Author Topic: router tables and fences  (Read 19988 times)

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Offline 3cpq

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router tables and fences
« on: December 09, 2009, 04:41 PM »
I'm new to router tables entirely.  I'm looking for a good system.  I'm just a little confused.  I want my fence to be self squaring, and to have an easy to read and accurate easy to adjust rule.  The only fences I found that seam to have this are the incra, jointech, and kreg.  Are there others I should be looking at?

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Offline Steve-CO

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2009, 04:49 PM »
I'm new to router tables entirely.  I'm looking for a good system.  I'm just a little confused.  I want my fence to be self squaring, and to have an easy to read and accurate easy to adjust rule.  The only fences I found that seam to have this are the incra, jointech, and kreg.  Are there others I should be looking at?


No need to worry about squaring the fence unless you're trying to square it to the miter slot.  Personally, I rarely use the miter slot on the router table.   Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but since you're new to router tables I thought this point might have needed to be made.

Jessem and Woodpeckers make some nice tables that may meet your needs.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 04:52 PM by Steve-CO »

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2009, 05:18 PM »
The only caveat I'd add about the miter slot is to agree that I don't use it as a miter slot often, but make sure any table you get (or make) has one.  For one, anything like a coping sled would use the track (but not the fence so ensuring the fence/miter are parallel isn't an issue).  Second, you'll want the miter slot for featherboards.  Again, parallelism to the fence isn't an issue.  I actually take advantage of the fact that the fence ends swing independently.  You can loosen one side, tap it, and tighten for a hairline adjustment.

I'm not sure which rule you are describing.  On the fence for stop blocks? Mine doesn't have a rule there because it isn't an overly large fence with squaring mechanism; that said, the rule would never be correct except for relative adjustments.  My router plate has 'center rule' marks on both sides with center being where the router bit center should be.  I occasionally set the fence according to these marks to at least get really close to my desired cut.
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Offline rcher

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2009, 07:03 PM »
I have tried a number of router tables, from a basic portable to the Bench Dog and Kreg tables. Bench Dog and Kreg are fantastic tables. The people who let me try theirs are very happy with them, and I got great results.   However, when it came time to replace my portable, I chose the Incra.  Just can't be beat, IMHO, for accuracy and versatility.  I built a router cabinet for it and it has made everything much easier.  Make sure to get the full package with the Wonder Fence.  It is worth the extra dough. 

I don't use the mitre slot often, but wouldn't want to be without it.  The Incra has plenty of adjustability for squaring the fence to the table and the slot and the patterns for different types of joinery are very helpful.


Offline mastercabman

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2009, 08:22 PM »
I'm also interested in replacing a table that i lost in a storm we had about 3 weeks ago(lots of rain and my little shop got flooded)
So,i am now thinking about the KREG table and the beaded face frame jig.The table with fence,standard plate,and legs is $500.00.
The beaded FF jig is also $500.00. I am also thinking about getting a 3.25 HP router.But all that is a lot of money.I was thinking of making a routing table with my MFT 1080.instead of getting the KREG table.
Has anyone made one? Does it work good?   I think that I'm going to get some MDF and double it up and laminate the top.Cut the hole for a plate and install a fence.Of course i would also put a track for feather board.
Has anyone tried the KREG beaded FF jig?
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Steve-CO

  • Posts: 787
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2009, 08:54 PM »
I was thinking of making a routing table with my MFT 1080.instead of getting the KREG table.
Has anyone made one? Does it work good?   I think that I'm going to get some MDF and double it up and laminate the top.Cut the hole for a plate and install a fence.Of course i would also put a track for feather board.
Has anyone tried the KREG beaded FF jig?

Woodcraft has the Pinnacle router top for the 1080 on clearance.  I saw the Kreg beaded FF jig demo at a WW show a couple of weeks ago.  Seems like with their bits, which Woodcraft sells individually, you could come up with a jig to do the rest of it. 

