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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this to make a fence out of for my router table.



I have a Woodpeckers MDF table top with cutout and getting the Woodpeckers 3/8" Alum Plate insert.

What are some features you would go with ?
I'm thinking :

*Split fence
*T Slot Track on the front and back. Front one for feathers boards, back one for split fence adjustment.
*Cut out on the Alum angle for bits.
*Make a dust collection box with 3" fitting.
* T Bolts and Knobs for fore and aft adjustment of fence.

Is a split fence a good idea ?
I would only split the Front malamine, not the Alum Angle.

Any suggestions/advice on making a homemade fence ?

Thanks
 

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Mike the biggest issue with using that angle for support is that you need about a 3 3/4" hole for the bit opening if you ever want to use a panel raiser or really large roundovers. that would cut the channel in half or you have to build up in front of it with enough layers of board to avoid that. I like split fences. I feel a little safer with it closed when using small bits. You don't have to use t track to make them though. I just finished my newest fence for the table I'm making and I'll post some pics in a bit that will maybe help a little.
 

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These are 4 views of my home made one. By using a bottom piece about 6" wide I was able to make the cutout with out weakening the structure of it. Laminating 2 pieces together in an L shape keeps the front straight and the bottom flat. The bolts are just 1/4" carriage bolts and the through slot is 1/4" so that the shoulders under the head of the bolt fit snugly in the slot without turning when you tighten them up.

One of the things I'll be doing when I have time is to make some different faces for the fence. I want one tall set for running boards through on edge and I may make a set with the t track slot in it for hold downs and stops. That will make it a little more versatile.
 

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With apologies to Mike first...I have a question on your vise Charles. Is that the Veritas vise? Mine has rounded ends on the cover, but otherwise looks similar. Thanks.

Back to our regularly scheduled program...

Could that aluminum angle not be opened up sufficiently to do the job safely, and then reinforced with more aluminum Tig welded to the top and bottom side to retain strength?
 

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A couple of thoughts.

First, if this is your first fence ever, I'd opt for really simple. Get something going to learn what you like and don't like. Too many times in my WW "career" I've thought something was a great idea but when I used it found out otherwise.

That AL angle looks like a good idea but I wonder how you are going to make a DC port in it and keep the two sides aligned. The split fence may work against that. Maybe some 1/2" BB on the horizontal part of the AL piece would help.

T Slots are nice in the fence face. I made some stop blocks with cam locks that fit in my fence's t tracks and they work really great - fast set up and tear down.

Unless you already have T tracks in your router table, I wouldn't bother at first. Just use clamps to hold down the fence. See how it goes for a while and then add after you get a little more experience with the fence.

I guess my advice could be summed up as "go slow, don't do unnecessary stuff".
 

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With apologies to Mike first...I have a question on your vise Charles. Is that the Veritas vise? Mine has rounded ends on the cover, but otherwise looks similar. Thanks.

Back to our regularly scheduled program...

Could that aluminum angle not be opened up sufficiently to do the job safely, and then reinforced with more aluminum Tig welded to the top and bottom side to retain strength?
Yes it is the twin screw Veritas. This is close to around 20 years old so if yours looks different that may be why.
 

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Doug
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http://www.routerforums.com/kp91s-gallery/1708-router-table-upgrade.html#post18002

If you look at the bottom picture in this post from years back you can see I have a split fence set up on my aluminum angle fence. Most of the time I just use a piece of scrap MDF with a cut out in it. I can bury the bit into the MDF for a zero clearance fence if needed, but usually a small window works pretty good and gives enough air flow for dust collection (I have a vac nozzle that rests behind the fence.) If I don't need the bit in the fence I put a piece of solid MDF on the front.

If using a split fence I have two bolts and knobs for each section. I can shim one out with laminate and use it as a jointer, but I haven't needed to do that since I bought a decent jointer.

The fence is simple and effective.
 

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Yes it is the twin screw Veritas. This is close to around 20 years old so if yours looks different that may be why.
Roger that...I think mine is closer to 10 years old now.

When I left the island, there was no way that I could move the bench I built there. And I really didn't want to leave the veritas there...so I took it off the bench and brought it with me. All it needs now is a bench to be attached to! :smile:
 
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It looks like the flanges on your angle are wider than Mike's are Doug. I think if he cuts out enough for the bit there may not be enough left to hold it straight.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well,
I think my alum has 3 1/2 legs, maybe 4".
I am going to take a look at my largest raised panel bit and see how much I would have to remove.

This isn't my first router table, I have had one for 20 yrs just upgrading .

On my other fence I didn't have split fence and never needed really...but my cut out was fairly large.
I all did my dust collection from the bottom , it had a sealed cabinet under, with a removable front for access.

I never had T Track for feather boards...just used a clamp to hold the feather board on. Same with a stop block if I needed it. Clamps pretty simple but would get in the way sometimes.

I Thought I would make a dust collecting box out of 3/4 hdpe on the sides and 1/4 lexan on the top with hose hook up and screw it one with counter sinked screws from the front of the alum angle.

I have been looking for some plans for a fence but haven't found one that suits me yet.

Thanks for the suggestions.....every bit of information is welcomed :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well...I got out my largest raised panel bit ( which I hardly ever use) and it doesn't look like I need to cut out that much of the alum angle. What do you think ? How big of opening in the alum angle do you think I need to have ?





Am I not seeing something or thinking wrong about the size of cutout I need ?

Thanks
 

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My first concern with an aluminum fence is the black smudges left by the metal as the wood passes over the fence. You might want to use insert nuts and have a slotted wooden fence face, so your precious wood is not blackened by the aluminum. I managed to acquire a VERITAS Router Table Assembly complete (used) some years back. NO Smudges with steel top and wood fence facings. You can make a number of different fence faces to suit your needs at the time.
 

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wax the fence and use a harder aluminum...
 

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My first concern with an aluminum fence is the black smudges left by the metal as the wood passes over the fence. You might want to use insert nuts and have a slotted wooden fence face, so your precious wood is not blackened by the aluminum. I managed to acquire a VERITAS Router Table Assembly complete (used) some years back. NO Smudges with steel top and wood fence facings. You can make a number of different fence faces to suit your needs at the time.
Never had any issues with black smudges using either of my aluminum fences. I usually have an MDF facing, but not always.
 

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Never had any issues with black smudges using either of my aluminum fences. I usually have an MDF facing, but not always.
Good to know. I think the aluminum (or the wood) might need to be wet before there was any sort of reaction. Wax should help prevent that.
 

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For a bit like a raised panel that is 3.375 to 3.625" in diameter with bearing you would need a cutout that goes back about 2" (and maybe a hair for comfort level) from the face of the fence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So If I have the 1" Melamine for the face than I would only have to get into the alum angle 1 1/2 " at the most.... both height and width .
Do you think that would be a big enough opening ?

Thanks
 

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On rare occasion there might be an issue with the height but you could cure that by adding extra faces so that the bit isn't under the aluminum. The bottom flange is what keeps the fence straight so I would put more value on having it as wide as possible.
 

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Doug
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So If I have the 1" Melamine for the face than I would only have to get into the alum angle 1 1/2 " at the most.... both height and width .
Do you think that would be a big enough opening ?

Thanks
you can always go bigger, you can't go smaller. Make the biggest hole you are comfortable making, and you can shim out the fence face or make your hole bigger then. You could make a nice 1 1/2 inch thick hardwood fence face just for panel raising.
 
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