Confused About Miter Track / T Track... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Confused About Miter Track / T Track...

Hi there, Everyone:

I am looking to pick up a relatively short piece of miter track for putting a homemade miter onto my homemade router table.

Is this track from Eagle America a "standard size" track?

http://www.eagleamerica.com/product/..._track_t-track



If I end up one day winning the lottery and end up buying a "real" miter gauge, would it fit in a track of this size?

Also, is this track going to be too deep because it is going to be mounted in melamine that is only .75 inch thick, so there would be less than a .25 inch of material left under any groove I route for this track.

(I think I read somewhere that there is miter track made by Incra that the OUTSIDE dimensions are only 1 inch by .5 inches, so would that be better since it is slightly shallower?)

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 07:01 AM
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That is a standard type track with a " slot, and a slotted bottom for a "T". I wouldn't worry about the thickness variable.





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post #3 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 08:05 AM
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Yes, that is a standard miter track as in what you will find on a table saw and will take a standard miter guage.
Yes, it is also to thick for 3/4" melamine which is really partical board or MDF unless very well supported. I tried that once and the outside edge of the table sagged in less than a week.

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post #4 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
I tried that once and the outside edge of the table sagged in less than a week.

There's a good reason to double up the top.





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post #5 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post
Hi there, Everyone:

I am looking to pick up a relatively short piece of miter track for putting a homemade miter onto my homemade router table.

Is this track from Eagle America a "standard size" track?

If I end up one day winning the lottery and end up buying a "real" miter gauge, would it fit in a track of this size?

Also, is this track going to be too deep because it is going to be mounted in melamine that is only .75 inch thick, so there would be less than a .25 inch of material left under any groove I route for this track.

(I think I read somewhere that there is miter track made by Incra that the OUTSIDE dimensions are only 1 inch by .5 inches, so would that be better since it is slightly shallower?)

Thanks in advance.
The Eagle track is a standard size for a mitre gauge, as the others have stated.

The Incra track is likely for jigs and NOT for a mitre gauge, so it may be intended for 1/4in bolts for jig hold down.

You have two choices for the replacement for your table saw
a) Rout a 3/4in slot 3/8in in the melamine. For the amount of use this may have, this is your least expensive option.
b) Purchase the track, and accept that the melamine will be thinner under the track. Only time will tell if this will result in warping of the melamine. You will not have much depth for screwing in the track, so you may need to use epoxy.

I recommend you start with a), since you can always rout a bigger groove and add the aluminium track later if needed.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, Cabinetman, John, and Dave!!!

A few follow up questions please:

Quote:
There's a good reason to double up the [3/4 inch melamine] top.
1) If I do double up the melamine top for the router table, can I use TiteBond III to laminate it together? Or will I need a special glue / special prep to laminate melamine together?

2) Could I laminate the 3/4 melamine on top of 3/4 plywood instead of on top of another piece of melamine? Is there any benefit to using ply over the melamine?

3) If I do double up the router table top, I will HAVE to make a base for suspending the router in the top. Can I use 3/8 inch plywood for the base? (I have phenolic that is about 3/8 inch but I am afraid to cut it because of the fumes / dust problems). What else would make a good (pronounced as "in-eks-SPEN-sive") router base?


Quote:
You have two choices for the replacement for your table saw
a) Rout a 3/4in slot 3/8in in the melamine. For the amount of use this may have, this is your least expensive option.
Thank you. I will probably end up doing just that.

However, be prepared to tune in next week when I ask, "How Do I fix Up A Self Cut Miter Slot Groove That Is Too Big?"

Quote:
The Incra track is likely for jigs and NOT for a mitre gauge, so it may be intended for 1/4in bolts for jig hold down.
Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn't sure, so here is a link to the incra track.

http://www.amazon.com/Incra-TTRACKPLUS24-24-Inch-T-Track-Plus/dp/B00005NMUA



And one last question about routing while I am at it.

4) I know you should NOT use a miter gauge and a a fence at the same time on a TABLE SAW. But is it ok to use both a miter gauge and a fence at the same time on a ROUTER?

Thanks again, everyone.

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Last edited by Wood4Brains; 09-17-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 11:50 AM
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A few follow up questions please:

1) If I do double up the melamine top for the router table, can I use TiteBond III to laminate it together? Or will I need a special glue / special prep to laminate melamine together?

The yellow glues will not adhere to the melamine. You would need to use epoxy or the urethane type glue.

2) Could I laminate the 3/4 melamine on top of 3/4 plywood instead of on top of another piece of melamine? Is there any benefit to using ply over the melamine?

Yes. You could also use MDF. The benefit of the melamine is being flat and slippery - good for the top surface.
Plywood is stronger than MDF. If you were spanning large distance, then sag would be a problem. I do not expect any sag issues, so you can use MDF. You will still need to use epoxy of urethane.

3) If I do double up the router table top, I will HAVE to make a base for suspending the router in the top. Can I use 3/8 inch plywood for the base? (I have phenolic that is about 3/8 inch but I am afraid to cut it because of the fumes / dust problems). What else would make a good (pronounced as "in-eks-SPEN-sive") router base?

