Router Table Fence Micro Adjuster - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-25-2013, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Router Table Fence Micro Adjuster

Started playing with my new router table and quickly figured out that tapping the fence to make fine adjustments wasn't doing it for me.

I saw a lot if finely crafted micro adjusters on this and other sites. Attached is my version - kludged together from stuff I had lying around.

The screw is a 1/4" all-thread to which I had welded a wing nut for a long ago project. The receiving piece on the fence is an aluminum angle, drilled and threaded 1/4x20 to receive the all-thread. The opposite end of the screw is held in a 1/4" hole in another aluminum angle by a couple of flat washers held in place with jam nuts, adjusted to allow smooth rotation while minimizing lash.

I mounted the screw eccentric to the attachment to the table to clear the fence lock-down knob. To keep the unit from twisting when rotating the adjustment screw, I installed a 1/4" hex bolt at the front of the unit, with the head filed down to just fit in the "T" track like a shoe.

Works great. I get a perfect 1/64" movement at the router bit with one rotation of the screw. I can get about 1/2" fence movement in either direction before the angle of the fence starts to bind the screw.

Only regret so far is that the movement is (for me) counter-intuitive - turning the screw clockwise moves the fence away from the router bit. If I get ambitious I'll make another one with the threaded aluminum angle on the table piece. I'll also attach one of the angle pieces so it will rotate, to adjust for the changing fence angle.
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post #2 of 29 Old 09-25-2013, 08:06 PM
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Now that's thinking outside the box. Send your picture and write up to ShopNotes. Who knows? you might get lucky like I did with my workbench or a component off. I'm excited to see it in next issue #132. But thanks for sharing...

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post #3 of 29 Old 09-25-2013, 10:00 PM
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That's a really good idea, something to keep in mind is that for every revolution of the 1/4-20 bolt you are going to move that edge of the fence .050". That might help you when setting up.
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-25-2013, 10:03 PM
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I've seen those around before. They are preferable to the High$$. Most I have seen use a 32 tpi thread though. The math doesn't work out getting "exactly" 1/64" adjustment per turn with 1/4"-20 stock.

John

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post #5 of 29 Old 09-25-2013, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
I've seen those around before. They are preferable to the High$$. Most I have seen use a 32 tpi thread though. The math doesn't work out getting "exactly" 1/64" adjustment per turn with 1/4"-20 stock.
The 1/64" is in the center of the table, where the router bit would be. The adjuster moves the fence almost at the edge of the table, pivoting on the hold-down at the opposite edge. Out at the edge of the table, with 20 tpi, one turn of the screw should move the table 1/20". Because of the dimensions of my table, it happens (didn't plan it that way) that the movement in the middle is 1/64".
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post #6 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 01:01 AM
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Very nice. I think I have all of the parts ready and willing for me to build something similar. Now if only I can find everything. :-(
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post #7 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
I've seen those around before. They are preferable to the High$$. Most I have seen use a 32 tpi thread though. The math doesn't work out getting "exactly" 1/64" adjustment per turn with 1/4"-20 stock.
You're right. Disregard previous post. I determined the 1/64" by measurement, not calculation. However, doesn't compute, even with the geometry of my setup. I'll check tomorrow and see where I messed up.
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post #8 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 03:19 AM
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Just a thought, but if you had one at both ends of the fence, could you get more movement without the angle? I'm liking this. Great idea!
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post #9 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Just a thought, but if you had one at both ends of the fence, could you get more movement without the angle? I'm liking this. Great idea!
Me too. One at each end would be perfect and end the guessing.

Would it be possible to have a picture of your entire fence. Back, front and side?

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post #10 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 07:12 AM
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General rambling that can be used/abused in any way you see fit.


Same idea or principal...it can be applied to any adjuster that has a round knob where your hand turns it.

You can use whatever thread pitch you got.Obviously the finer the pitch the more fine the movement....duh.But each application has to be,atleast thought about.A std mic has 40 TPI....uhhh, a bit too fine for a pce of equip,yes/no.

Anyway,the "trick" isn't so much about the TPI...it's about the business end of adjuster.The larger you can make the "handwheel"...the more accurate the "practical" usefulness of the tool becomes.So that should rank in importance up there with you TPI choice.Make the knob/handwheel as large as possible.....using this as a guide in your design phase.

Next is rather simple.and we can look at a TS blade adj handwheel for the example.Wrap the outside of the handwheel/knob with masking tape.You'll need some kind of machine mounted "pointer".This is what....points.

Now you need some kind of measuring device.....lets keep it simple and use a dial indicator.They ain't the most accurate of indicators but will suffice in practical terms quite nicely here.

Just use the D.I. to measure the advance on blade,fence,whatever....marking the tape wrapped handwheel.

The advantage to tape is....you can mark it for specific setups....where if we took the time to inscribe nice neat little fancy lines(which should take about as long to do as write about)....it just makes it a chore when doing repeat setups.....the masking tape is faster.You're only marking what you need.

Repeatability is governed by other factors on the equip.But throw a nice handwheel diameter and a decent TPI...and simply check it for yourself.It can get more involved in the design phase if you start to think in right angles on adjusters.Cosine error can be eliminated.....it sounds WAY more complicated than it really is.Just pay attention to the angle of attack on the adjuster and how you want the part to move.Stick to right angles.

