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Thread: I want a new fence for my router table.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N.E. Ohio

    I want a new fence for my router table.

    Right now I have the earlier version of this:

    Mine lacks the top t-track.

    The MDF is getting pretty tore up. I want to make something more durable to replace the MDF.
    What material should I use?
    Hardwood or plywood?

    Any suggestions for dust collection?

    How tall should I make it?
    Is there any advantage to having a taller fence?

    Any pictures of tables/fences anyone wants to share would be appreciated.
    Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become beer.......but didn't....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Hardwood like oak is certainly practical, but there's something to be said about BB ply for fixtures. Were I you, I'd probably stick with the MDF for movable faces...they are supposed to be "disposable wear items" and replaced from time to time when they get dinged up.

    Taller fence does have the advantage of providing more support for things like feather boards as well as for "more vertical" workpieces you may need to run.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Palm Springs, CA
    I borrowed the idea from Norm on the old NYW and built this version from MDF. I previously had a metal casting from Rousseau, but it didn't suit my needs, so I made my own. The MDF is very stable and inexpensive, so if I damage it, the repair is quick and inexpensive. Facing the fence with high pressure laminate provides a much more durable and slick surface. I'll stick with MDF if I ever need to replace it. When my sub-fences get chewed up from zero clearance operations, I just cut off the damage and reuse. My sub fences were a few inches longer than they are today
    Router Fence.jpg
    Last edited by Dick Mahany; 06-12-2018 at 7:47 PM.
    Dick Mahany.

  4. #4
    I don't suppose this will help because my fence is integrated into my table saw but I have been very happy using Baltic Birch. This particular application has UHMW on the main slide area.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    N.E, Ohio
    Think what you need are new sub-fences. I would use either MDF or a good quality white board, one that is flat. I was surprised how well stock slides against even bare MDF. I made a couple for my router table because the ones that came with my Woodpecker fence are getting chewed up on the end.

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  7. #7
    Melamine faced MDF has served me since about 2005. I made tall and thick versions out of plain MDF finished with shellac and paste wax.

    RT Fence Detail.jpgRT Fence Detail (1).jpgRT Fence Detail (2).jpg

    You might want to see what operation it is that is chewing them up. I am not careful with mine at all and am still using the original faces. If your operations are tough on the fence faces, for something tougher you may want to look at phenolic faced ply. The slots are easily cut. If you want the top t-track, retrofit track is available. I use the same type of fence as one of my drill press fences and added the top track as seen here.

    DP WP Table (6).jpg

    Oops! I may have spoken too soon. I went to get a link to the track and do not see it offered anymore.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”

  8. #8
    Not for a router table, but, I just bought a 24” length of 3x3 inch aluminum angle, 3/8” thick. I plan to cut a semi-circular shape in the back to surround the column if necessary and drill holes for the slots in the table I already have. I plan to face it with oak, I’ll cut t-slots in the oak. The angle isn’t entirely square, off a hair, so the oak face might need shimmed depending on what happens when installed. I think it was less than $40 shipped.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    The Woodpecker fence uses these:

    I rarely use the MDF subfences that came with mine. The aluminum has plenty of tracks for stops, featherboards, whatever, and it never moves like MDF.

  10. #10
    On my Pro fence I've tried uhmw but went back to mdf...cheaper and works well

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
    My router fences are Melamine, and they have lasted for over a decade now.

    As Cort would say: Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I like the commercial fences that are made with extruded aluminum. I ran across aluminum extrusions from a source called 80/20 ( A length of their extrusion for a router table fence can be had for a lot less than a commercial fence. However, you would have to consider the best way to secure the fence to your router table and take the cost of the brackets, clamps and hardware into consideration as well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Paducah, KY
    +whatever for replacing the MDF sub-fences with more MDF. Even on my Woodpeckers and Incra fences I make MDF sub-fences, in different lengths and heights. I finish them with Wipe-on Poly and Johnson Paste Wax, and they're very smooth

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N.E. Ohio
    Thanks all - good info/great ideas - and great pictures.
    Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become beer.......but didn't....

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