1.Why should I spend almost as much on this edge-guide as I did on the router?

Micro Fence is a lot more than just an edge-guide. It is the only edge-guide that puts a dependable and repeatable measuring capability on a hand-held router. It is an extremely versatile system capable of a wide range of tasks, both straight, circular, and elliptical. The micrometer dial provides horizontal measurements in thousandths-of-an-inch like those found on production milling machines. A simple “dial-the-difference” method of measurement eliminates the time wasted by the trial and error adjustments necessary with conventional guides. This means that set-ups are reduced to their most efficient possible form. Given the quality of the tools construction (all stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and acetal plastic) and the fact that the tool can be adapted to virtually any router or laminate trtimmer, the Micro Fence is actually an exceptional value. The Micro Fence Edge-Guide is the only Edge-Guide on the market that adapts to different brands of routers, making it the only Edge-Guide you’ll need for any router you’ll ever own.

2. Why is the Micro Fence referred to as a “system”?

There are three major components or “building blocks” of the Micro Fence product line: the basic Edge-guide, the Circle Jig attachment and either one of our Plunge Bases. Each provides unique task capabilities, but all share a common mounting assembly, making the Micro Fence more of a system than a singular tool. In addition, all components have a number of accessories that serve to increase the system’s versatility.

3. Do I have to buy a different edge-guide for each router I own?

No. You can purchase one edge-guide and adapt it to other makes and models of routers simply by purchasing a separate mounting bar. Micro Fence is the only edge-guide system that can be used with almost every router and or trimmer on the world market today (we currently fit over 65 makes and models and are adding more all the time).

4. What are the units of calibration on the dial?

Each mark represents one-thousandth of an inch (.001). Each complete revolution equals fifty thousandths (.050). Ten turns, for example, would move the fence .500 or 1/2″, five turns .250 or 1/4″, etc. For convenience, an easy-to-use decimal / fractional / metric equivalency chart is included with each Micro Fence unit.

5. When working in wood, why would you want the kind of accuracy Micro Fence can provide?

You may not need the full measure of accuracy that Micro Fence offers in every instance. The primary intent of Micro Fence’s inventors was to provide an edge-guide that offers measurement at all! The Micro Fence provides the easiest, most efficient, and repeatable method of router set-up available, simply because of its precise measuring capability.

There is the old paradigm: since wood moves, it seems foolish to work to tight tolerances. This movement, however, demands that some tolerance be included. Micro Fence provides a way to do it by measurement,  (when dadoing for under-size plywood, cutting mortise and tenon joints, or making sliding dovetails). Furniture and cabinetmaking are largely based on joinery… good joinery is based on accurate measurement.

Cabinet and furniture makers are well aware how small dimensional errors are compounded as assembly progresses. A minor discrepancy at one point can become major as successive cuts are made. Accurate milling at all stages of construction minimizes assembly difficulties. Wood, obviously, is not always dimensionally-stable but beginning with accurately milled components minimizes discrepancies.  Micro Fence offers the measuring capabilities that allow you to “start at the right place.” Appropriate tolerances can be accomplished by measurement rather than trial and error.

Like rhythm and pitch in music, tight joints are expected in fine craftsmanship. Micro Fence enables you to produce them with a minimum effort. The resulting quality is instantly recognizable by those who view your craft.

6. Is the Micro Fence useful for only “fussy” and dimensionally-critical work like inlays?

Absolutely not. Again, this edge-guide was designed to facilitate efficient set-ups by measurement. When used correctly, Micro Fence offers superior capability in any woodworking task accomplished with an edge-guide. In addition to inlay, you may work mortises, dadoes, rabbets, hinge and lock installations, fluting, edge profiling, V-Grooving, drawer construction, laminate trimming, reproducing set-ups, and many more applications.

7. Will the Micro Fence cut circles?

The Micro Fence Edge Guide comes with a set of “half-round” bumpers, (or inserts), that will follow curved or circular edges when installed on the end of the fence body. The “half-rounds” are used in place of the straight-line wooden fences which are also supplied with each unit. Our Center Bar & Outboard Levelers Kit makes your Edge Guide into a small circle Jig for radii from approx: 1/2 inch to 9 inches.

Our Circle Jig Attachment was designed to cut the circle itself. It is available as an accessory to Micro Fence, called the Circle Jig Attachment, or as a completely separate tool called the Circle Jig Complete.

8. How big of a circle will the Circle Jig cut?

Approximately 6″ on the low end up to just over 48″ as it comes from the factory. This will vary slightly depending on which router and bit you are using. We also offer 24″ and 36″ rods that provide larger diameters (up to 12′). As an alternative to the longer rods, a plan for a shop-made extension is described in the instruction booklet that comes with the Circle Jig.

9. What is the difference between the Circle Jig Attachment and the Circle Jig Complete?

Our Circle Jig Complete (CJC) includes it’s own mounting bar and guide shafts that make it an independent and “stand alone” tool. The Circle Jig Attachment (CJA), is an accessory to our Edge Guide and slides onto the mounting assembly in place of the Edge Guide body (micrometer unit). The CJA makes it possible to purchase both the Edge Guide and Circle Jig without the duplication of components.