You still need to use e.g., a 3/8in base like the phenolic. You will need to route out the top for the base and the bottom to allow removing the router. I would expect a 1/2in ledge to be adequate.

The phenolic would be easier to cut with table saw or circ saw. I would finish with the router to get smooth edge.

3/8in phenolic will be flat, more so than plywood. Also will not splinter during use.

However, be prepared to tune in next week when I ask, "How Do I fix Up A Self Cut Miter Slot Groove That Is Too Big?"

If you get a good mitre gauge, it will include the potential for adjustments, which is far easier with the gauge bar than fixing the slot.

Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn't sure, so here is a link to the incra track.

That is 1/4in jig style track and not for a mitre gauge.

4) I know you should NOT use a miter gauge and a a fence at the same time on a TABLE SAW. But is it ok to use both a miter gauge and a fence at the same time on a ROUTER?

Technically on a router table, you are normally using the fence, unless you are freehand with a template or router bit with bearing.

Yes, you can use a mitre gauge and fence with a router.
I have found this very infrequent need in my work. The time you may want to consider is if you were using the router to cut tenons on the end of pieces. You would support the piece at 90 deg to the fence with the mitre gauge.

I rarely use the mitre gauge on the router table. For the tenon example, I would prefer to use a scrap piece of plywood cut on my table saw to be 90 deg square. This also acts as sacrificial board on the exit side. I clamp the piece and scrap plywood together.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
There's a good reason to double up the top.










.
No S****, did that on a commercial table I just got. 3/4 MDF with 1-1/2" edge banding and a funky miter slot (3/4" plywood edging sunk in). Table made in good ol USA too

John

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post

A few follow up questions please:

1)If I do double up the melamine top for the router table, can I use TiteBond III to laminate it together? Or will I need a special glue / special prep to laminate melamine together?
I would use a two part epoxy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post

2)Could I laminate the 3/4 melamine on top of 3/4 plywood instead of on top of another piece of melamine? Is there any benefit to using ply over the melamine?
I would use the Melamine for the top, and the plywood for the bottom. The Melamine has a slicker surface.

If you decide to glue and screw two sheets of any substrates together, I suggest this tip.

Lay the eventual top sheet face down and place the bottom sheet on top of it. Line them up, and mark the edges as to which sheet is which.

Then, use a countersinking/pilot bit to place your holes. Separate the sheets, and at every hole site on both sheets, use a countersink bit to just make a small chamfer. This will clean off any debris from the pilot hole, and create a clean area for screwing together. If this isn't done, just driving screws from one sheet to another could create some tear out which would prevent the sheets from coming tightly together.

If you are using two sheets of " plywood, you would be using 1" screws. I would use a cordless drill on slow speed to drive the screws. You only have " of thread grabbing, and you don't want to spin the screws too fast, which could make them strip out the hole. When close to tight, just bump the trigger to tighten.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post

3)If I do double up the router table top, I will HAVE to make a base for suspending the router in the top. Can I use 3/8 inch plywood for the base? (I have phenolic that is about 3/8 inch but I am afraid to cut it because of the fumes / dust problems). What else would make a good (pronounced as "in-eks-SPEN-sive") router base?
I would use the 3/8" that you have, or Plexiglas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood4Brains View Post

4)know you should NOT use a miter gauge and a a fence at the same time on a TABLE SAW. But is it ok to use both a miter gauge and a fence at the same time on a ROUTER?
If you need to use the fence, you don't need the miter gauge. JMO.





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post #10 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 12:25 PM
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Wood - again, pretty much what Dave said.
I would add that Titebond does formulate a Melamine glue specifically for the type of project you are doing.

Cutting the phenolic I don't believe the fumes are particularly toxic, not particularly pleasant though. Dust mask and plenty of ventilation are recommended. Phenolic is a much better choice than plywood though.

When using the the miter guage with the fence on a router table, you need to make sure the fence is parallel to the miter track. I only use the miter guage on the router table to do half lapped miter joints, and I try not to do those to often

John

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post #11 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 01:07 PM
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I have yet to use the miter track for a miter gage on my router table. Like someone else has already stated if the piece is not very wide I back it up with a larger piece that I can keep against the fence. I have used the miter track for feather boards to keep the work against the fence.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for all the input!!!

Ok, too many responses to reply to individually. But in short, I probably WON'T worry about doubling up the top / doing a base JUST YET, since the pieces I do are small, and the router I have is pretty light.

However, I will test for sag frequently and if I notice any, I will double it up.

If in the future, if I do decide to go with phenolic for the base plate, I would probably cut it with my circular saw (or table saw, if I ever get it up and running). What is the best blade to use?

Right now I have the default 24 tooth craftsman combo blade that came with the circ saw and has carbide tips (yet to use that blade for anything though), as well as a Freud Diablo 60 tooth that I normally use for crosscuts in wood. I also have a super cheap craftsman 120 tooth laminate blade (on sale for $2.99 - could NOT resist). All steel, no carbide on that blade.

I am thinking that the 120 tooth laminate blade would be the one to use on the phenolic because if I mess up the blade I can always throw it away, right? (And isn't phenolic technically a laminate of some kind?)

thanks in advance.

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