface to do things on. For me, 90% of the time the track would have just been a dust catcher.

Wayne

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#13 posted 04-28-2017 08:17 PM

Wayne: Got it. Just yesterday I ordered a miter track and some T-slot track, because I know that if I don’t have it my first project with the cabinet will find it helpful. Besides, it adds resale value for when my kids sell all my crap. I’ve had too many cob-jobs in my life, so if something MAY be helpful and it won’t break the bank, I’ll get it just for stink and giggles. For ex, I rarely use my 3/4” drive sockets, but when I do they pay for themselves each time. cheers. j

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jklingel

63 posts in 990 days


#14 posted 05-04-2017 07:39 PM

Bumpy: I forgot to ask: ” Parallel T-Tracks at 1 1/2 and and 4 inches.” Measured from where? From the front edge of the lift plate?

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