Safety First

Tedswoodworking Plans

16.000 Woodworking Plans by Ted McGrath

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Don'i neglect safety when making any fence for your router table. Include a bit guard. You can screw a clear plastic visor to a flat fence. A high fence may need an L-shapcd guard. Don't let an odd configuration deter you. Include a bit guard.

This one-hoard fence is obviously a keeper. It's notched so it can house the bit, it's chamfered so dust doesn't keep the w ork from accurately referencing the fence, and it has an adjustable guard.

The Basic Fence

The foremost fence you'll use is also the most simple. It's a straight, knot-free. hardwood board.

A lot of router wonks perceive such fences as disposable. It's akin to the fence they clamp to work for a hand-held router operation. Rather than set a fence board aside, they clamp whatever straight piece is at hand to the tabletop. When the operation is done, the "fence" goes back onto the wood rack or into die scrap bin.

I personally have a "keeper" fence of this son: 1 have a hook driven into one end so I can hang it beside the router table when I'm not using it. And it's been worked a bit. so it is something more than a "board."

The principal requirement is that the fence be perfectly straight, flat, and square—and so it won't warp, straight-grained. It ought to bejust a little longer than your table is wide, but other than that, the dimensions are up to you. Make it of 5/4 or 8/4 stock, and rip it 3 or 4 inchcs wide. Choose a hard wood, one that will withstand the kind of nibbing and squeezing and impacts that a fence has to endure.

My fence is doubled-cdged. One edge has been chamfered. This is a common practice; the idea is to give sawdust a place to go, so it doesn't collect at the fence and keep the

workpiece from seating squarely against it. But because the chamfcr can catch really thin stock—like a piece of plastic laminate I might be cutting—1 didn't chamfcr the second edge. 1 just turn the fence around for such operations.

The next thing I did was to rout a channel across each edge for the bit. The fence fits right up around most bits, and it will do so regard-

Clamps are the most straightforward way to secure a fence to the router table. So-called quick clamps get a lot of use in the Rt>dale shop, but some woodworkers, complaining that fhey vibrate loose too easily, won t use them. C-clamps are more secure in this regard, but I like the ease of application of Vise-Grip C.-clamps. Once set to the thickness of the material being clamped, these plierlike clamps lock in place with the squeeze of one hand. You can hold the fence with one hand and snap the clamp in place with the other.

less of which edge is used as the reference face. A similar channcl across t he bottom face is for router chips to blow through. All these channels were routed with a 1-inch-diamctcr roundnose (or core-box) bit.

Finally. I installed a couple of threaded insens in the top face of the fencc so that 1 can attach a flat, clear plastic bit guard to the fence with plastic thumbscrews.

PLASTIC KMOft WITU 10-32 3TUD; TURN} INTO TNRLADED INStRT

CUAMFERtD

SAWDUST

RECtSS

3*4' CUAMNLL

VCLEAR ACRYLIC PLASTIC GUARD BASIC

JUST A LITTLE MORE THAN A STRAIGHT, TRUE BOARD

Rtctss roR MT.

This ¡.-shaped fence offers more vertical support than a hasic one-board fence. Because it is unfettered by built-on clamps, it can be flip-flopped to present either a 3-inch-high face or a 4-inch-high face to the work.

CUTTING LIST

Piece Number Thickness

Width

Length

Material

Fence base 1 1"

3"

34"

Hardwood

Fence back 1 1"

3"

34"

1 lard wood

Hardware

1 pc. '/♦" X 6" X 7" clear acrylic

4 pes. 8-32 threaded inserts

2 pes. 8-32 X Yi" studded knobs

The improvement this fence offers over the basic fence, above, Ls suppon. The fence is reversible: You can rest the 4-inch-wide face on the tabletop and have a 3-inch-high support, or you can get a 4-inch-high suppon by resting the 3-inch-wide face on the tabletop. Either way, the fence provides bet ter suppon for work that has to be presented to the bit on edge or on end, rather than flat on the table. Like the basic fence, it is designed to be clamped to the router table.

It is only a little more difficult to make than the basic fence. Its two boards have to be glued together. The other basic-fence embellishments— the chip channel, for example, or the dust chamfer—can be added to this fence or not. as you see fit.

As with any router table fence, this one should be equipped with a guard. We bent a scrap of acrylic into an L-shape—to match the fence— and secured it to the fence with studded knobs turned into threaded inserts. There arc inserts, of course, in both faces.

1. Joint and plane stock for the fence and fence back to the dimensions specified by the Cutting List. The exact width and thickness of these pieces is not important. It is important that they be jointed and planed perfectly square and straight.

This ¡.-shaped fence offers more vertical support than a hasic one-board fence. Because it is unfettered by built-on clamps, it can be flip-flopped to present either a 3-inch-high face or a 4-inch-high face to the work.

2. Cut the fence and fence back to the lengths specified by the Cutting list.

3. With a belt sandcr, round off the top comers of the fence, as shown in L-Sha/)cd Fcncc.

4. Glue and clamp the two fcncc parts together.

5. With the masking still in place, cut the shape of the bit guard from the c lear acrylic using a saber saw or band saw. With a Winch straight bit in a table-mounted router, cut the two mounting slots. Guide the acrylic workpiece along a fence.

6. Sclcci a scrap of wood to use as a bending mold. Radius one edge with a y*-inch round-over bit. This is the edge you will use to form the guard's two bends.

RADIUS ON belt sander.

PLASTIC KN06 WITN 8*32 STUD; TURNS INTO THREADED INSERT

RADIUS ON belt sander.

PLASTIC KN06 WITN 8*32 STUD; TURNS INTO THREADED INSERT

CLEAR ACRYLIC PLASTIC GUARD

WITH NARROW FACE IN PLACE WITH TALL FACE IN PLACE

L-SMAPE.D FENCE MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR WORK PIECES

CLEAR ACRYLIC PLASTIC GUARD

THREADED INSERTS BIT GUARD

fC

t

4*

--

Lfid

WITH NARROW FACE IN PLACE WITH TALL FACE IN PLACE

L-SMAPE.D FENCE MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR WORK PIECES

7. Strip the masking from the acrylic. Mark the location of the bend. With a heat gun. heat just a band of the

You can't build a router table and a lot of accessories for it without also making a set of stop blocks. Yeah. sure, you can fetch stop blocks out of the scrap bin anytime. But these, as you can see, are custom-tailored to fit over the L-shaped fence. The stop block itself is long enough to reach all the way to the router tabletop. while the shorter cinch block carries the means for securing the-assembly to the fence. To make them, you need some hardwood scraps, a couple of T-nuts or threaded inserts, two carriage bolts with nuts, and two wing nuts. The dimensions arc shown in Stop Blocks. Construction is evident. One important tip: Be sure you turn the carriage bolts into the T-nuts before you glue the pieces together.

1^*. i acrylic where the bend will be. When the plastic is limber, bend it a little beyond the right angle that's desired, then lay it over the mold, bringing it back to a right angle. Hold or clamp it until it cools and hardens.

8. For a finished appearance, sand and polish the edges of the guard.

9. Remove die clamps from the fence, and scrape off any dried glue. Next, true the fence on the jointer. Take a light cut from the bottom, then, holding the bottom firmly to the jointer fencc. take however many cuts are required to make the fence face absolutely square to the fencc bottom.

10. Using the bit guard as a template, mark the locations for the threaded inserts on both the 3-inch-wide and 4-inch-wide faces. Drill holes in the fence, then drive the inserts. Be sure you set them well below the wood surfacc. so they don't catch or scratch your work when you use the fence without the guard. Attach the guard to the fencc.

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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