If you own an
TS-III Precision Table Saw Fence System one option you may wish to
consider is a router table wing and fence for your table saw. For those
who are shop space challenged installing your router in the space already
occupied by your table saw extension wing may be just what you need to
free up valuable floor space for that planner or jointer you've been
Woodpeckers Inc. -
www.woodpeck.com sells a variety of router table
extension wings (RTEW) to fit your needs as well as Incra's Wonder Fence
precision router fence system. In this article we'll take a look at the
21" left side RTEW with phenolic insert and the WFULTRA version of the
Wonder Fence. Thanks to Woodpecker's and Incra for providing these items
What's in the box?
begin with the RTEW. We are installing our table on the left side of the
saw. The table itself is 21"x28" and is constructed from 1" thick MDF
which is laminated both sides with a matte white high pressure laminate
which brings the final thickness to 1 1/8th inches. The table is edge
banded with white plastic edging. Included in the package are four
brackets to be used to mount the RTEW to the TS-III rails, phenolic insert
with four aluminum spacer rings, stiffener rails, hardware and
The installation is quite simple and shouldn't take you more than an
hour, if even that. The first step is to remove the left wing of your
table saw. I installed the RTEW on a Jet contractors saw. Since I had
previously installed the TS-III rails exactly per instructions, they did
not have to be adjusted at all for this installation.
the extension wing is removed, mount the RTEW brackets to the rails (black
bracket in photo at left). This is accomplished by using the supplied
T-nuts. The hardware kit contains two sizes of washers, choose the larger
ones for this operation (left). Just assemble the hardware, slide four
sets into the channel on both the front and back rails slip the brackets
onto the hardware behind the washers (right).
the outer brackets with the end of the rail and snug but don't tighten
(left). Position the inner brackets about 2" from the saw table and again
snug but don't tighten. These may have to be moved a bit left or right to
avoid interference with the stiffeners we are going to install next and
also moved vertically to level the table.
The insert cutout is off-centered in the
table. Place the table upside down on the brackets with the widest part of
the insert offset towards the left or outside of the saw. Place one
stiffener bar about an inch from the left side of the table and drill
pilot holes for the screws (right). I used some blue tape on my drill bit
to set the depth of the holes and to assure that I didn't drill all the
way through. Once the holes are drilled you can screw down the stiffener.
Do the same for the other stiffener placing it about an inch or so to the
outside of the left edge of the insert cutout.
You may now have to adjust the bracket or stiffener locations to avoid
interference. Once the stiffeners are installed, flip the table over.
last step you'll need your drill for is attaching the brackets to the
underside of the table. From this vantage point make sure the brackets and
stiffeners don't interfere with each other and then again use some tape as
a depth guide on your bit and drill your pilot holes. I drilled one pilot
hole per bracket and secured each with a screw, made sure everything
looked ok, and then went back and finished the bracket installation
Now we can fix
the final position of the table and brackets. I used a 36" rule and set
the table level, front and back, to my saw's table (right). Also at this
time make sure that the RTEW is flush up against your table saw.
is possible that your table is not exactly flat and sags. Check for this
using your straight edge as shown at left. If the table does sag a bit,
simply loosen the middle screw on the stiffener and insert a spacer like a
piece of card stock which is about the thickness of the sag. Once you
retighten the screw the spacer will force the table flat. The detailed
directions for this operation are included in the instructions. I did not
have to adjust my table in this manner as it was flat.
The router insert coutout opening is 8.25"x10.75" with the size of the
insert being an inch larger at 9.25"x11.75". This is more than large
enough to take my Triton which measures 12" handle to handle.
3/8" black phenolic insert rests on a rabbet in the MDF table top (above).
To facilitate leveling, the insert has 8 leveling set screws. Adjust each
a little at a time and remember that when you adjust one screw to raise
the insert, the opposite side often gets lower so you have to go back and
forth until you get the insert level and stable.
