Whether you’re making dadoes, rabbets, or moldings, a router fence will make the process easier and produce better results. This article will walk you through the basics of choosing a router fence and adjusting it to get optimal results.
Whether you’re using a table-mounted router or freehand, the proper bit and fence are key to achieving consistent results. A router fence makes all of these tasks easy, safe, and accurate.
Choosing a Fence
Fences are a great way to increase the privacy of your yard. However, it’s important to choose the right one.
First, you need to ask yourself why you want a fence installed. Is it to improve security, protect pets or kids, block traffic or give you more space?
The answer to these questions will help you narrow down your options. Knowing why you’re choosing a fence also helps you determine what type, height and material to use.
A router fence can help keep your workpiece steady as you route it on a table top, so you get consistent results.
It is important to make sure that you buy the right size fence for your woodworking project. If you buy a fence that is too big or too small, it may not fit well on your table and you may have to adjust the fence manually. This can be a frustrating experience and it can take a lot of time.
Adjusting the Fence
If you’re using your router table to cut dadoes, rabbets, and moldings, a good fence is essential for accurate results. It can also help keep your workpiece steady as you route.
A good fence should be adjustable, so you can change the height to match the bit’s cutting tip. To adjust the fence, place a ruler across the bit and then rotate it to align the cut point with the fence.
You can then loosen just the left half of the fence to pivot it closer or farther away from the bit. Once you’re satisfied with the distance, tighten the fence and make a test cut on a piece of wood to ensure you’ve made a successful adjustment.
For added accuracy, use a digital height gauge to set the height of the fence and saw blade or router bits. These gauges have a sliding measuring scale and are available in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.
Installing the Fence
Whether your router table is fixed or adjustable, a fence makes all the difference. You’ll want one that’s large enough to accommodate the router bit and has a good adjustment range.
Ideally, your fence should be easy to adjust and lock down. It should also include a cutter guard and a measuring rule along the top edge.
Another advantage of a fence is that it can be moved closer to the cutter when you’re cutting narrow pieces, preventing tearout and reducing exposure to the bit.
For most routing jobs, a fence that’s only slightly taller than the router bit is adequate. However, if you plan to use raised panels with your router bits, an extension fence may be necessary.
Using the Fence
If you’re a woodworker, a router fence is a vital part of your toolkit. It’s used to cut rabbets, dadoes, and grooves, and it helps you make precise cuts.
The height of the fence determines where the router is in relation to the edge of the workpiece. It also helps you control the depth and position of your cuts.
A good way to measure for the height of the fence is to use a tape measure stretched tightly, so that slack doesn’t interfere with the measurements.
You can then place the tape measure against one of your corner posts, so that it’s at a 90-degree angle to the top bump. This will help you accurately measure the distance between your corner posts, which you’ll need to divide by either 6 or 8 feet for 6- or 8-foot post spacing.