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Opinions: T-track inserts or DIY t-slots for router table?

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Pedropete

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As my new router table build sees more and more 'feature creep', I've decided I want to add some kind of t-track/slot system, particularly on the fence cheeks for stop-blocks and a cutter guard (still happy to just clamp my MDF feather boards in place though).

Keen to get opinions/experiences of either cutting your own t-slots with a dedicated cutter (Wealden do a few) or just buying some metric t-track from Axi and going the more polished route.

I appreciate that there's probably a durability consideration with cutting my own slots and that spreading the load with a tapped insert-plate rather than point-loading with a single t-nut/bolt would be preferable.

Thanks in advance of your generously shared wisdom :D
 

Lonsdale73

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Be aware that Axi's 'Universal' t-track isn't exactly universal. I bought some recently and lovely as they look they wouldn't accept any of my Festool or Bessey clamps that work perfectly with existing Incra, Rockler, Dakota and some of unknown origin.

And I don't say that as someone who might have a spare 1m length that they've been meaning to list in the for sale section.
 

LancsRick

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I like making jigs and mixing mechanics with woodwork, I can't deny it. The nicest t track I've found is the dovetail one from Otoro. Fine tools sells it online.
 

sunnybob

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I went through 3 home made router table designs before settling on the Mk4.

I've done the home made cuts, and the aluminium curtain track that looks the same but is cheaper. trust me, its not the same and it was wasted money.

I now have all UJK router table top accessories on my home made 1 metre square table.
T track for the UJK sliding fence, T track for hold down clamps and feather boards, and Sliding mitre track for my UJK mitre fence.
Its turned out to be more expensive than my plan "A" budgeted for, but I have absolutely no complaints and have just acquired the fence sliding clamp stops that make my table complete.

And its RED =D> =D> =D> 8) 8)
 

Hornbeam

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I think it depends upon the material for your table.
My first router table was made from solid 20mm tufnol so I simply routed dovetail slots in it
The current one is a plastic covered birch ply with aluminium t track. As well as screwing you can alway adhesive bond if you are worried about the track pulling out.
Also agree that not all t track is the same. I have 2 slightly different t inserts some fit some require a bit of fettling. I have 2 parallel tracks for mitre fence and tennoning jig, t track on both sides for fence adjustment. T track on fence for stops and hold-downs
Ian
 

Pedropete

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Lonsdale73":1afqftqg said:
Be aware that Axi's 'Universal' t-track isn't exactly universal. I bought some recently and lovely as they look they wouldn't accept any of my Festool or Bessey clamps that work perfectly with existing Incra, Rockler, Dakota and some of unknown origin.

And I don't say that as someone who might have a spare 1m length that they've been meaning to list in the for sale section.
I've a few Festool and Bessey rail clamps (screw and lever types) but can't say I'd considered using them on a router table. Is that the kind you mean?

Having thought more about the pros/cons of track inserts vs cut slots - particularly the durability/longevity factor - I'm leaning more towards the ready-made track insert option. And I get what you're all saying about the range of sizes, profiles available - some of the options are a bit vague on precise dimensions. I do like those Otoro dovetail tracks though
 

Lonsdale73

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Pedropete":1yhxa6h4 said:
Lonsdale73":1yhxa6h4 said:
Be aware that Axi's 'Universal' t-track isn't exactly universal. I bought some recently and lovely as they look they wouldn't accept any of my Festool or Bessey clamps that work perfectly with existing Incra, Rockler, Dakota and some of unknown origin.

And I don't say that as someone who might have a spare 1m length that they've been meaning to list in the for sale section.
I've a few Festool and Bessey rail clamps (screw and lever types) but can't say I'd considered using them on a router table. Is that the kind you mean?

Having thought more about the pros/cons of track inserts vs cut slots - particularly the durability/longevity factor - I'm leaning more towards the ready-made track insert option. And I get what you're all saying about the range of sizes, profiles available - some of the options are a bit vague on precise dimensions. I do like those Otoro dovetail tracks though
Yes. I'm down to the Bessey ratchet clamps now having sold the Festool ones. I've used them to secure stop blocks, sacrificial fences, featherboards and the like. I've incorporated them in MFT type benches to hold workpieces tight to the side, on a mitre station and now in the apron of my latest bench - one on the rop face and one on he side face so I can secure work pieces to either the worktop or the apron depending on the operation. And some leftover bits made a small table for my bench drill. This is nothing fancy - a £70 Silverline! - but it's amazing how much better it performs just by having a slight larger platform to support the workpiece and the facility to clamp it securely in place.
 

Hornbeam

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Im pretty sure they are metric as that is where I got mine from
ian
 

Droogs

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do be careful though, Banggood is a bit like the Lidl aisle of dreams and the land of Tir Na Nog. Once you get there times runs in a rather funny way. A 5 minute look turns into a 3 hour daze in the real world
 

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