With the RTEW installed let's hold off on installing the router until
after we finish the Wonder Fence.
What's in the box. Part Deux!
the RTEW, the Wonder Fence came well packed and undamaged. The WFULTRA kit
comes with two gold anodized aluminum fence halves w/scales, two gold cap
braces, two black finished aluminum fence cap pieces, dust port, hex
driver and all the hardware necessary to install the Wonder Fence to your
TS-III fence. As with the TS-III the hardware is neatly packaged by
operation which makes this simple assembly even simpler.
of the fence is easy. Simply use the supplied hex driver to loosen the two
screws located behind the large holes if the front of the fence
(right). To make it easier, Incra has designed the fence with sight holes
(below). Just loosen the thumb screw, slide the cover and it's easy to
insert the hex driver into the cap head screw.
Once the fence is installed it is time to check for alignment. In the
photo (below left) you can see that the fence is off by a little bit.
Following the instructions I loosened the infeed side wedge locking screw
and inserted the supplied shims behind the wedge (below middle). As luck
would have it I guess right the first time and the fence was now square
(below right). Repeat this for the outfeed side as well.
you've adjusted the fence square, you can zero the offsets by aligning the
wedges so that they are even and then sliding the pointer and locking it
into the zero position.
For the last bit of assembly, install the
cap braces by sliding the T-nuts into the TS-III fence and attaching the
black High Rise Cap pieces.
For the last alignment use a square to position the High Rise Cap flush
with the front of the fence.
The completed Wonder Fence (below).
last thing you may want to do is to make a sacrificial fence so you can
have zero clearance for those times you need it. Directions for making
this fence are included in the instructions. I made mine from 3/4" MDF.
The marker lines remind me where the aluminum Wonder Fence is. I've
separated the fence so that I have plenty of room to bury my bits.
Installing the Router
the fence completed it's time to install the router. Woodpecker will drill
your insert and provide mounting screws for the router you request. I was
quite surprised to learn that they could drill for my 3hp Triton. The
drill pattern was perfect but they supplied screws for a PC and not the
Triton so off to the hardware store I went.
The screw holes are counter bored vise counter sunk so if you have to
supply your own screws you'll need cap or pan head. As I stated earlier
the insert is 3/8" thick and after 3 months the insert has not sagged at
all under the weight of this heavy router.
Tip - Installing the
If after tightening the 4 mounting screws you find
that your height adjustment is no longer smooth or even doesn't work
at all it is because the bushing on the Triton's posts are binding. If
there is any imperfections in either the Triton's base or the insert
this may occur. It is caused by the bushings being a very tight fit to
To remedy this you can shim the base of the router. You will find
instructions for this in the RTEW instructions.
Triton is aware of this and has already redesigned the bushings. When
Triton officially releases the fix I will be having it retrofit to my
router and will report on the outcome.
This problem did happen to me on both the RTEW and my own router
insert includes four zero clearance (more accurately minimal clearance)
insert rings to allow you to reduce choose the right one for the bit in
The ring sizes are 1", 2", 3" and the fourth sized for PC guide bushings.
They are aluminum and are secured by four screws.
That's it, we're ready to rout.
Before we get into making sawdust there
are a couple more features of the fence which I haven't previously touched
upon or mentioned in passing.
Wonder Fence also includes sliding scales. At left you can see where I've
zeroed them for use with the sacrificial fence.
The Wonder Fence also comes equipped with same Incremental Racks as the
TS-III. These racks (right) are used to secure and align stops as well as
being used with Incra's
half of the fence can be offset either forward or back. Each index
repersents 2/1000ths. For jointing operations you can either offset the
outfeed fence out or the infeed fence back. In this case I offset the
outfeed fence out by an index of 2 or a measurement of 4 thousandths
(left). This is accomplished by inserting your hex driver in the
small holes in the fence face,
loosening the screws and sliding the black outer half of the wedge in
either the + or - direction. If you look closely to the photo at the right
you can see the gap between the fence and straight edge (click on the
photo to enlarge).