Offline mastercabman

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 09:22 PM »
Steve, I just noticed the table on clearance for about $122.00.
I am going to call my local Woodcraft store to see if they can get it.But i'm going to keep my option open.I still don't know if i'm going to like using my MFT for routing.
I still need to think about a new router!     Christmas is right around the corner!!!!
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline quietguy

  • Posts: 491
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 10:46 PM »
I really like the Benchdog router setups.  They seem to have all of the bases covered for "traditional" router table setups.  The only thing I am not impressed with is their lift.  It is a little less refined than the Jessem offerings.  There are a lot of other lifts on the market, those are the only two I have any experience with. 

The Incra setups are great for certain joinery, and can be easily be used in conjunction with with a more traditional fence system. 

I am sure the Joint-tech, Kreg, and Pinnacle/Woodpecker systems are great products, I just haven't used them.

The Benchdog tablesaw extension wings are really a great way to save space, without sacrificing the mass of cast iron.  I have a dedicated table that sees most of the work, but the extension wing really comes in handy when you need to setup a second bit configuration (mostly rail/stile or tongue and groove setups). 

While I don't use it all that often, I think that a miter slot is essential to a fully functional setup.  Also, make provisions for a starting pin. 

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2009, 04:53 PM »
You are in luck. I have just completed the install of the Kreg router table and new fence -- great products. I am into the first week of use of the beaded frame system...quite a product... and someone suggested that you can make your own and just use the bit. I am pretty savvy with tables, routers and all and wouldn't touch the beaded as a do it yourself. The Kreg system has extreme accuracy built into the jig. If you are off, it really shows. Once on, it works like a charm.



The story: http://woodshopdemos.com/Kreg%20router%20--%201.htm


This is the slidsing base that is a critical part of the Kreg beaded face frame system. It has tolerances of + or - zero and that is what it takes to get the beads right. But once you have the system setup, it works like a charm.

Story not done yet...probably up by 12/14th

In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline William Herrold

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2009, 01:10 PM »
You are in luck. I have just completed the install of the Kreg router table and new fence -- great products. I am into the first week of use of the beaded frame system...quite a product... and someone suggested that you can make your own and just use the bit. I am pretty savvy with tables, routers and all and wouldn't touch the beaded as a do it yourself. The Kreg system has extreme accuracy built into the jig. If you are off, it really shows. Once on, it works like a charm.



The story: http://woodshopdemos.com/Kreg%20router%20--%201.htm


This is the slidsing base that is a critical part of the Kreg beaded face frame system. It has tolerances of + or - zero and that is what it takes to get the beads right. But once you have the system setup, it works like a charm.

Story not done yet...probably up by 12/14th



Just curious, was that a freebie or discount for review purposes, or did you pay full price?
Bill.
"I don't believe anything, but I have a lot of suspicions"
 R.A.W.

Offline mastercabman

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2009, 10:27 AM »
You are in luck. I have just completed the install of the Kreg router table and new fence -- great products. I am into the first week of use of the beaded frame system...quite a product... and someone suggested that you can make your own and just use the bit. I am pretty savvy with tables, routers and all and wouldn't touch the beaded as a do it yourself. The Kreg system has extreme accuracy built into the jig. If you are off, it really shows. Once on, it works like a charm.
Please John,let us know how the jig works out.
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 09:28 AM »
Bill, a freebie

mastercab, it is posted. http://www.woodshopdemos.com/Kreg%20router%20--%201.htm
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline 3cpq

  • Posts: 14
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2010, 08:03 PM »
Ended up ordering the jointech saw train system with all the accessories with a floating table for outfeed.  I'll post a review when I get a chance to use it.  Looks awesome.  Came out to 1400 or so with shipping tax, and all accessories, digital smart router lift, floating table, jumbo plate for 90 degree push jig, fence raiser kit, saw train feather board, fence feather board, hold down clamp, and wooden hinge maker kit, and downdraft enclosure for under the router with dust port. 

19143-0

Also bought the TS 75, which helped me decide to get 36" rip capacity fence rather than the 48".


Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1123
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 07:06 PM »
You will really enjoy using the Jointech system.  I have one on my router table and had one on my table saw (i sold the saw) and they work great!  It's a family owned business in San Antonio.  The original owner had worked at Incra at one time and decided to build a better mouse trap.  He died about 2 years ago and his son-in-law Ernie bought it, renamed it iTools.  His sister, Tina, runs customer service and their father puts the systems together.  It's a rock solid system and I have only had one issue with the digital smart lift which they repaired while I waited.  I stop in to see them almost everytime business requires me to be in SA.  I's nice to be able to support a small, family owned business that makes everything on site. 
Howard H
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Offline morogue

  • Posts: 44
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 07:44 PM »
I would like to echo the positive Jointech feedback, but there's no way I can. Customer service is the slowest, most unresponsive I've ever dealt with, ever. I want to love Jointech, because their fences are way cool, but:

I ordered my sawtrain EARLY Dec, and I'm still waiting for a replacement part. The fence extrusion was machined poorly--the cutter making the round opening for the bit on the bottom of the fence blew through the back of the extrusion.
The latest email to service:

Quote
to me:
   
show details Feb 9 (9 days ago)
   
Mr. xxxx,

I had created an in-house invoice for a replacement fence body some time ago for the shipping guys. I assumed this had been sent out. I will look into what is going on asap.


Ernest Saldana
iTools Company, LLC
San Antonio, TX
210.348.6655
800.619.1288



On Mon 8/02/10 5:28 PM , xxxx@gmail.com sent:

    Ernest,
    It's been a month and a half since I first contacted you regarding the replacement of my Smart Fence.
    I would like to be able to show off your great system to my colleagues and friends without having to explain why there's a bunch of tape on the fence as a band-aid that doesn't quite work!
    Also, it's getting harder to sell my wife on the Smart Lift--she's been saying that if this the kind of after-sales support I get from iTools, why take a chance on investing more money with your company...
    I hope we can get this resolved quickly so I can convince my wife to free up some cash for the Smart Lift and so I can heartily endorse your products to my colleagues and friends.





Reply:
 
to ezs
   
show details Feb 13 (5 days ago)
   
So, do you know what is happening with the fence?[/size][/font][/pre]


So, yeah, if you get a Jointech with no problems, you're probably set for life; the things are built like Panzer tanks. But, if you get a turkey or have a problem, be ready to waaaaaaaiiiiiiiittttttt, and call and/or email two or three times before getting a response with no follow through. Yeah, I get that it's hard to be a small business, but almost two months to get a replacement part is just bad business.

Offline morogue

  • Posts: 44
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 07:52 PM »
P.S.

3cpq:
Sorry to fart in your general direction, but just letting you know that if you aren't thrilled with what you get, you might want to take advantage of their return policy before it expires.
Here's hoping you get a good setup.
M

Offline morogue

  • Posts: 44
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2010, 02:57 PM »
P.P.S.
Quote
Shipping Dept of iTools Company sent 1 FedEx Home Delivery package(s).

This shipment is scheduled to be sent on 02/17/2010.

Reference information includes:

Reference:   SF-32 BODY
Status:   Shipment information sent to FedEx
Customer service...At the speed of glaciers...service none-the-less. All is well.
So, to reiterate: insanely overbuilt, well engineered, small business (with all the pluses and negatives).
Jointech.

Offline 3cpq

  • Posts: 14
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2010, 01:14 PM »
Well, just got my set up finally delivered.  It took 22 days.  I was told when I ordered it, that it would be 8 days.  After about 15 days, I tried calling, and tried calling, and E-mailing, leaving voice messages.  After about 100 calls, I finally got someone.  They said a few more days at the latest, 5 days later, I called visa and filed a claim, left them a message informing them of the claim, then about 30 calls later finally got someone on the phone, asked them to cancel my order.  They pleaded with me to not cancel, said it was all ready to go.  

Got it yesterday.  One of the rails is dented in at the corner in each end, but surprisingly, I don't think it will affect performance.  And then the bracket which connects the clincher to the smart fence is a little bent, not sure yet if It will affect performance.  They forgot to send me a dust port for the smart fence also.

