A "closed-in" mitre track? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Default A "closed-in" mitre track?

Will it matter if I install my mitre track so that only one end is "open"? By "open", I mean that the mitre's machine bar could only be slid in from one end - in this case the in-feed end. I'm aware that I can drop it in too - however this is more tricky (but still possible) with the T-slot track and machine bar.

My table is about 880mm long. The longest section of mitre track I could buy here, was 800mm. So unless I cut the table down to 800mm, I'm faced with either having both ends of the track "closed in" - or one end "open" and the other "closed in". As I see it, it won't matter - once the gauge itself is level with the bit - I don't need to push it further past. With the gauge level with the bit, there's plenty of clearance between the end of the machine bar and the end of the mitre track on the out feed side. There's potentially more of an issue with how far back from the bit I can pull the mitre gauge, on the in-feed side of the table - for that reason I'm leaning towards having that end of the track "open". That way, I can draw the mitre gauge back as much as necessary - for example to allow for routing of wide stock.

A speedy answer would be great as I want to route this over the weekend!

Matthew

PS - I'm a RT newbie, so please don't assume I know too much about it - I've done some reading but am still very much learning about it.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 07:16 AM
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Hi Matt, I have a couple of thoughts, (on this matter, more on others!);

1st, you could extend the groove even though there is no track left;
2nd, you could purchase an additional length of track and butt them together
3rd, personally I would leave that left side open "just because". Why place a limit on yourself now just because you can't see the advantage to it that's down the road.

That's my .02 cents, if you feel it was worth it please send a check for .02

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 08:36 AM
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Agree with Jack and the last thing I would want to worry about when using a sled or miter gauge is bumping into a dead end in the track.

Easier to clean out a track with two open ends, too.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 10:46 AM
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Matt, you really do not need any miter track or slots in your router table. The reason for a miter slot is to guide material past a saw blade. Your material must be kept at a constant angle to avoid kick back. There are other, better choices for a router table. Guiding off a fence which is clamped in position provides a straight edge and unlimited set up possibilities. For straight line routing where a fence would interfere a simple sled is the answer. This can be 1/4" material with a 1x2" fastened to the bottom so it will guide off your table edge. Another popular use for miter slots is mounting feather boards. The feather boards can be mounted to a piece of 1/4" plywood and then clamped in place for unrestricted set ups. A strong argument for this method is the fact that you will at times want to rout boards that are wider than the distance from your bit to the miter slot and still be able to get the control of featherboard pressure. To me these are common sense solutions.
If you still want to install a miter slot and track then consider that there is no reason it has to run the length of your table, install it from front to back. I promise the bit wont care! You are better off having the track run the entire distance. If you are clamping a fence to your table (which allows unlimited set up options) just position it from front to back as well; this is the Router Workshop method. "Simple is better"

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 11:25 AM
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FWIW, Matt, I have a combination t-track/miter track in my table. But, I use it only for "store-bought" feather boards that are designed to fit into one or the other, but don't have good clamping surfaces. Even for that, the use is, at best, occasional. Although I built a sled for use with a miter track some years back, I don't use it. It's far easier to simply guide against the fence.

On a router table, the only "squareness" that matters is the face of the fence, and the axis of the router, to the table surface.

So, unless you have a specific requirement, consider skipping the miter track for now. You can always add it later if you feel the need.

- Ralph
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Barker View Post
It's far easier to simply guide against the fence.

On a router table, the only "squareness" that matters is the face of the fence, and the axis of the router, to the table surface.

So, unless you have a specific requirement, consider skipping the miter track for now. You can always add it later if you feel the need.
Ditto

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt1710 View Post
Will it matter if I install my mitre track so that only one end is "open"? By "open", I mean that the mitre's machine bar could only be slid in from one end - in this case the in-feed end. I'm aware that I can drop it in too - however this is more tricky (but still possible) with the T-slot track and machine bar.

My table is about 880mm long. The longest section of mitre track I could buy here, was 800mm. So unless I cut the table down to 800mm, I'm faced with either having both ends of the track "closed in" - or one end "open" and the other "closed in". As I see it, it won't matter - once the gauge itself is level with the bit - I don't need to push it further past. With the gauge level with the bit, there's plenty of clearance between the end of the machine bar and the end of the mitre track on the out feed side. There's potentially more of an issue with how far back from the bit I can pull the mitre gauge, on the in-feed side of the table - for that reason I'm leaning towards having that end of the track "open". That way, I can draw the mitre gauge back as much as necessary - for example to allow for routing of wide stock.

A speedy answer would be great as I want to route this over the weekend!

Matthew

PS - I'm a RT newbie, so please don't assume I know too much about it - I've done some reading but am still very much learning about it.
Hi Matt - your best option would be to find a shorter section of track and butt that in. In the meantime, I would definitely open the end up. You don't want to be concentrating on the cutter and hitting an abrupt stop.

John Schaben

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. I've now got two sections of track and will butt them end to end - hopefully the transition (if the machine bar ever gets that far) is smooth.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt1710 View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I've now got two sections of track and will butt them end to end - hopefully the transition (if the machine bar ever gets that far) is smooth.
Another excellent selection!

Jack


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