Why the complex, expensive router fences? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default Why the complex, expensive router fences?

One thing that has been puzzling me for some time is why do people use the very complex, expensive router fences when some simple modifications of the Router Workshop fences are far more flexible in use. The changes I would make to the Router Workshop typoe fence is to make it higher, around 6 inches (150 mm) high where the wood meets the router bit, with the guard adjustable in height and a means to attach a vertical featherboard.

Please do understand that I am a weekend hobbyist, not a professional woodworker, and do router work for fun, not for profit. I also have learned the hard way about safety issues and the need for continuous attention and a clear mind. (My router injury was very minor in comparison to those posted in the Shop Safety subforum.)

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Last edited by BigJimAK; 06-14-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I am a terrible typist! The Thread title should read "Why the complex, expensive router fences?"

If a moderator were to correct the spelling in the title of this thread I would be most appreciative. (I cannot figure out how to make the correction myself.)

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"Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
-attributed to Chief Seattle of the Native American Suquamish Tribe
  • Wood working, especially router work is too much fun to let "disabilities" get in the way.
  • see MEBCWD's signature line; be certain brain is properly powered up and engaged
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 01:17 PM
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Hi Tom:

Some people prefer to work on projects rather than making workshop tools.

Then there are some who have more money than brains.

I have the Incra LS 17" Super System. This system does what I need it to. Expensive yes, but I didn't have to take time to make my fence (which I will do later.) Why? Quick set-up (to 1/32") for cuts. Repeatibility. Easy offsetting of the two halves for edge jointing.

I guess I might be in the second group.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Cassandra,

Thanks for your response. I definitely do enjoy all aspects, including building workshop tools for use in projects. Once I finish my major project I will have saved several thousand dollars over what is commercially available.

How much time does your fence save you, compared to a Router Workshop style fence? I know you like your fence very much, and from what I know of the model it is one of the better "complex, expensive" fences.

When you do build your own fence, what would it be like? How would it differ from the one you use now?

FYI, I would never put you in the second group; but with two kids in college, etc., I definitely do not have excess money. I leave to others to judge my money to brains ratio.

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"Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
-attributed to Chief Seattle of the Native American Suquamish Tribe
  • Wood working, especially router work is too much fun to let "disabilities" get in the way.
  • see MEBCWD's signature line; be certain brain is properly powered up and engaged
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 02:33 PM
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Tom

I am a believer in the KISS approach. My router table is often little more than a piece of plywood with a hole in it and my fence a piece of 3 x 2in planed softwood. For the vast majority of my router table tasks those will suffice.

Regards

Phil
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 03:14 PM
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Tom you bring up the subject of time vs. money. I'm cheap so I try to build what I can to save the money. One of the Cons is the time it takes from the little alloted time the hobbiest has to put towards building this accessory and making thst jig eats up most of the available time I the hobbiest has. On the Pro side, you learn a lot of what to do and not do making this accesory and that jig however a shop full of jigs and accesorrys isn't much to show for your time and effort....... in a perfect world I would have bought everything I saw and started building right away........... but it's not

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 03:34 PM
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 03:37 PM
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Hello : Tom! I agree that all You need is a nice straight piece of wood, or a homemade fence, if You enjoy building nice thing,inc. tools! Al tho You can buy the plastic material for jigs, a piece of wood will do the same thing if You want to use it zero clearance; It will do as good a job as any thing else, I believe. When You want to show off Your table, then You can still build some very nice fences!

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mftha View Post
Hi Cassandra,
How much time does your fence save you, compared to a Router Workshop style fence? I know you like your fence very much, and from what I know of the model it is one of the better "complex, expensive" fences.
I don't know how much time it would save me. I am sure that Bob and Rick are very proficient at setting their fence. I wouldn't be. It comes down to what one is adept at doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mftha View Post
When you do build your own fence, what would it be like? How would it differ from the one you use now?
My table top is 24 x 48 inches. So, the fence is a long one, made from 3/4" baltic birch plywood, fashioned on what was shown in one magazine.

L-shape
Base is 4x48 inches, 1-1/2inches thick.
Riser is a stack of 3/4 inch plywood layers, about 1-1/2" x 48"
Faces are two 4x24 inches, 3/4 inch thick.
Aluminum angle at bottom of faces to keep the faces in line and to allow adjusting the gap between them.
Dust collection port out the back.
T-track for stops and featherboards.

To build it, I'll need a set of skis, along the line that Harry pushes. I can use my router table top to run the skis on, while flattening the riser.

I was in the process of making it when I decided to buy the Incra system. So, the fence on the to-do list.

Cassandra

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 06:20 PM
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My fence is a couple of pieces of MDF in an L shape with a couple of guessets to keep it at 90 degrees to the table top. Held in position with two knobs in T track. My router table is the wing on my table saw.
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