If you think about it, Richard, the fence is just a surface to guide the wood past the bit. But, there are a couple of criteria that must be there: it needs to be very straight, and it needs to have a face that is precisely square to the table surface.
My first router table was simply an old cutting board into which I inlet and attached a router. The fence was simply a jointed 2x4. It worked fine for simple edge-forming operations. I later "graduated" to an inexpensive (relatively speaking) Rockler table top and fence combo. The Rockler had a split fence - that is, the face was split, and mounted to a piece of anodized aluminum angle. As such, the outfeed side could be shimmed with plastic sheets for such things as using the router table as a small jointer. Not bad, but the aluminum angle wasn't very wide (or, thick), so it didn't provide a very solid base for taller face boards.
When I built my current table, I decided to make my own fence using 3"x3"x3/8" thick aluminum angle from a metals supplier. The faces of the angle had been machined to a precise 90° angle, so that gave a high level of precision for the fence, and the height and thickness provided a solid base for mounting MDF face pieces. I made two sets of face pieces - one set is 6" high, and the other is 12" high.
There are also commercially-made fences available, including the Incra "precision" models. Decide what you want the fence to do, and then use that as the basis for deciding which way to go.
The outfeed table on a jointer has precision-machined races that keep the surface moving in a parallel direction. Doing that on a router-table fence would require the same level of precision to function properly. Adding a shim plate between the face and the support angle, and then adjusting the depth of cut to match is much simpler.Ralph,
Your fence looks very solid. My need is doing light jointing on the router. The outfeed fence needs to move forward by the amount of material removed on the infeed. I don't necessarily remove an amount that corresponds to a shim I have on hand. That is why I want a fence that adjusts like a jointer. The Freud will do this but it doesn't look very sturdy. Any thoughts on this fence?
I also have the Woodpecker Super Fence and like my Ridgid Trim router, if they were the last ones on earth I would not sell either for less than several thousand dollars.Go to woodpecker.com and look for their Super Fence. I own this one and it will do what you want.
I'm designing my first table and am 'on the fence' about making a fence or buying one.
Has anyone looked at the Freud SH-5 fence? They are $99 on Amazon with free shipping. Is that fence overkill, or perfect for a newbie?
Thanks! And good luck on your endeavors!