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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post #11 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minuteman62-64 View Post
The 1/64" is in the center of the table, where the router bit would be. The adjuster moves the fence almost at the edge of the table, pivoting on the hold-down at the opposite edge. Out at the edge of the table, with 20 tpi, one turn of the screw should move the table 1/20". Because of the dimensions of my table, it happens (didn't plan it that way) that the movement in the middle is 1/64".
OK, that makes sense. If your pivot point of the fence is exactly the same distance from the centerline of the bit as the adjuster is, the resulting adjustment will be exactly 1/2 of the movement of the adjuster or about 1.6 sixty-fourths per turn. Pretty close to measure but well within practical use for woodworking. Variations could be accounted for by small differences in the distance each point is from the bit.
When I first got into this, I thought a microadjuster would be a "must-have" deal (I also thought scales on the table would be necessary too). After using the table awhile, I discovered that stop blocks attached to the t-tracks used to attach the fence, worked just as well. If I find I need to adjust the fence I just use a spacer between the fence and stop block. If I need to move the fence backward, I put in the spacer and clamp the stop block, then loosen the fence and move it back to the block. Since the tracks, hence the stop blocks are equal distance from the bit, I can adjust either side or both down as small or as large as I want. Works for me.

John

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post #12 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 01:39 PM
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With a router fence, only one end needs to move. The other end just pivots. There is no need for the fence to be parallel with the table. Seems to me the size of the hand wheel would be determined by the clearance for the table up to the threaded rod. Or it would have to extend off e back of the table. I made a homemade hand wheel by boring some holes around a circle and the cutting out the circle It turned fairly nice and made adjustments easy for my homemade router lift.
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post #13 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetDoc View Post
Me too. One at each end would be perfect and end the guessing.

Would it be possible to have a picture of your entire fence. Back, front and side?
There's a picture of the entire table, including front & back views of the fence, at: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/ro...ete-now-55532/
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post #14 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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OK, problem solved. A case of sloppy measurement. Taking the offset of the adjuster into account, the adjuster should advance (or withdraw) the fence 0.0268" per turn of the screw- a little less than 1/32" by my calculations. I checked by actually measuring (more carefully this time) (for 10 turns) and the fence moved a total of 11/32", a hair more than 1/32"/turn by my calculations. I'm going to call it 1/32"/turn and move on. I'm only good to 1/16" in my woodworking anyways :)

Appreciate the comments. I don't see the need for a second adjuster on the other end of the fence at this time - maybe after I've used the table for awhile. I see the advantage of the larger adjustment wheel, but don't have room with this design. My memory was jogged in that I do have a good quality dial indicator - maybe I'll dig it out and use it to re-check my measurements.
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post #15 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
With a router fence, only one end needs to move. The other end just pivots. There is no need for the fence to be parallel with the table. Seems to me the size of the hand wheel would be determined by the clearance for the table up to the threaded rod. Or it would have to extend off e back of the table. I made a homemade hand wheel by boring some holes around a circle and the cutting out the circle It turned fairly nice and made adjustments easy for my homemade router lift.
True, only one end needs to move. My thought was that if having one end adjustable limited the movement, maybe having it on both ends would allow for more.
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post #16 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 06:56 PM
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True, only one end needs to move. My thought was that if having one end adjustable limited the movement, maybe having it on both ends would allow for more.
Ah ha, I see where you are coming from.
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post #17 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 07:24 PM
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True, only one end needs to move. My thought was that if having one end adjustable limited the movement, maybe having it on both ends would allow for more.
Hi Danno, that would work, two would give about twice the amount of adjustment. But, from a practical sense, how much adjustment do you need from a microadjuster? By the time you go to use it, you will likely be less than a 1/16" from where you want to be.

John

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post #18 of 29 Old 09-26-2013, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
Hi Danno, that would work, two would give about twice the amount of adjustment. But, from a practical sense, how much adjustment do you need from a microadjuster? By the time you go to use it, you will likely be less than a 1/16" from where you want to be.
I hear you. I still use the old tapping method on mine. ;-)

To be honest, my router table is mainly used for jointing at the moment, so I have the fence fixed anyways. I'm loving this idea though.
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post #19 of 29 Old 10-05-2013, 07:45 AM
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I've been using this system for years, it works really well, thought it is important to have no slop in the pivot at the other end of the fence or that introduces uncertainty.

In the interests of rigidity, I used a bigger and therefore coarser thread on mine, and that limits the ability to make very fine adjustments. I think I'll replace it with something more like the one you have made.

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post #20 of 29 Old 10-05-2013, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Danno View Post
I hear you. I still use the old tapping method on mine. ;-)

To be honest, my router table is mainly used for jointing at the moment, so I have the fence fixed anyways. I'm loving this idea though.

I'm still new to woodworking but this is something I've never even considered. What router bit would be used for jointing and is this a fairly accurate way to do so or is it mainly just for smaller pieces.

The reason I ask is, there are three main pieces of equipment I can afford but do not have the room for: a jointer, planar and band saw. If I could eliminate the jointer problem by using my table router, that would be awesome. Thanks!
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