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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My router table top and fence are both MDF. The fence is the same length as the table so I've been using clamps on the ends to hold it in place for table routing. I would like to switch over to a hold down system that remains in place. I could make a bolt hole toward each end of the fence and cut slots in the table top that line up with the bolts hole to allow the fence to move toward and away form the router bit. I know that some use T track instead of slots. Or, I could make bolts holes in the table top and cut slots in the fence. Is there an advantage to one method vs the other?
 

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My Rockler fence has slotted holes in the table which seems more user friendly as it allows the fence to be easily moved out of the way when changing the bit. My original (home made) table had neither holes or slots, just a C-clamp at each end of the fence. Other than the ability to "bump" the current fence to make small adjustments, that was the easiest fence to work with.
 

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Jim I kinda like your T track idea. Just be sure it is set low enough so it want interfere with wood moving across it. You might do a test on another piece of MDF so you can get it just right.
 

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It's your choice of course, there are many, many ways to enjoy this hobby. I personally will never limit my fence to t-track or slots. With the c-clamps, you can position your fence anywhere on the table. As Bob Rosendahl said "the bit is round, it will cut from any direction" My router table is one from The Router Workshop and has the insert plate mounted in one end. Most of the time, the small area on the end of the table is adequate for my router needs. Occasionally, the work piece is bigger and can benefit from having a larger table surface. Turning the fence around and clamping it on the other side of the bit accomplishes this.

Again, this works for ME.
 
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If you're going to rout a dado for a T-track, be sure your table is nice and thick. A double layer of MDF or MDF + plywood backing is OK, but a single layer of mdf will be greatly weakened by cutting a 7/16ths or slightly deeper dado in a single layer.

Consider cutting two vertical dados, one near each edge of the table. Use T bolts and threaded knobs to slide and lock down the fence. Cut a slot in the left hand side, bottom of the fence so you can slide the T-bolt and fence into any position you want. The other end can just be a hole drilled to fit nicely and is the fulcrum for the lever the fence has become. That is the end that stays put, the other end slides up and down to position the fence relative to the bit. The fence doesn't have to be parallel with the front of the table (except if you're using a jig of some sort).

The 7/16ths depth will drop the T-track clear of your workpiece. This setup will give you a pretty nice control of your table without over doing the fiddling with clamps and too many knobs. There are all kinds of designs for fences, and most of the decent ones have a dust port just behind the bit opening. Put a little dust relief camfer on the bottom edge of the fence. Sawdust buildup can mess up your bit setting and cut by raising the workpiece a little as it rides over the sawdust.

This is a worthy project and I predict you'll really like the change. If you get a chance watch a little of Marc Sommerfeld's routing videos, his fince is set up this way so he's doing what you'll be doing with this kind of setup.
 

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I have never needed to move my fence more than an inch or two and I can't remember why I even needed to move it except to change a bit. My system is simple. I have a slot in the fence base and I put a bolt through it. If I need to move the fence I loosen the bolt and slide the fence back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is how I solved the problem, sure, my table is steel with threaded holes but for MDF drill holes and fit Tee nuts from below.
Your method is what I would prefer to do.....easier to do the slots in the fence.
Question.....what is the purple color on the fence parts?
 

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I call it PINK, it is Laminex covered MDF salvaged from the old kitchen when we replaced it after buying this present home. We couldn't live with a PINK kitchen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I call it PINK, it is Laminex covered MDF salvaged from the old kitchen when we replaced it after buying this present home. We couldn't live with a PINK kitchen!
Kind of like the Avocado colored appliances from the 1950's and 1960's. Repurposing makes for a very colorful workshop. Was the old countertop wood? The new one stone? I would (no pun intended) have thought that you would have stayed with the wood.
 

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The original top was also pink laminex covered MDF with a hard-wood edging strip. The new one is Vinyl wrapped water resistant chipboard. The cutting board was sent to me by my good friend Dimitri in Greece.
 

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I've tried table tops with t tracks for locking the fence down and clamps for locking it down and I cant say that I have a preference of one over the other. Both work equally well.
 
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