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Question on T-Slots and T-Tracks

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Forum topic by PresidentsDad posted 08-21-2019 01:53 PM 356 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PresidentsDad

57 posts in 724 days


08-21-2019 01:53 PM

All,
Thinking of building a jig and rather than using the method that the plans call for, I was going to get a t-slot bit and route it at the router table. The question….is there a t-slot bit that will allow both a 1/4-20 hex bolt AND a 1/4-20 T bolt?


8 replies so far

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

705 posts in 388 days


#1 posted 08-21-2019 05:16 PM

Whiteside has T-Slot router bits. #3070, and #3075. whitesiderouterbits.com. I get my Whiteside bits locally https://www.woodstocksupply.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Whiteside+3070

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

742 posts in 3750 days


#2 posted 08-21-2019 05:29 PM

Typically, T-slot cutter bits are made to accommodate T-bolts which have a thinner cross section of the head.

If you want to cut the slot for bolts, you make the first pass, then lower (or raise) the bit for the second pass. This should accommodate the bolt head cross section.

And as a recommendation, when you are routing your slots, start with a STRAIGHT bit of the appropriate diameter. Make the cut in shallow passes. Once you have the depth, switch over to the slot cutting bit and finish it off.

There is a lot of material to remove and because of the cross section, the wood dust does not have an easy path of escape.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Rich's profile

Rich

4799 posts in 1066 days


#3 posted 08-21-2019 05:29 PM

My T-slot tracks all accept 1/4-20 and regular T-Bolts. Something I’ve been using lately that I much prefer to T-slots for jigs is this: https://store.microjig.com/products/matchfit-dovetail-hardware-variety-pack

I used them on a dado jig for my router and it was a big improvement over the bolts, knobs, etc, that my first one used. You can see it here: https://www.lumberjocks.com/RichTaylor/blog/129995

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

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PresidentsDad

57 posts in 724 days


#4 posted 08-21-2019 05:30 PM



Typically, T-slot cutter bits are made to accommodate T-bolts which have a thinner cross section of the head.

If you want to cut the slot for bolts, you make the first pass, then lower (or raise) the bit for the second pass. This should accommodate the bolt head cross section.

And as a recommendation, when you are routing your slots, start with a STRAIGHT bit of the appropriate diameter. Make the cut in shallow passes. Once you have the depth, switch over to the slot cutting bit and finish it off.

There is a lot of material to remove and because of the cross section, the wood dust does not have an easy path of escape.

Cheers!

- FirehouseWoodworking


Thanks for the advice!

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

705 posts in 388 days


#5 posted 08-22-2019 03:27 AM

One method which is to use a 3/4” straight router bit and route to a depth to fit a t-tract, this one will accept 1/4 bolts and the T-bolts https://www.rockler.com/universal-t-track-universal-t-track. I do have a T-slot router bit, and I’ve also used the Rocker 17 piece T-tract kits to make jigs that I got on sale for $19 each a year ago

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PresidentsDad

57 posts in 724 days


#6 posted 08-23-2019 03:22 AM

I was looking to avoid purchasing t-track altogether and just route the T directly into the workpiece/jig/etc.


One method which is to use a 3/4” straight router bit and route to a depth to fit a t-tract, this one will accept 1/4 bolts and the T-bolts https://www.rockler.com/universal-t-track-universal-t-track. I do have a T-slot router bit, and I ve also used the Rocker 17 piece T-tract kits to make jigs that I got on sale for $19 each a year ago

- WoodenDreams


View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4137 posts in 2465 days


#7 posted 08-23-2019 11:09 AM

I have cut T-slots to use in jigs. However, I do not care to use a standard bolt on them as they can pull thru. T-bolts are much better.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3871 posts in 1864 days


#8 posted 08-23-2019 12:05 PM

I like using dovetail slots. They can be a little fiddly to size right though. I think that they tend to be a little stronger than a wood T-track. I have pulled t-bolts right through the tracks when I cranked down a little too hard. I have never had that happen with a dovetail track. One nice thing is that you can also cut your own slides for them though they probably don’t slide as nicely as the ones that Rich linked to. I suppose you could make the slides out of UHDW.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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