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Thread: Best router fence?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Best router fence?

    I have seen many ideas and offerings for router tables, fences, and lifts. I have a nice base and a Triton router, but the top and fence leave much to be desired.

    I have seen Woodpeckers fence, the Incra LS, the Kreg system. I have seen very nice work come from men using each system. I have seen nice work from home made systems. Can anyone tell me what is the best system for versatility, repeatability, and quality construction?

    Any input is greatly appreciated, Just like to know what all the possible considerations are.
    Thanks,
    Phil B.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Take a 2x4 and joint/plane it true square. Clamp it to the table.

    There really is no BEST fence, except for the one you're happy with.
    Depends on what you're willing to spend. If money is no object, get an Incra or Jessem.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I prefer a Jointech or Incra that is kept parallel at all times. Either one allows you to move the fence in .001 increments for fine adjustment. Makes life a little easier.

    The Jessem with master slide option is a really nice unit also.

    Ed

  4. #4
    I built Norms fence, but left the top part off. Didn't want a tall fence. I did put a T-track just above the faces to attach feather boards.

  5. #5
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    Phillip,

    I wouldn't take Myk's advice too lightly. I built Pat Warner's Fence http://www.patwarner.com/routerfence.html from a set of plans published in one of the WW magazines. It is great and offers all of the features you mention. However, I am happiest with my results when I use an auxiliary fence made from 3/4 plywood with a custom cutout for the types of bits I use (ie. round-over, cove, straight, etc.). In my case simplicity has proven to be the best method.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Labadie View Post
    I prefer a Jointech or Incra that is kept parallel at all times. Either one allows you to move the fence in .001 increments for fine adjustment. Makes life a little easier.

    The Jessem with master slide option is a really nice unit also.

    Ed

    The question becomes, parallel to what?

    Another vote for making your own.
    My fence is held in place with a dowel on one side and a clamp on the other. I have a 16 oz craftsman micro-adjuster that works pretty darn good too!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Loehr View Post
    The question becomes, parallel to what?

    Another vote for making your own.
    My fence is held in place with a dowel on one side and a clamp on the other. I have a 16 oz craftsman micro-adjuster that works pretty darn good too!
    Drew, Do you have a photo or a link to the "16 oz craftsman micro-adjuster", please?

    In regards to parallel to what?: It seemed to take me forever to get it through my hard head that parallel for a RT fence (same with a DP table fence) is a non issue! For me, parallel for a RT fence is simply a "mental convenience" that in reality performs no meaningful, useful function. The only thing that matters is the distance from the bit to the fence.

    For anyone who hasn't yet discovered this to be true, set up your fence so that it's way out of parallel with the front edge of the table or the router plate. Cut a shallow dado on a piece of scrap. You'll see that the dado is parallel to the edge of the work piece, regardless of how the fence is set.
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nehalem, Oregon
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    Parallel is not the problem

    Retaining parallel is not the problem. End cuts as in cope and stick,lock miter, 45 degree bevels on a box corner. Retaining square and fit. To mention one of the problem areas. The top and fence I have right now is fine if I want to put an edge on a table, shape some crown molding, or build a nice baseboard. On and on. Edges are not the issue. Everything comes apart when I have to keep right angles and tight or square fits. Making a box joint, or half blind dovetail for a drawer corner, or ladies jewelry box.

    I look at the nice work that guys are doing on their Incra LS systems, and I want to do the same. I built some wooden window sash for my home, and it worked nice but not easily repeatable, and there are a dozen more windows to go. These are the problems I am looking to solve.
    Phil B.

  9. #9
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    Lewisville, TX
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    +1 for the Incra.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Edwards View Post
    Drew, Do you have a photo or a link to the "16 oz craftsman micro-adjuster", please?
    It's a hammer....
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Edwards View Post
    Drew, Do you have a photo or a link to the "16 oz craftsman micro-adjuster", please?
    Here you go.

    http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_101...arpentry+Tools

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Bogle View Post
    Retaining parallel is not the problem. End cuts as in cope and stick....
    Just run a square block of stock along your fence. Makes a great miter as well as a tear-out block.

  13. #13

    Take a look at the Kreg fence...

    If you do a lot of cope and stick doors you might want the fence paralell to the miter slot. The Kreg fence is paralell, and can be had with a micro adjuster.

    If the paralell doesn't matter, there are others that are sturdy with t-tracks for flip-stops and feather-boards.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Murphy View Post
    If you do a lot of cope and stick doors you might want the fence paralell to the miter slot. The Kreg fence is paralell, and can be had with a micro adjuster.

    If the paralell doesn't matter, there are others that are sturdy with t-tracks for flip-stops and feather-boards.
    I see no reason the fence has to be parallel to the miter slot to do cope and stick. For the coping you should be using a miter gauge or a sled and that just has to be made perpendicular to the miter slot. It has nothing to do with the fence.

    Unless you need repeatability to the .001, I vote make your own and save the money. MDF is easy to get perfectly straight and it doesn't warp. Just don't make one out of hardwood. It will move on you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Mid Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Loehr View Post
    The question becomes, parallel to what?

    Another vote for making your own.
    My fence is held in place with a dowel on one side and a clamp on the other. I have a 16 oz craftsman micro-adjuster that works pretty darn good too!
    The fence always moves in a straight line. If you have a miter track...set with the fence at 90 degrees to it, it's always at 90 deg. Probably poor wording on my part...but the fence always moves in a straight line. Fine tuning is done by rotating a knob, the fence moves straight, not on an arc, much more precise, easier to fine tune even when setting the fence to contact a bearing guided bit.

    Jointech, Incra & Jessem have a miter slide that attaches to the fence, for end cuts in stile & rail construction, it can't be beat.

    Ed

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