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Discussion Starter #1
I've begun doing a couple of things that have helped me fine-tune fence placement and thought I'd pass them on. Now ... I'm pretty much a novice and maybe everyone's already doing this and saying "So what else is new?" but for me it was a big move forward (remember What About Bob? - baby steps, baby steps), so for what it's worth ...

1. I've gotten away from worrying whether or not my fence face is parallel to the table, to the point where I've installed a pin through one side of my fence base and will sometimes peg it in place and then fine-tune my fence location by moving only the other end. What this does for me is to give finer incremental adjustments at the bit location when trying to "sneak up" on a cut - it's more of a fine pivot rather than a sliding adjustment so it's easier for me to control. 90% of the time it doesn't matter whether my fence face is square to the table or miter slot, and if I AM using the miter, I just put a square against the fence and rotate the miter head to be true to the fence's angle.

2. For those like me whose fine motor skills are challenged, there are some bits that are a real chore to get setup - both in height and fence position - a locking miter bit comes to mind. Set-up blocks are great, but you'll still have fine-tuning to do. Now you've gone through all the trouble, gone through a billion test pieces (more fodder for the fireplace), and have finaly gotten it fine tuned and the fit is perfect ... but you can't be taking all that cut in one pass or you'll rip out, or have to go too slow and burn the workpiece ... all the usual horrors of taking too much material in one pass (not to mention the safety issues). But I don't want to lower the bit and mess up the set-up (for that matter, with a lock miter you can't slide up on the height). What I used to do was try to mark the fence location on the table top, move the fence forward for a shallower cut and make several passes while gradualy returning to my marks .... this was close, but way less than the perfect fit I had struggled for - I was never quite satisfied. Well, remember the pin from above? Nowadays, when I've got the final fence position set, I just clamp a stop to the table top BEHIND the fence on the end opposite the pin, then pivot the fence shallower, and proceed to make passes gradually pivoting back till I hit the stop. Perfect repeat every time. If I'm not using the pin, I just put a stop block at BOTH ends.

Like I said, I'm a novice and maybe this is old news for everyone else, but for me it's helped a lot and I haven't seen it talked about - so maybe it'll be of help to someone else. May the chips fly where they will! ;-)
 

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Marc Sommerfeld uses a similar set-up on his "ultimate router table". If you really want to see a Precision Router Fence see Pat Warner's fence at his web site or in some of his books. The first fence I ever made I copied from Warner's $2.00 fence, a bolt through one end of a board and a clamp on the other. What ever works. Have fun.

Regards

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do believe that simple is best - I had to go with the clamp on board routine the other day when I couldn't move my fence far enough away from the bit - I took off the fence and just grabbed a piece of 3/4" oak and clamped it on. Pretty Hi-Tech, huh?
I'm also looking at making a new table and fence, so I'll have to look into this "ultimate router table" you mentioned - is this a plan, is it a table that's for sale or is there a web site? I'd like to take a look at it. I've been taking my time planning and am looking at examples and ideas before I start.
Thanks,
Gil
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I checked into the Sommerfeld web site (you're right Ed, two m's) - didn't know that was CMT bits - I assume you're talking about the Industrio line of tables? A little pricey, but I did see the reference to the pivoting fence concept. I'll have to see if there's somewhere in the Chicago area where I can go to see one. Thanks for the link Jerry!
 

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Intresting pecause I just adopted the same fence method. I had cut ,sanded,screwed,nailed. You name it bulding a sliding fence on rails on both sides of the table. It was a total disaster. I started thinking what the hell why not simply pivot one end and clamp the other and do the measureing from the bit with a square. Sure enough enough iot works great. Now I plan to build a new table and hope to get lots of help from all these pros.

Keep on Trucking
 

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Intresting pecause I just adopted the same fence method. I had cut ,sanded,screwed,nailed. You name it bulding a sliding fence on rails on both sides of the table. It was a total disaster. I started thinking what the hell why not simply pivot one end and clamp the other and do the measureing from the bit with a square. Sure enough enough iot works great. Now I plan to build a new table and hope to get lots of help from all these pros.

Keep on Trucking
Ephrem: hang the pivot point. Just clamp both ends and be done with it. What is critical is that the face of the fence toward the workpiece is perpendicular to the table surface. That is your only worry and a jointer handles that nicely.
 

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I checked into the Sommerfeld web site (you're right Ed, two m's) - didn't know that was CMT bits - I assume you're talking about the Industrio line of tables? A little pricey, but I did see the reference to the pivoting fence concept. I'll have to see if there's somewhere in the Chicago area where I can go to see one. Thanks for the link Jerry!
I have 2 of those tables & they work great. The fence is capable of being used both ways but I have only used the pivoting option. You can also use the top from both sides. I have the t-track on the back side of the fence because I don't use sleds that need to ride in it & using it from the other side you have more table in front of the fence for larger material support.
 

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Ephrem: hang the pivot point. Just clamp both ends and be done with it. What is critical is that the face of the fence toward the workpiece is perpendicular to the table surface. That is your only worry and a jointer handles that nicely.
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Thank`s for the comment. Why elimiate the pivot? Is there some obvious avantage? I really don`t understand the second part of your comment regarding the perpendicular and the jointer. Is it the jointer (whatever that is) that makes the pivot unnecessary? As I said I am a novice so please accept my stupid questions. Posibly explaining my procedure will help. I wish to make a 1/4 inch groove on the edge of a 2 inch wide X 36 inch long pine board. Assuming I am using a 1/2 inch bit. Using an adjustable square I set it at 1-3/4 inch, set one face of the square on the side of the bit and slide the fence to toutch the other edge of the square. I am not happy with my present table top and I wish to replace it. Can someone suggest a sutible material? Excuse the long winded reply.

