Ever tried setting up your router table with a steel rule?  I’ve done it tonnes of times, and it is a compromise situation.  If you have a split fence, it is a right pain even finding the fence zero point with a basic steel rule.  If the fence is solid, you still have to ensure the rule is square to the fence.  So that is how it is done in a lot of workshops, and yes, you can set up the fence that way.  The question is, how do professionals do it?

One workshop created their own rule on a CNC machine, and used it successfully for years in the gilding and picture framing business on complicated moulding setups, before deciding it might actually be something that the wider woodworking community might actually be interested in.

The basic premise is a transparent rule called a CutSetter with clearly defined markings, and the reference plane is not a thin edge of a rule, but the full side.  Each mark position is offset so there is no chance of getting mixed up with which line you are reading off.  It only measures to a maximum of 100mm from the fence, but that describes 99% of all setups.  The interesting part of this is the reference points.  The fence is long (obviously), as is the edge of the rule that references off it.  What it is measuring to is the tip of the router bit, and the markings are also basically a point reference.  Simple, smart.

CutSetter - Setting Fence Position

The other benefit of a long edge against the fence is that it makes it very obvious if the two halves of the fence are in line.  Or, if they are not intended to be in line, the markings at the edge allow you to choose the amount of offset.

Aside: A rule has the measurements start from the end, whereas a ruler has a gap between the end and the measurements

Setting Fence Depth - Through Ruler Reading

Setting Bit Height

The above-two photos show the router-fence distance and height accurately set.

It is a very quick and easy tool to use, and often will be all that is needed to set up your router table, and repeat setups.  I like this tool – it is simple, and does the job it is designed for.

5 Responses

  1. I think I’ll be getting one of these once they come out with the retro version.

    You know, the non-metric version 🙂

    Did you have the opportunity to look at both the professional and the standard versions? I was just curious if filling in the markings made a significant difference in the usability. I would imagine it would, but sometimes things turn out differently than you’d think.


    • Imperial version is being made as I write – only a week or so for 1st prototype.

      WRT pro vs norm- not sure- I have pro version , but no doubt the std ver is perfectly functional.

      • I’m volunteering to review it for them 🙂

        Of course, I don’t get nearly enough visitors to justify that, but it is a nice thought 🙂

        I saw on the site that an imperial version was forthcoming but I didn’t see a date on it. Nice to know it’ll be soon.

  2. Adding this to the Xmas List.. Thanks for posting info on this seriously useful tool.

  3. […] CutSetter came out of a need in a moulding manufacturing shop, and as discussed on here previously (here, and here) has been developed into a commercial product.  Recently, GizmoWiz (who make the […]

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