You can use a router table without a fence, but you won’t enjoy it. Your cuts won’t be accurate, and the quality of your job will be quite low. That’s why a fence is not an option but a necessity. If your router table does not have a fence, you just have to make one.
After installing a router successfully, the next step is to make a router table fence. The task is not an easy one, especially for people who are new to woodwork or carpentry. Nonetheless, we have given you the steps involved in making a fence.
We must warn you that it is not a simple task for people who are new to woodwork.
We are not trying to scare you at all. This is meant to prepare your mind for the task ahead. Also, it is possible that you don’t get it in the first attempt. You may have to try it several times before you get it right.
That’s why the steps have been simplified enough to make you understand it properly. Now, let’s get down to business.
Ensure your Workshop is Clean
Before you carry out any task, it is important that you keep your workshop very tidy. When your place is neat, you’ll be able to locate every tool more easily. Also, the chances of accidents occurring are higher in an untidy shop.
So, the very first step is to get your shop tidy. However, if your workshop is already tidy, you can move on to the next step.
1. Step 1: Measure and Sketch
Look at the router and measure the preferred length, width, and thickness of the fence. Use the measurements to sketch exactly what you want to cut out. You must get it right, otherwise the whole project could be useless.
2. Step 2: Begin to cut the pieces of wood
The next step is to cut out all the pieces of wood you need. You are better off with plywood that is ½ inch thick. There’s a problem here. You may not be able to cut the wood well with your router tables because they do not have a fence yet. You have to apply extra care or cut the pieces of wood in someone’s workshop.
3. Step 3: Prepare the front
This is the most important part of the fence, and it is also the most difficult. The front requires a four-slot cut to make room for the adjustability movement. There should also be a cut-out at the center for different sizes of router bits. The various measurements should be at your discretion.
4. Step 4: Cut the angled support
This step is for you to cut out the support beam of the fence. You know that a fence is made of two wooden plates lying perpendicularly to each other. There should be a support beam at both ends so that they don’t collapse.
5. Step 5: Make the front panel adjustable
This stage is for you to make the front panel adjustable. You will slide both front panels apart to give way. And when you are done, you’ll slide them back together. This is very important. You must make the front panels adjustable.
6. Step 6: Create the dust collection chamber
You definitely don’t want to keep cleaning your workshop every time you use the router. That is why you must create a dust collection chamber.
7. Step 7: Screw the fence to the table
Now, you have to drill holes in the pieces of wood together and screw them on to the table. After that, you are set. Your router table fence is set.
Router Table Fence Tips
The router is a useful appliance, and it is also dangerous if applied inappropriately. See how it slices pieces of wood. Imagine what will happen if the blade accidentally comes in contact with your fingers. So, safety is very important. That’s why we have given you several safety tips below.
Always use push blocks to push wood into the blade. This will help you maintain a safe distance between the bit and your fingers. If you continue to use your hand, you may get it too close to the bit.
It is also very important to lock the door of your workshop when you want to turn on your router. Someone can come in unexpectedly and startle you.
Wear eyewear and face mask to prevent sawdust from entering your eyes, nose, and mouth while working. If you are using a handheld router, keep the bit diameter small. Large-diameter bits are better for table-mounted routers. Bits with more than 1-inch diameter in a handheld router can easily make you lose control.
Take light cuts more. This is because heavy cuts usually elicit kickback, and that can be dangerous. You may also support the workpiece with a feather board. Always remember that it is safer to feed the stock from right to left.
If possible, don’t shape smaller stock. It is safer to shape larger pieces, and you can reduce their sizes thereafter.
Never use the router without a guard. If the fence doesn’t come with one, you can buy or make one for yourself. Using a router without a guard is like driving your car without a fire extinguisher in it.
You should not force the bit to overload the router. Most importantly, don’t start the router when the bit is in contact with the stock.
Now you know how to make a router table fence, but you should remember all the tips and advice we gave you. It is important that you study how a router fence works before you design yours.
If you don’t know how it works, you may not be able to do a good job.
For instance, it takes someone who has been using a router to know that the table fence has to be adjustable. If your fence is not adjustable, it will be virtually useless.