Here’s a great add-on for your Rockler Router Table, or an excellent starting point for a shop-made table: the new Rockler Deluxe Router Fence. Designed to fit any Rockler router table, the new Rockler fence gives you an extra-tall 8” vertical fence surface, and the added stability of a 5” tall, heavy duty aluminum support fence.
But wait a minute… Why would want taller router table fence? There's a simple answer. The added height gives you the support surface necessary to machine stock in a vertical position. The applications are numerous, ranging from cutting tenons, where the added 90 degree support helps insure squareness as well as making it easier to keep your hands out of the way of the bit, to edge-forming wide trim pieces, where the extra height makes keeping the stock in firm contact with the fence much easier and thereby facilitates a smooth, consistent cut.
Likely the best and most obvious use for the Rockler deluxe fence is cutting raised panels with a vertical raised panel bit. As many woodworkers have come to agree, vertical raised panel router bits are a safer, less power-hungry alternative to horizontal bits for profiling rectangular raised panels. But on the down side, the procedure can be a little touchy. To get a nice clean cut on the final pass, the panel has to be held in firm contact with a rock-solid vertical support throughout. The solid, one piece MDF facing that spans the entire length of the fence and the taller, more rigid aluminum supporting fence guarantee that the Rockler deluxe model will not flex or vibrate and spoil the cut.
With the added height and the assurance of a solid vertical support that the new fence brings, maintaining firm fence-contact with upended stock is easy. Because of that, you’ll be free to concentrate on other challenges, like preempting the pesky tendency of narrow panels to wobble from tip to tip while you run them through. Still, if you really want all the bases covered, consider adding a Rockler Double Featherboard, or upgrading the Rockler Table Featherboard you already own with the Double Featherboard Retrofit Kit. The double featherboard applies pressure higher up on the panel where it’s needed and makes constant contact with the fence throughout the cut just about impossible to avoid.
Best of all, the entire arrangement – the aluminum supporting fence, the split lower portion of the fence facing, and the double featherboard – sets up without tools or clamps. In the end, what you have is an efficient, reliable and affordable system for milling vertically oriented stock that you can have all set to go in a very refreshing 5 minutes or less.