Let's Talk Router Table Fences

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Forum topic by jonah posted 11-12-2013 04:49 PM 2902 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1724 posts in 3323 days

11-12-2013 04:49 PM

I picked up a steal-of-a-deal Freud FT3000VCE router and Jessem router lift separately off Craigslist. The lift came with a laminate table top that the previous owner had made which I want to make use of. So I have a nice router and lift/tabletop. What I lack is a fence. I’ve done a little research, and have the following options (among others):

Freud SH-5 from Amazon – $100
Kreg fence from Amazon – $200
Rockler fence from Rockler – $80
Rockler “Pro” fence – $140

The Kreg fence looks nice but $200 is more than I want to spend on this, so that’s out. I checked MLCS but it doesn’t look like they sell fences separately. I like the look of the micro-adjusters on the Freud fence. It doesn’t seem like the Rockler ones have that. The main advantage of the Rockler fences would be the built in t-tracks and that they are a little longer than the Freud one.

What say you, Lumberjocks? Have you used any of those three fences? Which stands out? Any other options I haven’t mentioned for a good price? I’d like to stay in the ~$100 and under range if possible.

18 replies so far

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 04:52 PM

You forgot the cheapest option, build one yourself! Here’s mine, but there are tons of others out there with more features. Customize it however you want!

-- Rex

View chrisstef's profile


17423 posts in 3030 days

#2 posted 11-12-2013 04:58 PM

Ive got this fence on my router table and I really like the micro adjustability of it.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#3 posted 11-12-2013 05:01 PM

Bench Dog makes my favorite fence. It is solid aluminum, and heavy duty. It features a split fence with replaceable MDF inserts, jointing feature, and a vac port.

Otherwise, you can buy parts and knobs from Kreg and build one. I used this one for a while until I purchased the Bench Dog.

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

View jonah's profile


1724 posts in 3323 days

#4 posted 11-12-2013 05:19 PM

Hadn’t really considered making my own fence. Interesting idea. It probably wouldn’t cost me a whole lot less than some of the cheaper fences I could purchase, but it’d certainly be custom to my needs.

Chrisstef, do you find that the Freud fence you have is too short for any common operations? I liked the look of the micro-adjustability but was a little put off by how short the fence seemed.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 11-12-2013 05:22 PM

I made my own fence. It has worked to my satisfaction so far. However, your needs may be different than mine.
I enjoy making my own stuff. :-)

Steve Ramsey has a video that might be helpful.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2085 days

#6 posted 11-12-2013 05:29 PM

Made my own. It was a fun project.


View chrisstef's profile


17423 posts in 3030 days

#7 posted 11-12-2013 05:30 PM

Jonah – I haven’t found it too short for any operations to date, however I don’t run thousands of bf through it on a yearly basis so YMMV. The good thing about that fence is that you can replace the MDF fence with any length of hardwood you choose. Its held on with 4 screws.

Edit – The fence can also adjust left to right, either extending the length or minimizing the length down to almost zero clearance

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jonah's profile


1724 posts in 3323 days

#8 posted 11-12-2013 09:29 PM

My use is very much hobbyist, not production. I’ve never owned a router table before, and while there are certainly quite a few potential operations that I see myself doing with it, I’m certainly not going to be living in front of the router table.

I’m leaning in the direction of the Freud fence with a strong consideration for making my own.

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3267 days

#9 posted 11-12-2013 09:45 PM

We sell the Kreg, Rockler and Benchdog wether I work. The Kreg is the only one I ever hear complaints about. The version of the Kreg we sell has the dust port offset from where the router bit is positioned and the complaints are that it is terrible for dust collection. Other than that, no other complaints. So if upper dust collection is important, it is somethin to consider.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2209 days

#10 posted 11-12-2013 09:52 PM

You would be surprised how much the router table is used for hobby work. I make lots of cutting boards and I find that half of my shop time is spent in front of the router table.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1798 posts in 1918 days

#11 posted 11-12-2013 10:08 PM

Would you rather say “look at my fence!” or “look at this end table I made!”?
Make a fence, use the saved money for your projects.

View jonah's profile


1724 posts in 3323 days

#12 posted 11-13-2013 01:41 PM

See thats sort of a vote for buying one, Travis. I’d rather spend workshop time building something that’s not for the shop, as much as I do like shop projects. Two ways to look at it, I guess.

Still not sure where I’m going with this in terms of buying vs. making a fence, but I do appreciate all the perspectives.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1917 days

#13 posted 11-13-2013 02:36 PM

I’m making my own router fence and table in the spring to do light production work – for edge routing 95% of the time.

For edge routing 6-8’ boards – can any of you guys/gals chime in with your opinion of the ideal router fence length, if such a thing exists?

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2657 days

#14 posted 11-13-2013 02:44 PM

I’d rather spend workshop time building something that’s not for the shop, as much as I do like shop projects. Two ways to look at it, I guess.


View moke's profile


1180 posts in 2800 days

#15 posted 11-13-2013 03:49 PM

Ordinarily, I’m with you and Tedstor, I work two jobs and shop time is precious, but not this time. I built my own fence…a couple of times in fact. I could just not find what I wanted. The first time I used an extrusion like TeamTurpin—-(please don’t take offense) was great…looked pretty…has no issues with being flat…was not going to warp…..until I want to “edge route” a tall piece…it was to short. I also wanted to swing some rased panel bits…the opening was too small…so I built a fence that was tall like MT Stringer with the t track for hold downs but I made it so it could split and adjust that split to accomidate really big bits.

And as long as I’m offending all my friends…a friend of mine bought a Kreg table and fence. I love kreg…they are in Iowa and so am I, their customer service is awesome, and their products are ordinarliy great, but that router table fence are wierd. They tried to be innovative and I think they missed…...
Just my .02

-- Mike

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