Routing t-slot tracks square - Router Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default Routing t-slot tracks square

Hi All - Just built a router table for the first time and decided to go with a purchased fence. The fence i got uses t-slot tracks for the infeed and outfeed halves of the fence. I'd like to also install a track parallel to the fence for me to use a miter gauge or hold downs, etc.

I figured i just need a straight edge to guide my cuts and i'll have to be extra careful and precise to make the 2 fence slots square to the miter slot. Just wondering if any experienced folks out there have a good way to ensure perfect squareness (or close to it) for this type of operation.

Thanks!

Dave
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 08:26 PM
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You can't; forget it.
But I'd bet you can twist the fence to accommodate the miter gauge angle(s).
And I would not get crazy about getting the 2 slots parallel.
But that is quite possible. If you have a stick/templet that is
parallel to +/-.001-.002" then, with a collar, you can work off both sides
of that. That will get you 2 parallel slots.
Nuthin' is exact, but we always try to get close.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 08:47 PM
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Remember that the fence doesn't have to be parallel to the front/back of the table, so you can adjust the fence to be parallel with the slot, not the other way around.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 08:59 PM
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Quiet a few of us just use a square push block as a miter gauge. It rides along the fence so the fence could be diagonal to the table and it wouldn't matter. Some like the miter slot anyway so they can use it for feather boards which also does not need to be perfectly square with the other slots. I believe I've seen Marc Sommerfeld using the push block on some of his Youtube videos.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I guess the miter gauge isn't too useful and I could just use a push block in most cases. I'm making some window sashes and need t cope end cuts which I'll need sort of a router sled for. I figured having the miter slot for that would be best. But if I can't get it perfectly parallel to the fence then it won't wor anyway. I checked the woodpecker instructions and ther are no adjustments to make the fence move slight from how it fits into the tracks.

So if I skip the miter track I'm still left with needing to get the fence tracks perfectly parallel. Do I do one Tracy and then build some kind of jig to reaference off it? Or a man I overthink this thing and just use a straightedge as a guide and measure it out carefully on each end?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 09:53 PM
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I put t-tracks for a fence in my router table and I think I just used a 3/4" straight bit in a plunge router with a straight edge to guide the router. I used a square to draw the lines where I wanted the tracks and set my straight edge accordingly. I don't know if they are PERFECTLY parallel but they are PDC (Pretty Darn Close) and haven't given me any problems.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 03:39 AM
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There are several ways you can go about it. I've done it with table saw and dado stack (although multiple cuts without one is possible too but getting the right width can be tricky). Using the saw fence guarantees that the slots will be parallel as long as you have no issues keeping the side against the fence. The issue then becomes getting the slots the right distance apart. You should be able to use a router and get them parallel enough. There is a little play in the t tracks. Set up a guide or dado jig and double check with a square. If either method is off a bit, and it should only be a tiny bit, you can always enlarge the holes in the fence for the bolts which will give it a bit more free play. There is almost always one or more ways to fix imperfection without it being a game breaker.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 11:49 AM
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I did it like Chuck but used a standard blade on the table saw 3/16" at a time until it was a perfect fit.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 01:22 PM
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I simply use a square MDF block to push anything through the bit. Look up Marc Sommerfeld on YouTube and watch how he does it. Much easier that alignment of tools in T-slots. The fence does not have to be parallel to anything for his method to work, and the block also acts as a backer to eliminate tearout. A small block of 3/4 MDF lasts a very long time. Cut the square a bit oversize to begin with and trim away the damaged backer part of the block. At some point it is no longer useful, so you get rid of it. You could put a handle on the block, but that isn't really necessary.

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