Router Table Fence

Upgrade your table for precision and efficiency.

Overall dimensions: 32" l x 41⁄2" d x 33⁄4" h

A router table fence is not an accessory; it’s a necessity. In fact, without a fence, a router table isn’t much more than a piece of shop furniture. And a good fence makes all the difference in the world. If you’re ready to pitch that twisted 2×4 fence in the stove, here’s your chance to replace it with a top-notch design that ensures clean, accurate, efficient work.

Although this fence was designed for the router table on page 20, it’s a great addition to any commercial or shop-made router table. Its sliding fence faces can be adjusted close to a bit to provide maximum support on the infeed and outfeed sides. A sacrificial beveled insert can also be used to provide additional support. A T-track above the sliding fences allows for the attachment of stops, hold-downs, or a guard, and a dust-collection port provides for a vacuum hookup. Cap screws and knobs make for easy table attachment and fence adjustment via T-tracks set into a router top. Of course you can easily modify the fence length to suit any router table.

Build the body

1 Cut the base (A) to the size shown in the Cut List and mark centerlines along the length and width. Scribe the 113⁄16" radius for the bit recess, and cut it out with a jigsaw. Locate and drill the 5⁄16"-diameter through holes for the knob screws where shown in Figure 1. Saw and sand the radiused outside corners. 

2 Cut the sub-fence (B) to size. Mark the centerline and lay out the bit opening. Drill holes at the corners using a 1"-diameter Forstner bit, and then cut out the opening with a jigsaw. Locate and drill the 5⁄16"-diameter through holes for the knob screws.

3 Cut slots for #20 biscuits, and then glue and clamp the base and sub-fence together. Make sure the parts are perfectly square to each other.

4 Make the gussets (C), mitering and crosscutting them from a 25⁄8"-wide strip of MDF. Perfect 90° angles are important here.

5 Mark the gusset locations on the base/sub-fence assembly and glue them in place as shown in Photo A.

6 Bevel-rip a triangular strip of wood from the edge of a board to create the plenum cover supports (D), as shown in Figure 2. Crosscut two pieces to 35⁄8", and then glue them to the base and sub-fence, aligning them with the gussets.

7 Make the plenum cover (E) by first ripping a 41⁄4"-wide strip of 1⁄4"-thick plywood, and beveling the two long edges as shown in Figure 2. Mark out a 51⁄8"-long section at one end of the strip, and then lay out the hole by tracing the inside of the dust port. After cutting out the hole with a jigsaw, crosscut the cover to length, and glue and nail it to its gussets.

Make up a set of V-block cauls to assist in clamping the gussets to the fence body.
Saw the inserts using a miter gauge fence that supports the stock on both sides of the blade.

Make the sliding fences

1 Cut two pieces of MDF to size for the sliding fences (F). Also cut a length to make several fence inserts (G). Apply plastic laminate to both faces of the stock, and then trim the laminate flush to the stock edges.

2 Saw or rout the 1⁄2"-deep × 3⁄4"-wide dado for the T-track in the rear face of each fence piece. Test-fit a piece of T-track to ensure it’s perfectly flush with the laminate face. 

3 Saw a 45° bevel on the inside end of each fence.

4 Saw a few fence inserts from the stock you cut in Step 1. With the blade tilted at 45°, trim off one end of the stock. Then flip it over and make another cut to create a 51⁄4"-long insert. Continue flipping and cutting until you have a batch of inserts (Photo B).

5 Cut a 3⁄32"-square rabbet for sawdust clearance on the bottom front edge of the sliding fences and fence inserts.

6 Hacksaw the T-track to length and install the pieces in the sliding fence dadoes with screws or epoxy.

Install the fences, accessory T-track, and dust fitting

1 Install the cap screws, washers, and fence adjustment knobs in the sub-fence, and attach the sliding fences.

2 Align the face of the accessory T-track with the face of the sliding fences and measure for the thickness of the shim strip (H). Make the strip and glue it to the top edge of the sub-fence (B).

3 Cut the accessory T-track to length and attach it to the face of the shim (Figure 1).

4 Screw the dust-port fitting on the plenum cover with #8 × 1⁄2" panhead screws. 

A Simple Stop

Here’s a solid, adjustable stop that secures to the T-track atop the sub-fence. It’s just a plywood block with a dado that accepts a tongue that fits in the T-track slot. A cap screw projecting through the tongue allows attachment with a locking knob.

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