Panel-Raising Guard

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Panel-Raising Guard

Success at raising panels on the router table means that the panel profile ends up neat, clean, and consistent, and that you don’t lose any blood in the process. The two router table accessories that ensure this success are a featherboard and a bit guard. The featherboard holds the work firmly against the table throughout the cuts, ensuring a smooth profile with an edge that fits the frame grooves perfectly. The bit guard, of course, keeps fingers away from that vicious cutter.

Unfortunately, some guards can impede the use of featherboards and vice-versa. To allow the use of both, I cobbled up this simple L-shaped hardwood guard that clamps to the fence while wrapping around a 3⁄8"-thick shop-made featherboard. Size the 1⁄2"-thick vertical piece to suit your fence height, angling the business end to accommodate the slope of the featherboard. The 3⁄8"-thick horizontal piece extends out around the featherboard and over the bit. In use, set up your featherboard first, then clamp the guard to your fence so that it rides just slightly above the workpiece panel. Now rout your panel by taking a series of shallow, successively deeper cuts.

—Paul Anthony, senior editor

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