Home > Woodworking > Good fences make good neighbors and good DP tables…

Good fences make good neighbors and good DP tables…

Not a great deal to report although last night I did make some progress on the prototype fence for my drill press table. Susan and I spent the weekend along with our youngest at our Melrose home (aka Turtlecove Brewing). Most of our time there was spent enjoying each other’s company along with yard cleanup and the summer season’s first mowing. I did stop by the Ace Hardware store to pickup a few metric nuts and to purchase some longer 1/4″ bolts to use for jig and fence making. The longest they had in the store were only 4″ so that is what I’m using for this build.

Bolt length was going to be the limitation on height so using the 4″ bolt as a guild I calculated that my fence pieces should be just under 3″ so I went with 2 7/8″.  I cut two pieces 1/2″ plywood then cut dados on each end of the two pieces so when they are glued together the dados will provide access slots for the bolts.

DP Fence Detail

I was considering why I shouldn’t just glue the fence pieces together then drill holes for the bolts. I think that would have worked just fine but I decided to use my router instead. Why? Truth be told, I just wanted more router time. I hadn’t put my router back into the router lift from last week when I routed the T-track dados so I used this as an opportunity to put it back and use my table one more time. I marked rather than measured where to router and went to it. I’d make a pass then using the screw as a guide I raised the bit until I found the depth I wanted, then I routed the other piece on the side that would mate up. Then back to the DP table to mock-up the one side to mark fence on the other end then back to the router table. Having already found the proper depth, I only needed minor adjustments to the router fence and I was ready to quickly route both slots for the other bolt.

DP Fence Detail

I test fit all the pieces together and found well…they fit but everything was so tight I couldn’t move the fence. I decided the first set of dados needed some relief to the outside of the DP table so back to the router table to shave off just a hair by moving the router fence closer to the bit. This did the trick and the bolts were now free to move in the tracks to a point then my next problem. Apparently the track on the left side also needed a touch of relief about midway toward the center of the table.  None of these pieces have been glued so I pulled off the top and took it over to the router table to shave off a tiny amount and dress the dado. One more mockup to confirm the fence now can move freely along the track.

That’s as far as I got in this session. Tonight isn’t a usual shop night but I wanted to go ahead and glue the fence pieces together and start to figure out what I’m going to do for adjustment knobs. I have some smallish (~1″) scrap circle cutoffs that might be perfect for this with some cleanup. Sand the edges and glue a bolt or threaded insert. I think regular star knobs would be way too big and get in the way of the fence but I could make T knobs fairly easily. I’ll see how it goes and decide how I feel at the time.

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.

Categories: Woodworking
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