The offset feature can also be used when routing a profile where the
completed profile is no longer in the same plane as the infeed side of the
piece. Simply cout a couple of inches of the profile on a test piece and
turn off the router. Lay the unfinished part of the piece against the
infeed fence and adjust the outfeed side until the fence touches the
Wonder Fence has very good dust collection but with the fence halves
butted together the dust port will not extend over the rear fence rail
(left). Rotating it vertical and attaching the hose works well (right).
The Wonder Fence and RTEW in use:
use the fence and table combination work well together. Also the
combination of the Wonder Fence and the Triton Router provide outstanding
dust collection. With my shop vac connected to the Triton and the 2 1/2"
hose from my DC connected to the Wonder Fence the dust grabbing
performance rivals that of my enclosed router table.
I used the fence to joint an edge on a board and it worked fine.
Woodworkers who have a jointer might find this operation a bit tedious but
if you don't have a jointer this method will suffice. Offseting the fence
as described above in "Features" for routing a profile prevented the usual
snipe I get when performing this operation. If you use a straight fence
often once there is no longer any material on the infeed side the last bit
of the profile can be ruined. The High Rise Cap worked well (see above
left) and was actually quite ridgid, much to my surprise. It was also easy
to re-align after the addition of my sacrificial fence.
The router insert also worked well and there was no vibration. The edges
of the phenolic insert are beveled so that you work will not catch when it
transitions from the table to the insert. The red aluminum spacer rings
will not cause a catch either but that is because they sit about 3/64"
below the insert. The rings are about 4.125" in diameter so this could be
a problem with short or delicate work pieces. It is fairly easy however to
shim the rings with masking tape.
change I made to my TS-III was to use the sliding positioners which were
included with the fence and set them so that they act as stops for a mid
position on the rails. I set them so that the TS-III fence would be 16"
from the saw blade. This allows me to leave the fence there for most
operations and still be able to reach the router without having to
reposition the Ultra jig base assembly. This greatly simplifies "bouncing"
between router and saw. Incra sells a steel 16" precision scale which
works great for saw indexing while you utilize the 32" scale for router
If you are short on space and can't have a dedicated router table or if
you want to take advantage of your TS-III precision and add the Joinery
Package to what I've looked at here, the Wonder Fence and RTEW will serve
you well. Utilizing the TS-III's precision set up it was easy to dial in
the required fence position. I also was able to use the extra scales
included with the TS-III to make precise positioning a snap. The Wonder
Fence scales make it easy to use Incra's Shop Stop and the dust collection
The only item on the Wonder Fence that I would have liked to see
constructed differently was the dust extraction elbow. I think it should
have been sized to extend beyond the rear rail.
There were three minor issues with the RTEW. The first being that the
spacer rings need to be shimmed as mentioned above in "Use". The second
being the incorrect router screws which caused me an hour's round trip to
the hardware store. And the last thing is really a nit. The seam for the
edge banding on the table is smack dab in the middle of the left side of
the table....right where one would rub up against it while using the
router. In time I would expect this to lift a bit and catch on your
clothing or belt buckle.
Since I'm kind of an unorganized woodworker I found myself needing to
bounce between the router and table saw more than once during a project
and because of that I perfer a dedicated table. Removing the Wonder Fence
from the TS-III fence for these ocasions was very easy and required using
the hex driver to loosen 4 screws and slide the Wonder Fence off the
TS-III. Beacuse I have moved the position of the Ultra Jig base assembly I
was able to use the saw without any further fence adjustement. Then when I
finished the cut, I just slide the Wonder Fence halves onto the TS-III and
repositioned it. So even if you are unorganized like myself, it really is
pretty trival to switch back and forth and certainly a good trade to gain
the precision of the TS-III.
Or I suppose I could just do a better job of planning :)
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