It was 3 am and I was trying to fall asleep, but I kept thinking about the tracks for the router table fence. I had installed them, by screwing the first track down, and then I made marks in a piece of oak. I drilled holes for the little track peg thingies. I reasoned that if I built a test piece, I could make sure that the other track was parallel, when I screwed in the final two screws. It worked really well, but I also realized that there was enough play in the track that it wasn’t really necessary. Next I started to think about the tracks I had installed.
I realized that I had made a design decision that I realized had a dreadful flaw in it. Each track was intentionally set about 1/32 of an inch above the surface of the table. In my mind, this seemed like a brilliant idea, as my pretty blue Rockler bracket, which would be the foundation of my fence, would slide smoothly on the raised tracks. It is true that the fence bracket does slide effortlessly on the tracks.
The problem, as I am sure most seasoned woodworkers have already surmised, is that though I can route the edges of boards quite nicely, the tracks will prevent me from sliding the track back and cutting dados. No dados! Oh my, this is certainly a fly in the proverbial ointment. I love a dado, and really want to use my sexy router table to its fullest potential.
The first idea that popped into my sleepy brain was that I would just have to lower the tracks back to table level. I didn’t like this idea, because it meant that I would be giving up the silky smooth sliding. Silky smooth sliding is one of my top 29 favorite things, just between a perfectly executed double play, and Catherine Zeta Jones. You can see my dilemma.
I was almost asleep, secure that my plan to lower the tracks was the best option. Suddenly, as I was almost off to the land of nod, I remembered that I had broken off a screw in the track, and had been forced to flip it around and drill new holes. In an instance, the thought of that screw in the wood, became a hazard for my router. Of course, I could take care of it before I route out the extra depth, but my brain was now imagining me forgetting to remove that little bit of metal, and dying in a horrible accident. So I got up and wrote myself a note and took it downstairs to the table and affixed it to the track.
I turned the light off and almost went back up the stairs. Instead, I turned around and decided it would be better if I took the track out and gave it a look, which I did. It wouldn’t hurt just to chisel a bit out. Now wide awake, with chisel in hand I went to it. It was such fun. I am so glad that I bothered to learn how to use the chisel, because I succeeded in removing the screw. While I was working on this, I had another idea, I could create an add on for my fence which would ride over the tracks and allow for dado cutting. This idea was worth considering, but I really needed to get some sleep, and since I had averted my future power tool disaster, I packed it in for the night.
When today arrived I was well rested, but not at all convinced which solution was the best route. I still don’t know, but I have, for the time being, decided to go with the add on. If the extra bit on the fence doesn’t work out well, I can always lower the tracks later.This evening was all about building the regular fence. I have an idea about how it will work and have included a gap for duct collection. I have an exceptionally mediocre shop vac, but I think that with some brilliant engineering and a considerable luck, it just might work. Though I have considered the possibility that it may suck, and by that I mean, that it won’t suck. The first step is to glue a couple of 6/4 hard maple pieces, separated by 5 3/16th of an inch, to a 36 inch piece. You might wonder how I arrived at 5 3/16th, well I took the sucking power of the shop vac, divided by the coefficient of guessing, and then cut a piece of scrap hard maple in half. After it is dry I will add another piece of wood, likely oak, to stick with the two wood theme, to the other side. Once I have the fence together, I will figure out how I am going to work the connector for Cheapy McShopva. Until the next time, take care and be good.