Asides the wood router itself, there are various components of the router table that make wood routing a success and these include router lifts, dust collection, extensions, and router table fence. The fence is important for wood routing since it helps in directing the wood into the router so that smoother, cleaner, and even cuts are achieved. You can buy a router table fence or make one from scratch in your workshop. In this guide on use of router table fence we shall delve into the nitty-gritty details on the router table fence.
The Use of the Router Table Fence
Installing a router table fence in the workbench or router table gives the woodworker more benefits when compared to routing by hand or without the fence. The fence allows the wood worker to carry out even the most challenging jigs such as rub off rough edges, shape small projects easily and safely, and many more. You can do these with your router table fence:
1. Creating own Moldings
It is a breeze to cut own moldings when you have a router table fence installed. You can be able to hold the boards tightly and set them to the required width. Trying to do this with handheld router is challenging and can even result in injury to your fingers.
To get the best moldings, start off by narrowing the bit against your wood router. Set the router at the lowest edge and then adjust it so as to get the desired height. While routing, move the board gradually and steadily without breaking. This will prevent red marks on the bit.
2. Quick and Easy Last Fiber Routing
You make the last fiber fit and get an accurate shape of a block using your router table fence. This is quite easy to carry out since the fence guides the cut. It will also remove small pieces and smooth them off in the course of cutting, chopping, or breaking of hard surfaces.
3. Eliminating Redundant Material on Edges or Boundary Lines
The router table fence makes the process of smoothing edges a breeze. The ideal procedure to follow while doing this is to force the left side of your router table fence into a narrow space and then work on your work piece along a straight line. Before adjusting your fence, attach a plastic layer on the left side and fasten it with a narrow strip so as to provide the perfect alignment.
How to Choose a Router Table Fence
There are ideally two things to consider when it comes to the selection of a router table fence: make one from scratch or buy one. If you are a beginner wood worker hobbyist then it can be challenging to make one from scratch. Therefore, you may have to buy one. When buying your router table fence consider these features:
Super Flat and Slides smoothly across the Router Table
The over design of a router table fence matters greatly when it comes to wood routing. Choose a fence that is dead flat and has a super smooth surface. This will guarantee a well balanced job and enable you get the most precise and accurate cuts.
Dust Collection or Extraction
You can easily distinguish the novice from the pro by simply looking at their pieces of work. A pro will deliver nothing short of clean and neat pieces of work and they are never covered in dust at the end of a project. This is simply because they understand the purpose of a dust collection. Buy a router table fence that has the best dust collection to get the cleanest cuts.
It is quite a challenge to get accurate measurements when your router table fence lacks a micro-adjustment. Therefore, look out for a router table fence that has the micro or meter adjustment on its inner and outer part. This will enable you get the best measurements.
Sturdiness and Size
Buy a fence that is strong and durable and can fit perfectly the router table. It should be equal in size to the router table so as to avoid sliding of work from the table when work is in progress. A sturdy and perfect size router table fence will hold your work piece securely and guarantee your safety while routing.
Use of Feather Boards
The fence should use feather boards since these are important when working on your wood working projects. They ensure user safety and cleaner cuts. All these are essential for successful wood routing.
Easy to setup and make adjustments
Your fence of choice should be easy to set up by following the manufacturer’s manual. It should also be easily adjustable. This will favor all skill levels, from the novice, intermediate skill, to the expert.
Apart from being straight, easily adjustable, rigid, and allow various positions, your router table fence should feature some additional features. Be on the lookout for fences that have measuring gauges, fence options, adjustment aids, and other advanced features. This will give you some extra convenience as you work on your projects.
Pre-made fences simply come in two designs: one piece fence and split fence. With the split fence you get two pieces, one on the out-feed and the other on the in-feed side. This design is geared towards facilitating easy removal of material while routing. It is always a challenge to align the two sides of the split fence accurately.
The one piece fence on the other hand is quite easy to set up. It is also the easiest to work with and you can build or buy a split sub fence in addition to this. However, most wood workers find this challenging and use one piece since it works just fine.
A router table requires two fundamentals: an excellent guidance for the work piece and a sturdy and well supported router. Most of the projects carried out on a router table need a fence and the fence you choose can be a simple one or complex if you like. However, no matter the kind of fence you choose keep in mind two major things, accuracy and safety. The router table fence should meet these two things.