Thank`s
 

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setup photo pls.

Ephrem: hang the pivot point. Just clamp both ends and be done with it. What is critical is that the face of the fence toward the workpiece is perpendicular to the table surface. That is your only worry and a jointer handles that nicely.
__________________
Thank`s for the comment. Why elimiate the pivot? Is there some obvious avantage?
Oops, sorry for the techno-jargon. In order for your fence to remain stable while working with it, you need to tighten down the pivot _and_ the clamp at the other end. Depending on how tight your pivot is, it may wobble as you push material past the bit.

I don't use a pivot. Instead, I use two "C" clamps, one at each end of the fence. My router table is designed with a 2 1/2" "lip" that allows me lots of clamping space to hold the fence. I tighten both clamps snugly but the furthest away from me is a bit more snug than the clamp close to me. I use a hammer to tap the close end of the fence into place and then I tighten both clamps down tight and check the measurement again. If I need to, I can tap the fence while it is tight for that ever so slight "adjustment."

I really don`t understand the second part of your comment regarding the perpendicular and the jointer.
I will assume that your router is in the table and the bit is sticking out ready to cut. If you're using a straight bit, it must be perpendicular to the surface of the table. That would make the bit parallel to the face of the fence. However, I use 2x4s for fences and humidity and abuse take their toll on the "accuracy" of my fence so I have to square it up from time to time.

To do that, I use a jointer.



This is a jointer. The long horizontal section is the "bed" and the vertical part is the "fence." I take my 2x4 and put the side that goes next to the router bit and I put it face down on the "bed" of the jointer. Now, the "bed" is divided into two parts, the infeed and the outfeed. The outfeed is adjusted to the height of the cutter. That is a drum with blades on it that sit underneath that yellow thing (protective cover) in the middle of the "bed."

The infeed side is adjusted separately using the handle you see below on the right. By the way, the infeed side is on the right. I adjust the infeed table so it is just slightly 1/16" below the level of the outfeed side. I turn on the machine, the drum with the blades spin and I push my 2x4 across the infeed side, push the protective cover out of the way (with the 2x4) and I get a face that is perfectly flat and square to the fence on the jointer. I make sure the 2x4 is hard against the fence so that the cut is perfectly square. That means that the face of my 2x4 is now perfectly square (at 90 degrees or right angles) to the surface of my router table and as a consequence perfectly parallel to the bit on my router.

You always want the router table fence to be parallel with the centreline of the bit.

Is it the jointer (whatever that is) that makes the pivot unnecessary? As I said I am a novice so please accept my stupid questions.
Oops, not here. No such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer. Oh yes, there are those that say the question not asked is "the stupid question."

Posibly explaining my procedure will help. I wish to make a 1/4 inch groove on the edge of a 2 inch wide X 36 inch long pine board. Assuming I am using a 1/2 inch bit. Using an adjustable square I set it at 1-3/4 inch, set one face of the square on the side of the bit and slide the fence to toutch the other edge of the square.
Ok, I'm in the middle of construction in my shop so I can't take a photo. Can someone please setup for a 1/2" rabbet and take a picture of it.

I am not happy with my present table top and I wish to replace it. Can someone suggest a sutible material? Excuse the long winded reply.
The best material is 1" or thicker Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) with, or without a plastic laminate top. I just bought one (4x8 sheet) at BMR (Home Depot on steroids) for $46. Cdn.
 

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Router fence fine adjustment

I my self got tired of just giving the fence a knock to either side to adjust and hope that I could really see how far the fence has moved. I just last weekend put togther this fine adjuster which easily lets me see how far the fence is moved. I just loosen the fence knob on this end and turn the knurled wheel. I was able to space the wheel with thin shim washers and have no lash at all. I am very happy with the results.
 

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I my self got tired of just giving the fence a knock to either side to adjust and hope that I could really see how far the fence has moved. I just last weekend put togther this fine adjuster which easily lets me see how far the fence is moved. I just loosen the fence knob on this end and turn the knurled wheel. I was able to space the wheel with thin shim washers and have no lash at all. I am very happy with the results.
Very nice Collin. I see you also have a tape laid in next to the t-track. That method works very well for me for the initial setups.:)
That looks like 3/8-16 allthread on the adjuster?
 

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Yes it is 3/8-16 threaded rod, I turned the knurled knob and cut the internal threads on my metal lathe. Your right about the graduated tape, it sure does aid in fine tuning setups.
 

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Very imaginative Collin. Thanks for sharing that with us.
 

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Very nice Collin, i am very glad for you! is more accurate than a hammer! :))
Santé
 

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Very nice Collin, i am very glad for you! is more accurate than a hammer! :))
Santé
Laisse faire mon marteau! Ca fonctionne tres bien. Mais ca fonctionne mieux avec les barres de measure. Pardonne l'orthographe. Mon dictionnaire ne fonctionne pas dans deux langues dans meme message.

(leave my hammer alone. It works very well. But, it works better with measuring bars. Pardon the spelling. My dictionary doesn't work in two languages in the same message. ;-)

Colin:

Your's is an ingenious solution to a problem shared by many of the fixed fence persuasion. Nicely done too!
 

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Bravo Allthunbs, your French langage is excellent, certainly much better than my English ;-)

Santé
 

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Mais il habite Quebec. Je crois que tous les personnes parlent francais la !

Cheers

Peter (Who sometimes thinks he has forgotten more French than he ever learned)
 
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