miter slot/tslot or both - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Question miter slot/tslot or both

I am looking to build a router table "top". I plan on mounting it on my workmate and I only need a top, so I do not care about the cabinet part. There are plenty of designs out there and some have a miter slot, some have a t-slot, some both, some none. I am wondering what is best. I currently have two 4 foot tracks to use on my table that I got from Rockler.

I am also thinking to buy the aluminum angle fence they have on sale or to make one out of wood.

What are your opinions?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 11:17 AM
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Hi kaybee:

Neither. Just my ever so humble opinion.

There are proponents who say to put a t-slot. There are proponents who say miter slot. There are proponents who say both. And there are those proponents who say Neither.

A miter slot belongs on a saw table (table saw, band saw.)

A slot is a dust collector and a place for the workpiece to get hung up on. Some of us say the fewer penetrations into the top, the better.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 01:32 PM
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Are you replacing the original Workmate jaws?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking of it. I did buy the plastic parts that are bolted to the bottom of the jaws. Now I wish I would have bought some more. Shipping is the killer there, so I tried to get all the parts for my workmates at once.

I also think Cassandra may have a point about not putting any grooves in the top. I am just concerned about the fence slipping. If I don't use the miter slot, I can return that. I can still use the t-slots for my fence.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 05:13 PM
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For me anyway. I've found that using a miter for routing things such as the edges of the rails for doors really make it much easier and safer. It's also easier when using a backing board to prevent tearout. Also, I can use a feather board for close work.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 05:25 PM
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Build it without, and add them if you find a reason to.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 06:33 PM
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Previous table had a miter slot. Present table has both. I like having both, but I am a little new to the T tracks, so no strong opinion there. However, a slot can definitley weaken a table top unless bracing, stronger material, or extra thickness is part of the construction.

If the material is MDF, the slot needs to be really well sealed to keep moisture out.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 06:36 PM
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Keep it simple!! The fewer bells and whistles the fewer chances of something going wrong. IMHO, tracks are fine for the fence, but not needed on the table top.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 08:56 PM
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I like the tracks. I use the t-tracks on the fence for featherboards and the mitre track on the table for both feather boards and mitre gauge. I use the mitre gauge for end grain cuts, especially on narrower, 2" or so stock. I just haven't got the hand strength to feel comfortable trying to control that stuff. I prefer the tracks for the feather boards because clamps can, and will, slip. Obvious solution is add extra clamps, so where did the uncluttered table go?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 09:22 PM
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Just to add my 2 cents:
I put a miter track in my last table, and I have used it once for a feather board, and that did not work out as well as I would have liked. Next table will built without and I will use clamps to hold the feather board.
The track collects dust and other debris. I have never had anything catch on it though.
For my fence I have just routed slots for carriage bolts and that works for me. May use t track on the next one, but not sure.
I agree with AxlMyk, build your top without, you can always add the tracks later.
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