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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not much of a woodworker (I’m a measure 3 times, cut with chainsaw kind of guy) but I decided to try and build a drill press table using T-Track for the fence to slide in. I had no tools to do this with, so after some research, I decided to buy a router bit rather than go thru the expense of a dado set. I finally got the router bit (Freud 04-140) and some T-Track. Using a scrap piece of 3/4" plywood, I routed in the channel. The router bit is a straight 3/4" Bit and the drawings for the T-Track measure 3/4" on the outside. As you can see in the photos, the t-track will not fit in the channel, not even when using a hammer and a block of wood so as not to damage the t-track.

I just measured the OD of the t-track and the width of the channel in the wood.

T-track 0.770 - inches
Channel in plywood 0.700
As most of you know, 3/4" is 0.750

I’m disappointed with the results and have no clue as how to proceed. Any suggestions?

While posting this, I thought maybe trimming off a few thousands with the table saw would probably work, but since I went thru the trouble of taking photos and posting this I’d go ahead and post it anyway.



 

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Not an uncommon situation, Gary.

With a shed full of tools, it would be easy for me to correct, using an adjustable dado jig.

What other tools, apart from a chain saw do you have?
 

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set your straight edge to the desired width and make another pass.
(it's called: trimming to fit). a/k/a woodworking & craftsmanship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not an uncommon situation, Gary.

With a shed full of tools, it would be easy for me to correct, using an adjustable dado jig.

What other tools, apart from a chain saw do you have?
I have a rickety table saw (Craftsman 113.295750) that I inherited from my father who passed in 1988 and a nice all metal circular saw that was his also. A recent purchase is a 12" DeWalt miter saw and a purchase of a Makita RT0701C router that I purchased a year or so ago. That’s about it other than the other normal stuff, hammer etc.

The chainsaw comment is something I use a lot, cause I tend to cut stuff too short a lot. I have no real wood shop, so most stuff like this is done outside on a piece of plywood for a table supported by a couple of saw horses.
 

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Gary - I mean from side to side to get the proper width for the track. scoot the straight edge over just enough for you to get the width you need. you can also wrap some 40 grit sandpaper around a piece of 1/2" wood and sand it by hand.
if you cut the groove too wide, use Bondo body filler. if you cut it too deep, thickened epoxy in the bottom of the groove and the track pressed in even with the wood until the epoxy sets, then install the screws. if it is a wood table, I run the orbital sander over all of it.
looking forward to seeing your new table !!
 

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A short answer isn't going to do the trick I fear. Lots of us use saw horses and a slab of ply. If it were me, I'd get a small mortising bit. Like this
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The word template points to the straight edge. You'll just set it slightly off one edge of the existing cut. You run the bit so the bearing rolls against the template or straight edge and trim off just enough to make the track fit. One nice thing about mortising bits is that they leave a very flat bottom. A half inch mortising bit is all you need. And in future you can use it to make multiple passes for any width you want.

Hope this helps. I also suggest that you buy a sheet of quarter inch masonite with one factory (straight) edge to use for your straight edge in the future.

You can also make a simple jig that's called an exact fit dado bid. Picture attached. You fit the piece you want to fit in the dado between the "jaws" and tighten the nuts so they don't move. Then using a mortising bit that's smaller than the dado or groove, you can get a perfect fit. You might have to fit a playing card in the jaws between the fitted piece and jaws to allow room for glue.
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If you build this extremely handy jig, be sure you make the fixed jaw and the guide absolutely square, exactly 90 degrees. It will make the jig very useful. It is also very handy when cutting dados and grooves. If you use half inch for the various parts, it will be more useful.
 

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Go with the table saw and call it a day. You could use the router and make another pass but how long would it take to make sure that the clamped-on fence was perfectly parallel and spaced 1/16" away from the slot.
 

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You might be able to do it with the router like in the diagram. This might work better if the slot isn't exactly square to the edge of the wood. With the router unplugged, use it and the bit to align the fence to the edge of the baseplate at each end but use a shim similar to the extra width you need (maybe cereal box cardboard or something). You might need to turn the bit so the cutters fill the slot (no play).

When you route the slot start at the left (solid circle), so that you're not climb cutting.

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With all due respect, I suggest you stick with your router. Your old saw may or may not be tuned up sufficiently well to make a perfect cut, and you'll be lining up and making the cut with the piece upside down. A 1/16th trim with a mortising bit will be very easy to set up. And I assume you'll be using screws to hold the track down, so perfection isn't required.
 

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PS...It is not a major issue, if your slot is a fraction too wide, as long as the t-track is just below the table surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had to read the comments and digest them for a day or two. What I did was cut a very thin 0.070 thin strip of wood on the table saw. Took a few tries to get it done. I then placed the thin strip of wood up against the wood I was using as a fence, and made three 1/8" deep cuts, then removed the thin strip of wood and made another pass. Worked perfect. I doubt I would have figured that out if it wasn’t for this forum. A big thank you.

Now that I have the t-track channels figured out, I can begin to work on the real drill press table. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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That looks like a neat little device, but I wonder what the distance between the legs that are placed on the router is. It looks like it was made for a router table and too big to fit on my little Makita RT0707C.
It's about 3 inches across the open part, about 5 across the full leg span. I don't know how wide your Makita base is.
 

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You sound like a pretty decent character. I've got an old Emerson cast iron Craftsman, too. If the blade support is solid, and you put a decent fence on it, a 2+ hp motor on it, good adjustment of everything, it will produce cuts within thousands. I make Neon art. Right now I am making some Zia Sun Signs in cedar, baltic birch, paint and Neon. What kinda things do you like to paint? Do you have a site? Mine is in the process of being re-done. DrNeon.US . I'm in Southern New Mexico
 

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Dr. Neon - nice post. please go to the New Member Introduction and tell us a little more about yourself and your projects.
many of us here like to do wood signs and paint them.
 

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Congratulations, it sounds like you were able to achieve your goal. But while on the subject, I thought I would pass along to all of you a great solution I found to my t-track problems. Lee Valley sells several different t-tracks on their website, including one called a Veritas Double T-Slot track. In essence it features two extra "wings" that project out of the extrusion at the bottom of the sides, that keep the track firmly in place without screws or glue. I bought their "Undercut Slotting Bit" to achieve routing the proper bed for the track to be driven into. And it works flawlessly, especially in MDF where screws tend to loosen. A picture of the extrusion is attached.
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