PRECISION INTEGRATED CURTAIN FENCE

Router Woodworking



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router table fence
router table fence
3 layers of fence face, all pinched together, havin' fun, resisting deflection. Adjustable up & down to protect you from the cutter and support the work.

router table fence
3 layers thick when levered down to the table top. Deflection free routing.

router table fence
With integrated travel gage (.001" resolution), easy lead screw east/west adjustment. Fence locks down to the table with <1/4 turn on the 12-position levers.

router table fence
Mortice pocket (on the C/L) within 1/8" from face of plastic panel to receive bearings, bosses, or unused sections of the cutter. 45 degree bevel in progress.

router table fence
5/8" rad. cove, about an 1/8" of stock against the fence. The work cannot pivot into the cutter. Safety in your face. Good for short stock or end cuts that are always risky on conventional fences.

My second generation router-table fence is a fun and safe, precision tool. The fence has 2 stage adjustability, a 1.3" quick-adjust and a 1.0" micro-adjust monitored with an integrated dial indicator. The quick-adjust and fence hold-down functions are met with one set of levers. The micro-adjust function is managed with a lead screw and locked by another set of levers. Like a vise, the slide assembly (part of the fence face assembly) travels straight and parallel on a pair of precision ground guide bars. The 2 positioning mechanisms are independent of each other. The overall travel of the fence is 2.3" & can be extended x adding more sets of tee-nuts (supplied) under the table top.

All router operations have to address the extension of the cutter & its reach. Just as the Router-Lift industry has managed the cutter extension issue, my fence resolves the east/west position of the work with respect to the cutter. The Acrylic fence face, where it all starts, has 2 functions. It is the reference/control surface for the work; the work slides against it. It is also a safety device; you can see the cutter and you're protected from most of it. Moreover, the fence is continuous so the work never jams or pivots into a cutter pocket. Edge and inside cuts (dados e.g.) are trivial; on-edge cuts can be accommodated with the curtain removed.

This blocky, multilayered assembly interlocks and enjoys its own components in such a way as to resist deflection in all directions. With all levers locked, a 25 pound force applied to the end of the fence, registers <.001" of deflection on the gage. As such, the work does not squirm as it passes the cutter. Dial indicated cuttings of rabbets and dados measure <.002" deviation along the full length of straight sticks. More than 20" of the work is supported continuously (unlike a split fence) along the fence and accounts for some of this good fortune. The 3/8" thick acrylic curtain is slotted in 4 places and well supported by a full length 3/8" thick x 1-1/2" wide aluminum washer. This 3 element fence face sandwich (metal, plastic, & wood), screwed down to the walnut substrate, contributes another measure of inelasticity.

Using the fence is a triviality, as it should be. The cutter is raised to its working height and the curtain is raised a 1/32" or so above that. A guess is made on the east/west fence position, the quick clamp-levers locked, and a slice is taken on some flat straight scrap. The sample will show one of 3 things: Too much wood taken, not enough wasted or it's right on. Loosen the micro-adjust lock levers, micro-adjust the fence as necessary, and lock. With the aid of the travel gage, it is possible to dial in the change to the nearest .001". This whole procedure, including the curtain adjustment, should take only a minute.

As sweet as it is, it is not a fence for all occasions. I designed the fence to exploit the Router, not to compete with a Shaper. As such, it will not accept all router bits. Those contemporary cutters prostituted from the shaper for router table use will not fit in the fence cutter chamber (glue joint-miter & radial panel raisers e.g.). However, most router bits in the practical domain of Routerdom (<2" in diameter and 1.6" in flute length) will enjoy play in the cutter pocket. The curtain adjusts (up/down) from 0 to >1-5/8" to accommodate work thickness and cutter exposure. This is a straight line, continuous curtain fence; wasting the full thickness of stock (i.e. jointing) is not permissible. Notwithstanding, this lack of borderline shaper function is more than compensated for by a generous measure of safety, a clear view of the cutter, and the confidence the work will not slip into a cutter pocket and self-destruct. Moreover, you will have a hell of a time getting bitten by the cutter. You will be shielded from most of it, and x default, the work will cover that section of it that is not behind the curtain.

In summary, expect a no maintenance fence with easy storage, quick lock up, max cutter visibility, and prepare to arrive at the cutter target ahead of schedule. You will enjoy the dial in quick-adjust, efficiency, precision, safety, and its high play value. With its chip collector right behind the cutter, expect few chips in your socks and shoe laces too.
Questions? Email pat@patwarner.com as needed; be certain of its limitations before purchasing. This is a life time tool.

Specs:
Curtain fence face: Acrylic, 3/8" x 3.5" x 20"
Curtain up/down adjustment: 0 - 1.6".
Micro-travel: 1.0"
Quick adjust: 1.3"
Total travel/set of Tee-nuts: 2.3"
Weight: 10.7 Lbs.
Max. Cutter dimensions: 1.6" vertical (exposed flute) x ~2.0" in diameter
Minimum work piece thickness: 3/16"
Minimum work thickness contact to fence: 1/8"
Max. Work thickness with curtain: 2.5"
Max. Work thickness without curtain: Unlimited
Minimum x-grain (end) cut width: 4.5"
Minimum work length: 6"
Chip collection: Integrated for 1.2" - 1.5" ID hose.

Price:
Includes fence, assembly, & all accessories: Acrylic face and Al. washer, 2 sets of tee-nuts, 5/16 transfer punch, dial indicator, all levers, all hardware: $480 USD.
Shipping, packing and insurance: $35. UPS lower 48, Alaska & HI shipped USPS. Canada: Inquire.

Spare fully machined, acrylic fence face: $50. S&H required if shipped as separate order. $0 S&H if shipped with fence.



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Last modified: Mon Oct 6 07:21:07 PDT 2014