Synopsis: Get protected, clear cuts in your router desk with this shopmade auxiliary fence with detachable spacers. The spacer system means that you can set the gap between fence and bit simply as soon as, when you make a sequence of incremental passes with the router, eradicating spacers one after the other till you’ve reached your ultimate dimension.
From joinery to shaping, I take advantage of my router desk a bunch. I’ve come to count on lots from it, however I’ve additionally realized work effectively inside its limitations. For instance, eradicating a variety of materials in a single cross with a router is a nasty concept. Not solely is it unsafe, however it may possibly additionally harm your router, bits, and workpiece. To keep away from these heavy cuts, it’s typical to maintain adjusting the fence away from the bit between passes. This typically means making small and deliberate adjustments slowly to be sure to don’t blow previous your required dimension. Plus, if you happen to’re measuring every time you progress the fence, the routine can disrupt your workflow much more.
That is the place an auxiliary fence with spacers turns out to be useful, permitting you to measure the gap between the fence and your bit simply as soon as. After that, all it’s worthwhile to do is take away a spacer between passes. The setup additionally ensures protected, clear cuts. Consequently, this jig, which is a breeze to make, will save loads of time. It may well additionally assist in a pinch when it’s worthwhile to make a rabbet, groove, or dado larger than your out there bits.
A breeze to construct
The jig contains a number of easy parts. First, there’s the auxiliary fence. That is what the inventory rides in opposition to, so I make it from melamine. Second are the spacers. You don’t need these thicker than half the diameter of the bit’s shank. I sometimes use 1⁄2-in.-shank bits, so 1⁄4-in.-thick MDF works nice. Having some 1⁄8-in. spacers is good for smaller bits, in addition to for general versatility. I additionally prefer to resaw extra-thin spacers, about 1⁄32 in. thick or so, for once I need to use lighter cuts for a superior end.
Lastly, there are the T-bolts and knobs, which safe the auxiliary fence and spacers to the primary fence. These needs to be lengthy sufficient to increase by way of each fences and the spacers whereas nonetheless having sufficient size left over for the knobs to have interaction the threads.
The auxiliary fence and spacers needs to be constructed to suit your specific router desk. When sizing the auxiliary fence, merely rip the melamine to the peak of your foremost fence. The size of the auxiliary fence includes just a little extra thought. I mount it (and the spacers) utilizing solely two T-bolts, one on both aspect of the cutter, and I don’t need it so lengthy that it’ll bow if it’s not supported by extra bolts. So, to determinethe size, I open the primary fence all of the. approach and line up the melamine in order that it extends previous the bolts by about 31⁄2 in. on both aspect. Then I minimize it to that size.
Rip the spacers to the identical width because the auxiliary fence, however crosscut them barely longer. It will make them simpler to put in and take away whenever you use the jig.
Subsequent, find the holes for the T-bolts. Measure the center-to-center dimension between the 2 bolts on the primary fence and switch that to the auxiliary fence and the spacers. Because the spacers are longer than the auxiliary fence, mark your items based mostly on a centerline. For instance, if the bolts are 10 in. aside center-to-center, make your marks 5 in. on both aspect of the centerline. Additionally use the primary fence to find out the peak of those holes on the auxiliary fence. The T-bolts’ heads must be recessed within the auxiliary fence in order that they don’t intervene with feeding the inventory. So, earlier than I drill for the T-bolts, I plunge-cut brief, shallow grooves on the router desk to suit the heads. After that, drill through-holes for the bolts.
You may take a number of steps to make the spacers straightforward so as to add to and take away from the auxiliary fence. First, drill the bolt gap about 1⁄2 in. decrease, which can go away a slight hole beneath the spacers after they’re put in. This hole will make them simpler to carry up and take away. Second, for a little bit of wiggle room, the spacers’ gap needs to be bigger than the diameter of the T-bolt. After drilling these holes, take away the waste beneath them on the bandsaw, making a slot that can slide over the T-bolts.
Now that the auxiliary fence and spacers might be hooked up, it’s worthwhile to make room for the router bit. You’ll more than likely be utilizing this jig with massive router bits, so use your largest ones to put out this opening within the auxiliary fence and spacers. To simply minimize out the opening, drill out the corners on the drill press, then filter out the waste on the bandsaw.
As a final step, I put a really slight roundover on the opening’s outfeed aspect to stop workpieces from getting caught on it.
From Effective Woodworking #291
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