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Tune Up Your Router Table for Success
A flat and sturdy router table makes routing safer and more accurate, but you may not realize it until something goes wrong. The good news is that you can give your router table a simple checkup to find and correct any problems. The payoff will be better-looking joints and edges. This month we share tips you can use to maximize your router table’s potential.
Check for Flatness
A flat table is a big factor in getting accurate cuts when routing. You can easily check the flatness of the top with a straightedge. You’ll want to check across the center of the table, from side to side and front to back.

The problem with even a slight dip is that workpieces can “bridge” the hollow spot without contacting the table. That means a shallower cut in the middle of a long workpiece, which can result in joinery that doesn’t fit quite right. If you find that your table isn't flat, a simple solution is to attach bracing under the table to keep it flat and rigid.

Check for Flush
Another thing to check, using a straightedge, is that the plate is flush with the tabletop at all four corners. If it isn’t, the workpiece can catch on the edge of the plate or recess. There are some easy fixes for this. If your plate sits in a rabbeted opening, you can shim the plate with tape if it sits low, or make the rabbet deeper if the plate sits high. 
Level the Plate
The ultimate option for adjusting the router plate is to purchase a set of levelers. They fasten to the underside of the table. Then long set screws are adjusted up or down to “dial in” the height of the plate. Commercial levelers (like Kreg Precision Insert-Plate Levelers) make it easy to keep the plate flush with the top.
Miter Slot
A miter slot is a handy feature that lets you use featherboards and sleds, and make angled cuts with a miter gauge. When it comes time to use a miter gauge or sled, you’ll want to check for a good fit in the miter slot. The goal is the have a smooth, sliding fit without any side-to-side play. If the miter bar is a little loose, you can shim it with aluminum tape from an auto parts store. If it’s too tight, simply file or sand the bar lightly until it fits.
Flat & Straight Fence
A flat, straight router table fence is key to getting accurate, repeatable results. You can use a metal straightedge to check the fence. It’s easy to check a single-face fence for flatness. If you find gaps, you may be able to flatten it using shims. Otherwise, the face can be replaced.
Square to the Table
Another key requirement for a fence is that it has to be square to the tabletop. Like the top, the fence serves as a reference surface for the bit. Here again, if it’s not square, it can affect the accuracy of the cut. A small machinist’s square is a great tool for the job. If you find the face of the fence isn’t square, adjusting it or shimming it with a piece or two of tape on the underside may be all you need to bring it square.
Enjoy the Results
As you can see, it doesn't take much effort to give your router table a tune-up. After spending just a little bit of time, the results will show in your projects. Check out Kreg Routing Solutions for more ways to make any routing task safer and more enjoyable.
Farmhouse Table
Farmhouse Media Cabinet
Designer-Inspired Table
Clubhouse Loft Bed
Rustic Bathroom Vanity
Simple Two-Level Workbench
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