Jig Journal: Coping at the Router Table


Work smart across the grain with a simple push block.
By Robert W. Lang
Pages: 70-71

From the December 2009 issue #180
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One of the first vehicles I owned was a 1964 Ford Econoline van. I bought it cheap at a police auction then proceeded to over-accessorize it with all manner of mirrors and lights I didn’t need. I was young and didn’t know any better. It’s easy to fall into that kind of trap as you learn something new.

J. C. Whitney saw me coming and took advantage; likewise most new woodworkers are easy prey as they put together their first router table. Miter gauges and miter gauge tracks on router tables are the fuzzy dice and ground-effect lights of the woodworking world.

In the June 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking (#176) we featured an easy-to-make and inexpensive router table that does everything you need to do without any frills. In this issue, we show you how to safely make cuts across the grain; the only thing it will cost you is a trip to your scrap bin.

The problem with installing a slot in a router table and using a miter gauge is that it complicates a simple process. To make a cut across the end of a piece of wood, you need a safe and secure way to guide the wood at a right angle to the fence.

A miter gauge riding in a slot will do that, provided that the fence and the slot are perfectly parallel. This fence-to-slot alignment can be time-consuming and tedious to achieve, and if you need to make a small adjustment to the fence, you are likely to lose the parallel setting.


From the December 2009 issue #180
Buy this issue now