Jul 06 2011

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New Router Table Fence: The Face


With the carcass completed, I turned to working on the phenolic coated plywood face. On the top part of the fence, I have one stationary 32″ piece with a T-slot for attaching featherboards, guards, and stops. Below this stationary piece are two 21″ pieces that slide on t-bolts which can be moved to minimize the amount of open space around the bit, making operations safer. They also slide completely closed for performing operations on the face of a board.

IMG_2526To cut T-slots in all the face pieces, I first cut a 3/8″ deep groove with a 3/8″ straight cut bit. I used the partially completed fence to located the groove 1-1/4″ from one edge. Then I used a T-slot cutting bit with the same fence setup, aligning the top of the bit with the bottom of the groove.


IMG_2648To secure the sliding sections of the face I drilled holes for T-bolts. I wasn’t paying attention and located the T-bolt with sliding face upside down — the T-slot closer, rather than farther away from the table top. It was quite obvious when I tried to tighten the T-handle that something was wrong.

Since this isn’t fine furniture, I simply flipped the sliding face over the correct way and relocated the holes.


IMG_2653To prevent sawdust buildup from keeping the workpiece flat against the fence, I setup the router table and fence carcass to chamfer the bottom edge of the sliding faces. I also chamfered the vertical edges closest to the bit so the workpiece won’t get caught on the edge of the fence.


IMG_2670To finish up the fence, I screwed the upper, stationary part of the face  to the carcass. It is a little short of the edges of the carcass, but I don’t think that matters much. I also decided to leave the sliding faces the full 21″ long. I didn’t see much point in cutting them to length. .

If you click on the picture to make it bigger you can see the chamfers on the bottom of the face and by the bit. You’ll also be able to see a little boo-boo that happened while I was routing the T-slot for the upper face. Focus on the upper left-hand side of the photo. I should have been using a featherboard.


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