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Thread: Rick Thom and I improved the fences on our inexpensive router tables

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    2,332

    Rick Thom and I improved the fences on our inexpensive router tables

    Early in 2007 Rick and I both purchased inexpensive tops for router tables at Busy Bee Tools:

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    We both also bought Triton 2.25 hp routers and built cabinets to support the table tops and to house the routers. Here is a picture of mine:

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    Please observe that the fence is held in place by a two wooden clamping blocks, one at each end of the fence. These proved to be inadequate and the fence shifted when pushed. Rick dealt with this by also using a couple of quick clamps to hold the fence in position. I glued sandpaper strip underneath the table along both sides and this helped quite a bit –but when I really needed to be sure, I also need to use auxiliary clamps.

    Yesterday, we got together at Rick’s place to make some improvements. The first thing that we did was to install two 10 inch strips of t-track near the edges on the back of our tables. In the photos below, Rick is attaching a template then routing one of the grooves in his table top:

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    We installed the t-track in the grooves using glue and screws, drilled holds through on the horizontal surface at the back of the fence and installed a cam locking mechanism for each track. Here Frank is tightening a cam lock:

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    We found that, with applying only very little pressure to the handles of the two cam locks, the fence held very solidly.

    Next, we acted upon a suggestion by Mack Cameron, we next built a micro-adjust gizmo to fit into one the tracks. The micro-adjust is a short piece of aluminum bent at a right angle and fitted (1) with a knob to hold it in place on the t-track and (2) with a thumb screw threaded through the aluminum. The thumb screw is used to push against the wooden block screwed into the back of one end of the fence. This is best shown by pictures a couple of pictures:

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    In the first picture, the thumbscrew has not yet been threaded through the micro-adjust and the micro-adjust has not been tightened onto the track. In the next picture, the micro adjust is fastened in place on the t-track behind the end of the fence that we want to adjust and the thumb screw pushing against the wooden block in order to adjust the position of the fence.

    Here is a picture of my table top with the modifications complete:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    Charlotte, NC
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    I like it Frank. I need to redo the fence on my table and you have given me some great ideas!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Sure looks good.

    The micro adjust thing would work great on my table, I'll give that a try!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Why the nut on the Micro-Adjust?

    There is a nut on the outside of the vertical surface on the micro-adjust gizmo. What is it's purpose?

    Hey, I thought that no one would ask.

    The aluminum on the micro-adjust is not very thick and, although we tapped it, there is not much thread for the thumb nut to grip. We placed the nut there (with apoxy) in order to provide a more thread. But, we are not sure how effective this will be. Mine is still in place, but Ricks has fallen off.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Southeast Pa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow View Post
    There is a nut on the outside of the vertical surface on the micro-adjust gizmo. What is it's purpose?

    Hey, I thought that no one would ask.

    The aluminum on the micro-adjust is not very thick and, although we tapped it, there is not much thread for the thumb nut to grip. We placed the nut there (with apoxy) in order to provide a more thread. But, we are not sure how effective this will be. Mine is still in place, but Ricks has fallen off.
    I could send you a larger bolt with a hole to fit your thumb screw tapped in it. Install bolt and nut in larger hole then thumb screw thru hole tapped in bolt.


    However I suspect the threads in the Alum will work fine. Another option is to double up the alum and thread thru two thicknesses.
    Garry

  6. #6
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Trinity County - 160 miles north of San Francisco. Redwood forest.
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    159
    Using the same concept I'm assembling components to make an edge guide for a router. What thread pitch on a lead screw would be good? For a fixed fence or an edge-guide?

    Gary Curtis

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gary curtis View Post
    Using the same concept I'm assembling components to make an edge guide for a router. What thread pitch on a lead screw would be good? For a fixed fence or an edge-guide?

    Gary Curtis
    For things like this where we are usually working in fractions I like 3/8x 16 tpi.
    That makes 2 rotations 1/8 inch. Some prefer 1/4 x 20 but though that is finer it causes my mind to hurt on some of the fractions, and is fine enough it takes a long time to count to 2 inches. Using the so called coupling nuts helps with backlash or tap some man made material for your nuts.

    I would actually like something in 8 tpi but then you are into more exotic threads in smaller sized rod.

    Garry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Foster View Post
    For things like this where we are usually working in fractions I like 3/8x 16 tpi.
    That makes 2 rotations 1/8 inch. Some prefer 1/4 x 20 but though that is finer it causes my mind to hurt on some of the fractions, and is fine enough it takes a long time to count to 2 inches. Using the so called coupling nuts helps with backlash or tap some man made material for your nuts.

    I would actually like something in 8 tpi but then you are into more exotic threads in smaller sized rod.

    Garry
    1/4 x 20 is what we used.
    Cheers, Frank

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orem, Utah
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    936
    From the "For What It's Worth" department, here is some info on how you can get very fine adjustments with not-so-fine thread pitches, using an interesting arrangement called a differential screw. (Click on the thumbnail to see a full-sized image with accompanying text.)

    <-- CLICK ON THE IMAGE!!
    If you or a teenager in your life is fascinated by "things that move", I highly recommend the book that this information came from. (The title is at the bottom of the full-size image.) My 1968 hardbound copy has 297 large-format pages (including a 13-page index) and is full of fascinating, easy-to-read information and wonderful illustrations. I've read it cover-to-cover twice, and I think I'm due for a third time through....

    There are a couple of copies currently available in the [Amazon Marketplace] ($10.89 shipped).

    A [search on AddAll.com] will turn up other editions and other sources, some of which are priced way up there....
    Last edited by Kerry Burton; 12-02-2007 at 03:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Trinity County - 160 miles north of San Francisco. Redwood forest.
    Posts
    159
    That double screw fixture might do what I want. I'm building a router edge guide and want to save the $200+ it would cost for a Micro Fence. I'm looking for adjustment at or below 1/32" tolerances. Which seems to be the target domain. On my WoodRat (which is powered by a router) I am called upon to adjust making a tenon or box joint and to adjust by another .003" regularly. That is slighly larger than 1/32.

    Gary

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