Tried calling them today, and all of their phone numbers are no longer in service.  Sent an E-mail today.  I guess I better pray that everything works smoothly, because I have a feeling getting replacement parts is out the window.  They probably disconnected their phones the time they did specifically to prevent me from calling them back.  Oh well I guess I should have gone with incra.  They may not be the small family owned business that jointech is, but at least they're honest.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 01:19 PM by 3cpq »

Offline morogue

  • Posts: 44
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2010, 03:44 PM »
I am not alone, sadly. I guess I feel a bit better (selfishly).
Reading about your problem, I just realized, "Oh Shiite intifada, I didn't check to see if I got a dust port..."
Going out to the garage, holding my breath!

Offline Charimon

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2010, 04:09 PM »
Jointech has always been on the brink financially.         Incra on the other hand seems to flourish..... as they have basically the same technology I have to ask why you chose jointech over them in the first place?
Craig

I am actually asking.   not trying to be snide.
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline 3cpq

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2010, 04:20 PM »
Jointech has always been on the brink financially.         Incra on the other hand seems to flourish..... as they have basically the same technology I have to ask why you chose jointech over them in the first place?
Craig

I am actually asking.   not trying to be snide.

Actually, I had planned on going with the incra set-up from the start.  I really decided on jointech because I liked the accessories that go with it.  I have the fence raiser, jumbo vertical push fixture, saw train feather board.

Anyways, I have the whole system installed.  The bent bracket on the clincher was a little bit of a problem.  I had to try and bend it a little to it square.  I have everything now set up parallel, square and it's working great.  Only problem I have yet to solve is that the fence is not square.  On one end it is off one way, and the other end its off the opposite way.  Somehow I need to mess with these aluminum plates that make up the face of the fence. 

You would think it would be easy for them to answer the phone and send me a new bracket, maybe let me know if my fence is cool?

It's such a shame too, because they're stuff is really cool.  Although I have to disagree with the idea that it is overbuilt.  Sure the clencher and the smart fence are very solid.  The saw train feather board probably the beefiest of all, but the main rails, the most important part should be way beefier in my opinion.  That aluminum is pretty soft.

Offline Steve-CO

  • Posts: 787
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2010, 04:31 PM »

Anyways, I have the whole system installed.  The bent bracket on the clincher was a little bit of a problem.  I had to try and bend it a little to it square.  I have everything now set up parallel, square and it's working great.  Only problem I have yet to solve is that the fence is not square.  On one end it is off one way, and the other end its off the opposite way.  Somehow I need to mess with these aluminum plates that make up the face of the fence. 


Playing cards cut and stacked make good shims, I had to do this on my router fence to get it square.  (not Jointech)

Offline Bu Woodworking

  • Posts: 51
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2010, 04:34 PM »
I apologize for crashing this party...

but

just wondering...before you start messing with the fence...

since you mention that the fence is out of square different ways at different ends, is it possible that there is twist in the router table?

Offline Dave Ronyak

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  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2010, 06:10 PM »
I bought a JoinTech SawTrain setup and router lift and cabinet about the time that the founder/owner died, and installed mine on a General International hybrid table saw.  That install had some issues and idiosyncrasies that weren't addressed in the JoinTech literature.   And one of my phenolic table tops was warped.  Although there were some delays in Ernest getting back to me, they took care of everything, including sending me a new table top and letting me keep the warped original one.  It's no good for routing, but it is OK as a glue up surface, and I could cut it into smaller pieces for other uses if I want to.  Initial alignment of the fence to the mitre gauge slots on my table saw was a bit of a challenge.  Due to the peculiarities of my table saw, I had to raise the height of the fence relative to the table top and side rails, and correct for some angularity error in the stamped steel component that connects the fence to the precision thread linear machine.  I had to shim that connection to get the business face of the fence perpendicular to the saw table and parallel to the mitre gauge slots.  I used masking tape and business card stock for shims of this connection. And adhesive backed PE tape on the underside of the fence end clamps to help them slide on the front and back rails when adjusting the fence position.  And I had to adjust the clincher clamp.  But once done, it works very well.

