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router fence alignment and other ?s

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  • router fence alignment and other ?s

    hi guys, somewhat new to woodworking but have a question about alignment of my router fence. this is on a bench dog procab table which has sort of the floating fence where each side of the fence has its own slot that floats and then tightens down. my question is how can i make sure the fence is ever square with my bit with this arrangement? also i have having trouble routering some long 8' pieces of quarter trim that i need to cut out some notches about 3" long in at different lengths along the trim. basicly the stock is too long to use a stop and when i try to feed this into the router bit it just grabs it from me and rips it out of my hand..scary...same problem with small pieces i try to do. any advice here on getting control of small stock like this? thanks in advance

  • #2
    Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

    Welcome to the forum.
    While you still have all your finger tips you need to do some reading on router technique, not trying to offend just don't want you to get hurt and from your post you are moments away from a nasty accident.
    On your first point about the fence square to the bit .. There really is no requirement for any particular alignment with a router bit. The router always cuts 90° to the wood since it is a spinning circle. You do however need to make sure your two fences are perfectly aligned with each other or as you feed (right to left against the direction of the spinning bit) the leading edge of your material will catch on the left fence. I set mine up using a long straight edge (carpenters square will do nicely).
    Now the part about cutting the wood, are you feeding right to left against the direction of rotation of the cutter head? How big is the bit? perhaps you are trying to chew off too much wood at once. Depth of cut depends on bit and type of wood but most bits are fine for a single pass. To make multiple short cuts on a long piece of wood I make index marks on the wood where I want the cut and make an index mark on the fence. I line up the start of cut on the wood with the mark on the fence, lay the board against the far right hand side of the fence with the board away from the cutter, now slowly arc the board into the cutter using the right edge of the fence as the pivot point, now slide the wood until you get to the next index mark, now use the left edge of the fence as the pivot point and swing the wood away from the cutter, repeat as necessary


    • #3
      Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

      Welcome to the forums, Matthew! I have nothing to add, really. I just wanted to thank you for posting this question. Router fence and router safety is something that's been bugging me for a while. I think I'll take WBrooks' advice and get some books on routing and actually read them!!
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


      • #4
        Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

        I'm not sure, but when you say it rips the piece out of your hands, it sounds as if you are feeding the stock between the bit and the fence. Don't do this! It's a great way to produce a missile and get yourself or somebody else hurt. If I read it wrong, please forgive me and disregard.

        ‎"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education" -Mark Twain


        • #5
          Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

          I'm a relative newby to the router and router table. But, I also do one heck of a lot of reading before I approach any new power tool or procedure. That includes, books, magazines, the many forums, etc. I have also found it very helpful to watch a few of the programs and videos that are available.

          Check out specifically, the "Router Workshop" and you'll quickly pick-up some do's and don'ts. There are many other programs that show router usage, as part of particular projects.

          Another great site for information, demostrations, and especially video, is

          For general information, still photos, etc. also check out:

          Last, but by no means least is your local Public broadcasting station, specifically "The New Yankee Workshop" with Norm Abrams.

          I'm sure other forum members will have their favorites to add to this.

          The important thing to note is that with power tools especially, you really need to gain all of the information you can, before you start using the tools. Otherwise the lessons learned may be devastatingly painful!



          • #6
            Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

            thank you guys...this is exactly the type of info i am looking for. ill take some time and study up for awhile..thanks again


            • #7
              Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

              Welcome to the forum Mathew.
              As I'm new to woodworking too, I'd like to pose a question that might solve the problem of routing a stopped grrove at different spots on a long board. I think it would work, but don't know if it would be safe, that's why its a question and maybe an answer, if its safe. Here goes.

              Can you setup a guide pin on your table to guide the trim, and then attach shorter pieces of board to the outside of the trim with double stick tape, align the attached board where you want the groove, and then set up your stops to start/stop the attached board?
              Last edited by Hector B; 08-11-2007, 09:11 PM.


              • #8
                Re: router fence alignment and other ?s

                If I'm not mistaken, Hector, you're adding the board to the trim to act as a stiffener, right? The downside is that without a fence it's going to be highly unlikey that you will be able to stabilize the trim sufficiently to get a controlled depth usning only one pin as a fixed point. It would almost be like freehanding it and that takes some practice for sure.