couple quick router table questions

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Forum topic by juicegoose posted 11-09-2010 04:23 PM 4289 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117 posts in 3264 days

11-09-2010 04:23 PM

I’ll be cutting the top for my router table tonight and had some thoughts. Maybe you guys can help out on some decision making

1. T-track running parallel to fence for miter slot use. Should a fullsize T-slot be bought or one of those micro ones like my disc sander or bandsaw uses.

2. How critical is it to have the miter slot parallel to the router bit? My assumtion is it’s not terribly important as your only cutting at one point but I could be wrong.

3. Fence placement. I’ve seen some professional setups use two t slots to adjust the fence position and I’ve also seen some setups with one pivot point and then either a t-track at the other end or simply use a clamp. My thought is use a pivot point to keep it simple. In your expreience whats worked well for you guys.

4. Table top material. I purchased a couple solid core doors a while back. Although they are solid( and the heaviest door i’ve every moved around) they are not solid wood but rather pressed chip or fiber board with a smooth melamine top and bottom. I’m concerned about the track not staying in the core material and was searching for ideas on getting the t-track to stay in the slots. would using epoxy and the screws provided be to much? Should I use longer screws?

Thanks in advance for all your help

7 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 11-09-2010 04:40 PM

1. miter slot (not a t-track which is far smaller for holding jigs – not sliding miter gauges mind you) should be sized to accommodate your miter gauge. I would use a standard sized miter slot so that any 3rd part miter gauge will fit without limiting yourself to undersized after market parts later on. however if you only have undersized miter gauges – you might as well keep to that (you can always enlarge it later, but making it smaller is harder (not impossible)

2. miter slot cannot be parallel to the router bit – EVER. parallelism requires 2 LINES, the bit is a single point and cannot be set parallel to anything. you can think of it as always being parallel even though it is mathematically incorrect to say so. I would make it parallel to the edge of the table though, as it will just be easier to make (edge guide on the router and follow along the edge of the table). but for operations on the router table it will make no difference at all.

3. this boils down to personal preference really. I would say – try both a single point fence (pivoting) and a 2 point lock fence using C clamps, and see which one works better for you – then drill/route whatever channels you want to make it permanent.

4. I’d suggest using 2 layers of 3/4” MDF laminated together – will stay flatter, and will hold inserts/router better than the door you mentioned.

Good luck, and have fun

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View juicegoose's profile


117 posts in 3264 days

#2 posted 11-09-2010 05:02 PM

Thanks for the reply Lev. Is the miter slot needed for cutting the rail part of my rail and stile bit set?

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3309 days

#3 posted 11-09-2010 06:05 PM

juicegoose, you need to use either a miter or a coping sled for the rail ends. You can look at the way I did mine at my home site if you like. Rand

View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3125 days

#4 posted 11-10-2010 08:09 AM

ISTM that if you ever wanted to use the fence AND the miter, then they have to be perpendicular to each other, but since the bit is circular, it doesn’t matter where it is in relation to either (other than in range!)

View juicegoose's profile


117 posts in 3264 days

#5 posted 11-10-2010 03:07 PM

What would be a good range?

View RalphBarker's profile


80 posts in 2972 days

#6 posted 11-10-2010 09:19 PM

I generally agree with PurpLev’s assessment. Parallelism is a matter of aesthetic regarding the appearance of the table, not the functionality.

I used a combination miter-track/T-track strip in the table I finished recently (my second). I laminated two 3/4” thick pieces of Phenolic-surfaced Baltic Birch ply for the table, since I like the smooth, slick surface of the phenolic, and the strength (resistance to sagging) of the Baltic Birch ply. Before laminating the ply, I drilled access holes and routed slots for T-bolts to be used with the fence.

Placement of the track depends on the accessories that will use it – i.e. any sled or finger boards you’ll be using.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3053 days

#7 posted 11-11-2010 12:25 AM

I think your door sounds like a wonderful tabletop. They’re made to be flat and stay flat.

I think T tracks and all that stuff are oversold to amateurs who are led to believe they are critical to precise work. I am dubious that they do.

The discussion about fence anchors and pivots is good. I have to pivot points which are holes in the top with a teenut fastened at the bottom. At the other end of the fence is a slot cut in an arc, which works for either pivot point. If neither of these works for a given setup, I got to the clamps.

And if you have a spare cylinder laying about….

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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