A couple of years later I met Ernest S. at "The Woodworking Show" when it was in Columbus, Oh.  He was very friendly and appeared to be sincerely interested in doing the best job possible.  He admitted the business was struggling following the death of the founder.  The sliding mitre gauge sled they were demonstrating at the Show appeared to be a superior product to that of the competition.  I have a friend who owns one and many Incra products as well, and he thinks the JoinTech mitre sled is the best.  That same friend also owns a lot of Festool equipment and is a stickler for precision in everything he buys and does.

Charimon,

How is a typical customer living more than 1000 miles away from JoinTech or any other vendor able to know in advance of a potential purchase that the business is in financial trouble?  That would be useful information to have before entering any business transaction, but how does a typical consumer gain such information?  Most are not subscribers to Dunn & Bradstreet's business rating service or the like.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Charimon

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2010, 06:30 PM »
I know about it only because when i was researching my incra LS and the Join Tech I spent alot of time over at http://www.routerforums.com/  it is funny these guys are as informed and passionate about most things router, as we are about Festools.  They had a thread on just that subject jointech and incra and the lack of response that the folks at Join Tech gave their clients was a reoccurring theme.


Craig
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 06:33 PM by Charimon »
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline 3cpq

  • Posts: 14
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2010, 05:23 PM »
Turns out that the fence is twisted.  I finally got a hold of jointech about it, and it sounded like they might send me a new fence body and clencher bracket, but he was in a hurry, and cut me short of a full conversation.  Said he is going to talk to the guy who puts them together.  The next thing I was going to say was that I am prepared to buy a new fence body and bracket if it would motivate them a little more in getting it to me.

Frankly, I am getting a little sick of the whole thing.  Planned on using the set up on my first kitchen cabinet build.  Was told it would be here a certain time, had old table saw fence removed the day before it was suppose to arrive.  Never showed up, waited, waited.  Put my old fence back on the table saw, started job.  Finally got my new fence, installed, badly twisted fence, bent bracket.  My old shop fox fence is more precise with the fence being square and all.  If I don't get a new square fence, or at least conformation that one will be sent to me in the next few weeks, I'll probably put my old fence back on.

But, yeah, other than that, the yellow top is kind of annoying me, would it be un-wise to paint it with a two part epoxy coating?


Offline morogue

  • Posts: 44
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2010, 04:38 AM »
Keep at it. It's going to be drawn out process. The people are good people and just seem to be perpetually in the weeds.
I think you'll like the setup once you're all set.

Offline morogue

  • Posts: 44
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2010, 12:32 AM »
Follow up on Jointech customer service:
Got a call from them (after 2 emails, spaced out over 2 weeks), they explained that they just moved and things were messed up a bit.
I realized that they left the zero clearance fence inserts out of the kit and asked for them 2 1/2 weeks ago. So, Jointech is still there and they are trying hard to catch up with orders and service requests.
Just thought I'd let you all know--they may be slow but good and honest (I didn't realize that the inserts were missing for more that a month or so after I got the Sawtrain!!!).

Offline JPDWine

  • Posts: 2
Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2011, 09:08 PM »
If you were to buy a router to fix onto a router table, what router, router table top, router lift and fence would you purchase.  I intend to mount the router table top into a larger phenolic topped table and I've been doing a lot of research.  It seems that the Bench Dog Full Sized Cast Iron Router Table is a top contender but the right fence is not clear.  What would be the best router and what lift would work best with that router? What are the chances that different items from different manufacturers won't work well together -- do you really need to purchase a system from one manufacturer?  Any advise/points of view would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

Offline Julian Tracy

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Re: router tables and fences
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2011, 12:19 PM »
I have the complete Jessem setup and imo, it's one of the very best in terms of features and ruggedness.

My local Woodcraft store is clearing out all of the Jessem stuff - might be a chance you could find some of the stuff at a discount.

I have the stand, Phenolic top, mast-r-lift, remote control Milwaukee 3 1/2HP motor, Mast-r-fence and the Mast-r-slide.

Nice setup.

JT