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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently built myself a Router table - around 30"x36". Made it out of work Table my Father built a long time ago. (Will post pics soon).

Will be keeping it simple, and using clamps for the fence, similar to the Oak Park design. Unless there is a better reason to mount the fence another way...?

However it seems like a T-Track might be handy to have parallel to the fence. Do you agree? If so, what are the benefits? And how far would you mount it from the fence area (and why)?

Thank you!
 

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Art, I have no tracks or slots in my table, and it's worked well that way for over 2 decades.

The problem with slots or T-track in my opinion is how far they have to be away from the bit due to the router insert plate. Of course, many have installed tracks and love them. I also worry that in a shop that has wide humidity swings the table might not stay flat with grooves put in it.

My advice is to try it without grooves first, you can always add them later
 

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Unless you have figured out a way to keep the fence parallel to the t-track then it's useless as far as using it for jigs. For example a miter sled or push block works better for doing the ends of rails or half lapping, etc. some do like it for attaching a feather board though but you can also make the feather board longer and clamp it to the edge instead. I put the t-track across in one of my tables to see if I liked it and wound up never using it. I also had t-tracks in that table for clamping the fence down. I went back to clamps on the newest one like yours but that is about a 50/50 deal. Either way is pretty good. I really couldn't find an advantage from one to the other.

BTW, one other option for mitering, half lapping, or doing rail ends is to make a sliding fence that rides along the edge of your table. The 90* arm on mine just misses the bit. You can drill a hole in the arm and attach an F clamp in it to hold your work if you want. If you are interested I'll either go through my uploads and find the picture or go take another one of it.
 

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Unless you have figured out a way to keep the fence parallel to the t-track then it's useless as far as using it for jigs. For example a miter sled or push block works better for doing the ends of rails or half lapping, etc. some do like it for attaching a feather board though but you can also make the feather board longer and clamp it to the edge instead. I put the t-track across in one of my tables to see if I liked it and wound up never using it. I also had t-tracks in that table for clamping the fence down. I went back to clamps on the newest one like yours but that is about a 50/50 deal. Either way is pretty good. I really couldn't find an advantage from one to the other.

BTW, one other option for mitering, half lapping, or doing rail ends is to make a sliding fence that rides along the edge of your table. The 90* arm on mine just misses the bit. You can drill a hole in the arm and attach an F clamp in it to hold your work if you want. If you are interested I'll either go through my uploads and find the picture or go take another one of it.
I would be :)
 

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No t track in my table. No need. There are dozens of ways to mount feather boards to the table without out a track. And, as Chuck mentioned, several methods to guide long work for end cuts.
You'd be better served with a t track mounted on the fence, either on the top or the face...or both. Lots more utility than in the table.
 

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Art, My portable router in a box (similar to Oak Park) uses a fence held down at one of the table with a pivot bolt, which allows me to swing the fence for adjusting closer and farther from the bit. I use a clamp to hold it to the table top once adjusted. By swinging the fence at one end I can sneak up for precise cuts. It works very well for me, and have found no draw backs. My router in a box has a 2"x 2" attached to the bottom which is clamped in my bench vice, or can be used on my workmate.
 

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Unless you have figured out a way to keep the fence parallel to the t-track then it's useless as far as using it for jigs. For example a miter sled or push block works better for doing the ends of rails or half lapping, etc. some do like it for attaching a feather board though but you can also make the feather board longer and clamp it to the edge instead. I put the t-track across in one of my tables to see if I liked it and wound up never using it. I also had t-tracks in that table for clamping the fence down. I went back to clamps on the newest one like yours but that is about a 50/50 deal. Either way is pretty good. I really couldn't find an advantage from one to the other.

BTW, one other option for mitering, half lapping, or doing rail ends is to make a sliding fence that rides along the edge of your table. The 90* arm on mine just misses the bit. You can drill a hole in the arm and attach an F clamp in it to hold your work if you want. If you are interested I'll either go through my uploads and find the picture or go take another one of it.
I would like to see a picture of the sliding fence, if it's not too much trouble. Thank You
 

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I have a Rockler table with the T track running across the front. I've never used it. What I'd really like is a T track on a tall fence, but clamping feather boards works fine. If you install a T track, I suggest you add an additional layer to the underside of the table, or use trusses to keep the thing flat, particularly if you have a higher power machine under the table.
 

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I got tracks all over my table

Bob Cooper's Woodwork Projects Photo Gallery by John Cooper at pbase.com

The first one is a mitre fence sliding track. The next one is a T track for clamping end blocks (I do a lot of small blind end grooves).
The two short ones are for micrometer adjustable fence clamps.
There are 2 x T tracks on the fence, one on top and one along the top front edge also used for end stops and backing boards.

Do I "NEED" them? doubtful.
Do I "USE" them? yes, a lot.

You decide what youre going to do with the table, that will decide what you need on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Art, My portable router in a box (similar to Oak Park) uses a fence held down at one of the table with a pivot bolt, which allows me to swing the fence for adjusting closer and farther from the bit...

Now THAT sounds like a good idea for me. K-I-S-S!

And it might be bad to split my (hardboard) top for a T-Track. My table lives in a carport which is under a roof but exposed to all temps. When not in use it is covered tightly with a tarp (so the neighborhood cats won't piss on it). :grin:
 

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I would be :)
It's in post #72 on page 8 of this thread: https://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/102826-shop-hacks-bobj3-corner-8.html This is the latest one I built for my new table. I also have one for my Lee Valley steel router table top. I purpose threw this one together for that job and I left the arm on this one a little longer to prevent blowout. The one photo shows the piece clamped to the slide arm. I've also taken them and drilled a hole in the arm over the table so I could attach a clamp that way too. That works for narrow pieces like stiles. It doesn't even take 5 minutes to throw one of these together from shop scraps.

BTW, if anyone hasn't seen that thread before it's worth taking the time to look through it. There is a pile of tips and tricks in it.
 
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Thanks for referring back to that thread, Chuck. Good stuff there.
 
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I am still in the designing put together stage of my DIY router table. Size is gonna be 24"x24" with my Jessum lift center on it. I am gonna put miter tracks on each side of the lift about 2 inchs from the edge of the lift on each side for a box joint jig I am gonna to make and my fence will be a clamp on for when I need a fence. Since my family gonna let me have some space in our shed for me to work I figuire the 36"x26" router table is a bit much for the space and I dont thing I need such a large table with the projects I want to do.
 

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size really does matter!
Mine is 3 ft square and I still sometimes wish it was bigger. I multitask with it. Its a gluing table, its a layout table because the bench is always filled with stuff and I cant ever lay anything flat on it.
And like i always say, if its too big. you can always downsize, but if its too small youre stuffed.
 

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I probably would have built my table smaller, but I repurposed a table I got from my Dad.

I think I will try clamping everything for the time being, and if I find the need for tracks or anything else, I can add them.
Smart move.
 
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My shop built table has short T-tracks to mount and hold the fence (perpendicular to the fence), and T-track on the split fence boards to hold a bit guard or feather board. Frankly I've never used either.

I'm not worried about my table warping, it's a piece of 1/2" MDF laminated to a piece of 3/4" Sande plywood, with formica on both sides. I don't believe it's going anywhere.
 
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