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Just purchased a drawer lock bit that I'd like to experiment with, creating drawers from plywood for a router cabinet. The recommendation is that a zero clearance fence insert, or in my case a zero clearance overlay fence is recommended to avoid tearout.
I've never made a zero clearance fence to fit a particular router bit, so I need to know the basics. Do you trace the pattern of the bit on the insert and then cut it out on a bandsaw, or do you install the router bit in the table mounted router, turn it on, and run the fence into the moving bit to cut the opening? (sort of like turning on your table saw and moving the spinning blade up into the table insert to create a zero clearance plate).
Thanks in advance for the help.
 

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Actually the best answer is both of the above.
First you want to trace the bit and make a cutout using a bandsaw, but you only want to take out the middle, don't worry about the edges. When you have a small opening from the bandsaw you then put the fence back and move it through the bit.

By taking out some of the material with the bandsaw, you will not have to remove alot with the bit. Hope this makes sense.
 

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You didn't mention the of material the fence. I'm guessing you know that you want to use a disposable piece and not to use the actual fence (unless you have a disposable fence). If it is Polyethelene then just cut into it, if using hardwood I might just do the same thing just slower. (see how it feels when you do it) I'm also sure you know to make sure you have no contact of bit to fence until the router is up to speed. You will want to go just deeper then the actual exposure you want and you will need to provide an exit for the chips on the backside.

Ed
 

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Hi: The easy wayto make a zero clearance fence is to take a board that is higher than
the bit and thick enough to accomodate the bit circumference. Fasten the out put side of the board to the router table with a clamp. Turn on the router while keeping
the board clear of the bit, then move the infeed side of the board into the bit. The bit
will have cut its own outline into the board. Then all you have to do is set the board
(fence) where it will cut as you require. Put a clamp on the infeed side, and re-tighten the out feed clamp. That's all thats needed.

Hope this helps, Woodnut65
 

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How thick do you recommend the sacrificial fence to be? Or, does it matter?
3/4 inch is a safe thickness to insure a rigid and flat surface. Mealmine, MDF, and Polyethylene are all suitable choices.

With a drawer lock bit, once you have slid the infeed fence all the way into the bit, back it off just a bit and you are all set.

Send us some photos of your test pieces when you get a chance.
 
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The thickness of the sacrificial fence depends upon the diameter of the bit and how much of the bit you want to bury inside. You don't want to cut through the sacrificial fence and sacrifice your non-sacrificial fence! :D
 

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The thickness of the sacrificial fence depends upon the diameter of the bit and how much of the bit you want to bury inside. You don't want to cut through the sacrificial fence and sacrifice your non-sacrificial fence! :D
That is true. I forget not everyone has a Wonder Fence.
 
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