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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
MDS
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Default Building a router table

After looking a many pictures and reading many articles about building a router table I still am a bit at a loss as to what is really needed as opposed to "fluff" on a top and fence. I pretty much have the table roughly planned in my head as 2 3/4" pieces of 24"x32" MDF glued and laminated with either a T-track or combo track in front with 2 T-tracks for the fence to move back and forth. The confusion is with the fence set up. I see some fences attached to 2"x2" aluminum angle. If this is used, do I hack saw out an area in the middle for the bit and possibly a dust collection fitting? I have looked at the multi tracks from Rockler, but that set up is probably more than I need or want to spend. If I go with angle attached to split fence made of MDF, what is a reasonable T-track configuration on the fence itself? Thank you.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 10:21 AM
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There are many design options, and the choices are largely personal.

When I built my last table top, I elected to go with a "precision", heavy-duty "base" for the split fence - 3"x3" 3/8" thick aluminum angle from Online Metal Store | Small Quantity Metal Orders | Metal Cutting, Sales & Shipping | Buy Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Stainless | Metal Product Guides at OnlineMetals.com. The three-inch size left plenty of material to retain stability, and provides higher support for the fence faces. I also elected to cut T-slots rather than installing T-track, since I felt the latter consumed too much of the thickness of the MDF fence face pieces.



For the bit-clearance area, I drilled corner holes and then used my Porta-band saw for the side cuts and a jig saw for the top and back cuts. The slots for the lateral adjustment T-bolts were carefully routed with a spiral carbide up-cut bit. I routed a dado for the T-bolts, so they would be "captured" prior to laminating the two layers of the top.

I also elected to use a combo track (t-track and miter slot) in front of the router, located such that my feather boards would reach.

For me, the key design elements were:

1. precision and stability of the 90° fence-to-table fit,

2. the ability to use feather boards on both the fence and table,

3. split fence for a variety of bit types.

I may go back and add tongue-groove cuts on the center edges of the fence faces to allow insert sections, but so far haven't seen the need.

- Ralph
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by MDS View Post
After looking a many pictures and reading many articles about building a router table I still am a bit at a loss as to what is really needed as opposed to "fluff" on a top and fence. I pretty much have the table roughly planned in my head as 2 3/4" pieces of 24"x32" MDF glued and laminated with either a T-track or combo track in front with 2 T-tracks for the fence to move back and forth. The confusion is with the fence set up. I see some fences attached to 2"x2" aluminum angle. If this is used, do I hack saw out an area in the middle for the bit and possibly a dust collection fitting? I have looked at the multi tracks from Rockler, but that set up is probably more than I need or want to spend. If I go with angle attached to split fence made of MDF, what is a reasonable T-track configuration on the fence itself? Thank you.
Hi Welcome to the forum
I concur with all Ralphs comments. Nothing wrong with the t-track fence mounting if you don't have the equipment to put in the keyhole slots Ralph is using. You can also purchase a bracket with the holes already cut in it for about $30:
Router Table Fence
Look for item 1098 and check the pdf drawing. That will also give you dimensions for installing the track guides and such.
I concur with the split fence, I like them about 6" tall with the featherboard track about 5" above the table. Shorter fences would suffice but I find them difficult to attach accessories to and taller fences really help when you need to run a wider board on edge or run one vertically.
Good Luck

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 10:57 AM
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Hi

Just to add a note most forget about the 1/2 fence, they get stuck with the table saw way and the router table is not a table saw, most of the bits you will use will have bearings on them and it's a built in fence so speak, no need for a starter pin with the 1/2 fence,once you are on the bearing you are good to go..it's great for panels or any odd shape items.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 03:56 PM
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I opted for purchasing a top and fence the building the cabinet, I had a really good buy for around £90.00, this come with a lift out insert and extremely sturdy fence. I inserted a router that can be adjusted from above the table, doing away with a lift. Could be an option if you can source one at a reasonable price.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. I'll consider it all.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 09:34 PM
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MDS. I agree you with you about avoiding the fluff on top. You can bare minimum accessories from Woodhaven - Woodworking Tools, Supply & Equipment Along with the low prices, they offer great advice. I sense that the owner has a background in machining. Pat Warner sells his products online and they have a minimalist, businesslike quality, as well as WoodHaven.

I have a home built table. I modeled it on the design in Bill Hylton's WWing with the router. It has a lift top, so the router can easily be clamped or unclamped for bit height adjustment. And you can see what you are doing.

I'm a little opposed to the idea of a mitre track on the top. For the reason that it weakens an area that is prone to sagging.
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