Harry's new router table and fence design #2: Adjustable router table fence

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Blog entry by TheHarr posted 05-20-2012 01:43 PM 17074 reads 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Novel approach to make a cutout for your router lift. Part 2 of Harry's new router table and fence design series no next part

My earlier router table fences lacked control. I would tap one side and the other would move. Tapping is an inexact way to move something in very small increments. I’ve hit on a very inexpensive, easy to make, router adjustment system that works well. It can quickly, and easily, zero in on precise fence adjustments. This fence is attached to the table using four bolts that can be set up and removed in just a couple of minutes. So less talking and more photos; thanks to my neighbor Bill and his Nikon. If you like this blog, how about you throwing me a bone and tell me your ideas?

Here is the fence adjustment system. In the following photos, I’ll describe the design features and how they are made.

This design centers around using 1” square stock steel tubing, 1/2” bolts, 1/2” threaded steel rod and epoxy. The tubing is drilled out and plugged so the epoxy fills the tubing. The bolt is held in place with the threaded rod while the epoxy cures. Be darn sure to coat the rod with white grease so you can unscrew it. You will need to use pliers to get the rod loose. Use your tap & dye set to re-cut the threads on the bolt and nut that is encased in epoxy. That made a big improvement making the rod easier to turn.

Another important component to the adjusting system is the 2” angle iron arms that are allowed to pivot so the bolts do not bind when the fence is not parallel to the square stock tubing. Note the slots to allow the fence to slide are cut into the base of the fence, not in the table, as in most set ups. My set up is limited to a 2 1/2” travel, but that’s all I have ever needed. When I need greater distance I use my table saw fence.

This is an illustration how the pivoting arms work to prevent binding.

Now to the nuts & bolts—or just the bolts. I attached spacers, with washers, to the bolts to make them the right length to secure to the table. The spacers also serve a higher purpose, that is, they make it easier for me to handle when I screw & un-screw them into T-bolts that are attached to the under side. All bolts are 5/16” so they use the same size 1/2” socket.

Now that I have you drooling to make this fence for your shop, I have a word of warning. The only place where I could find the knobs for the threaded rods is from Grizzly. The warning is the part numbers in the catalog are wrong. The knob for the 1/2” threads is #H3462 for $1.10 ea. I was very disappointed to receive the wrong size.

And now for the finale, the feather board attachment. Nothin’ fancy, just a T-bolt attached to the back of the fence that holds a 5/16” bolt with knob.

That’s it, so how about throwin’ me that bone?

-- Wood is good.

14 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3733 days

#1 posted 05-20-2012 03:51 PM

A fine precision, adjustable fence and a great walk through on your build.

Thanks for sharing. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 4464 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 05:56 PM

Thats almost a freud fence. good job sir. You can buy alot bones with the savings.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4265 days

#3 posted 05-23-2012 01:04 PM

I likes it Hairy. Very nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View JamesN's profile


26 posts in 3630 days

#4 posted 07-16-2012 11:41 AM

Nice job on the fence and table, I’m in the middle of building my own table and fence, so I am looking for ideas.

It looks like your dust port is no longer usable due to the steel tube running across the back. I was thinking a way of allowing you to use the port again would be to have a board cut similar to the board supporting your epoxy filled steel tube, just flipped so the curve is on the top. Then, instead of the steel tube to contain your epoxy embedded nuts, you could use an allthread connecting nut. Drill a hole in the piece just smaller than the nut and press the nut into the hole. I saw this done with a shop made router lift in Shop Notes Vol 21 Issue 121.

View TheHarr's profile


128 posts in 4999 days

#5 posted 07-16-2012 09:49 PM

Thanks James for you suggestion. I realized when I designed the fence adjustment that it would interfear with the vacumme hose. I will in the future look into a better solution. Right now, I just shove in a small 1 1/4” hose in the port and attach to my shop vac via an adaptor.

I’ll look into your shop notes later this week. Thanks again.

-- Wood is good.

View Tagwatts1's profile


2 posts in 3539 days

#6 posted 09-16-2012 06:23 PM

I have jsut read your articel after having watch a video on You Tube, Pivoting Router Fence. In this video, it shows a very simple Pivoting Fence. What was neat to me was the means by which he used to measure distance by.
It is pretty accurate and simple. What you have created is so very accurate and close to tolerance, it is a great project and well shown. For me a simple mechanic, I may have to use the less accurate method.

However with all of that said, go and take a look at the You Tube video, it is worth the watch.
Thanks for y

-- Frank

View Tagwatts1's profile


2 posts in 3539 days

#7 posted 09-16-2012 06:29 PM

Harry, this is a great post and as I am new to the site, I want to first compliment you on a job well done. I want to tell you I have just watched a video on You Tube, you might enjoy. It amazed me with the simplicity of his router fence and the way he measures items. The title is Pivoting Router Fence, I believe. Your version is so very accurate, and being just a nuts and bolt turner, I am not sure I could build this as you have. But I must say this is one of the if not the best designs I have seen.

What a great job you have done.

Thanks, Tagwatts1

-- Frank

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 5046 days

#8 posted 11-13-2013 03:50 PM

Wow if that were my dog or even my sister I would advise showing it’s tongue to a vetenarian LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View niftynoel's profile


108 posts in 3007 days

#9 posted 09-03-2015 03:55 PM

Harry – can you give us the dimensions of the fence jig? Also, the height of the fence itself please. I really like what you’ve done and, since you put a lot of thought and effort into it, I don’t care to try to reinvent it.

-- Noel

View TheHarr's profile


128 posts in 4999 days

#10 posted 09-05-2015 02:27 AM

Niftynoel, glad you like my fence. It works better than I hoped, it is much faster and easier to dial in those critical adjustments like lock miter joints. The router table and fence were made to fit my table saw so you will need to adjust the dimensions. The fence is 8” high by 29” long. The base of the fence is 5 1/2” wide by 29” long. The router table top is 24” long (replaces the right extension wing) by 27 1/8” wide (fits between the fence rails.

Hope this helps and please send me pictures, I look forward to seeing them.

-- Wood is good.

View XMIck1x's profile


1 post in 1857 days

#11 posted 04-25-2017 10:33 PM

Beautiful work. Is it available for purchase?

View TheHarr's profile


128 posts in 4999 days

#12 posted 04-26-2017 11:38 AM

Sorry I do not have a fence to sell. This is a one-off project. I still use this fence and it functions well. I checked my files and unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures saved showing how I made it. The hard to find part is the cast aluminum dust collector cover. At one time, almost every mail order woodworking outlet carried them. If I come across my lost pictures, I will post them for you. I’m sure you can make one. The nuts in the square tube are set in place with epoxy, coat the threaded rod with white grease to hold it in place while it cures. Good luck.

-- Wood is good.

View TheHarr's profile


128 posts in 4999 days

#13 posted 05-28-2017 01:52 AM

Harry – can you give us the dimensions of the fence jig? Also, the height of the fence itself please. I really like what you ve done and, since you put a lot of thought and effort into it, I don t care to try to reinvent it.

- niftynoel

-- Wood is good.

View TheHarr's profile


128 posts in 4999 days

#14 posted 05-28-2017 01:58 AM

My original fence design on paper.

-- Wood is good.

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