10. Is the Circle Jig only good for cutting circles, or can you do more things with it?

We include an aluminum fence that can be mounted under either of the Circle Jig’s trammel bars so that you can reference from a previous cut to do parallel dadoes. It is useful for making shelving units, drawer dividers, dentil moldings or repetitive cuts for any reason. Our new Ellipse Jig works in conjunction with the Circle Jig for ellipse and oval cutting. All of our Clamp Interface Packages require the micrometer portion of the Circle Jig.

11. Do I have to drill a pilot hole when I’m cutting a circle?

Yes, but you have some alternatives. One is to turn your work piece upside down. (There is a spike on one end of our trammel pin that is only 3/8″ long. You will not have to drill all the way through most materials, thus leaving the top of your work hole-free). Another option is to cut your circle from an inexpensive material and use it as a template with a flush-cut router bit to make a copy. Using our Vacuum Center Assembly, of course, eliminates the need for a pilot hole altogether.

12. Can I use my portable compressor for the Vacuum Assembly?

Yes, as long as it has an operating pressure of 80 to 100 psi to achieve adequate suction (usually 1HP or more).

13. If I buy the Ellipse Jig do I have to buy the Circle Jig too?

Yes. The Ellipse Jig Package is an accessory to the Circle Jig.

14. Is there any advantage in ordering from the factory direct?

The basic Micro Fence Edge Guide and Circle Jig attachment are available through a number of tool catalogs and dealers. These outlets usually stock our most popular models. Prices are the same as the direct prices. The main advantages of ordering direct are the composite packages available only through the factory and the full inventory of all parts and accessories that are not carried by any of the dealers or catalogs. There is always something to be said too for having the tool developer’s knowledge available to help in selecting the best equipment that’s suited to your needs. Factory orders are usually  shipped same day.

15. Is there a dealer in my area?

If you wish to see our product before purchasing, check with us to determine if there is a stocking dealer near you. Call us at 800.480.6427 or email us at microfence@microfence.com.

16. Why is your edge-guide any better than the other makes that are available?

First and foremost, other edge-guides, all manufactured by OEM’s as accessories to their routers, do not offer the measuring capabilities that Micro Fence does. Secondly, other edge-guides are not interchangeable with other makes of routers. Thirdly, they do not adapt to laminate trimmers. Most, if not all, edge guides are too heavy and are not as well balanced as Micro Fence. Lastly, Micro Fence is in a class by itself with regard to the quality of its materials and engineering. It is we believe, the finest edge-guide available.

17. Is there a warranty?

Yes. Lifetime on all Micro Fence manufactured parts.

18. Can I use the Micro Fence with a laminate trimmer? How does it adapt to fit a laminate trimmer?

Yes, you can use the Micro Fence Edge-Guide or Circle Jig with virtually any laminate trimmer. We find that the combination of the Micro Fence with a trimmer is perfect for any light-duty work like hinge mortising, inlay, lock installation, light edge profiling, V-Grooving, etc.

To adapt your trimmer to fit the edge-guide you will need two specific accessories: a Model “A” mounting bar and the appropriate Sub-Base Assembly that replaces the manufacturer’s base and provides points of attachment for the fence. We have designed all the Sub-Bases so that they accept the Model “A” Mounting Bar.

19. Can you recommend any good books that explain the use of an edge-guide?

The following quality books include valuable information on the use of router edge-guides:

Hylton, Bill and Matlack, Fred — Woodworking with the Router, Professional Router Techniques and Jigs Any Woodworker Can Use, Rodale Books, Emmaus, PA, distributed by Reader’s Digest Association; ISBN 0762102276

Best all-around book available on using the router in woodworking. Coverage includes routers, bits, making joints, frame-and-panel work, cutting curves and circles, template work, and much more. Paperback, 344pp. $19.95

Hylton, Bill — Router Magic, Reader’s Digest Association; ISBN: 0762101857. Paperback, 312pp. $18.95

Kirby, Ian — The Accurate Router, Quick Setups and Simple Jigs, Cambrium Press, Bethel, CT, distributed by Lyons Press, NY, NY, 1998. ISBN 0-9643999-7-0.

Warner, Pat — The Router Book, A Complete Guide to the Router and its Accessories, The Taunton Press, Inc., Newtown, CT, 2001. ISBN 1-56158-423-1

Warner, Pat — Fast, Easy & Accurate Router Jigs, Popular Woodworking Books, an imprint of F&W Publications, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, 1999. ISBN 1-55870-486-8 (alk. paper).

Warner, Pat — Getting the Very Best From Your Router, Betterway Books, an imprint of F&W Publications, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, 1999. ISBN 1-55870-399-3 (alk. paper).

Warner, Pat — The Router Joinery Handbook, Popular Woodworking Books, an imprint of F&W Publications, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, 1999. ISBN 1-55870-444-2 (alk. paper)

20. How can I get one of your catalogs?

To have a copy of our most recent catalog, you can send us an email at microfence@microfence.com or call us at 800.480.6427. As of January 2013, we will offer all of our video content free online at this website. We will no longer have copies to mail out.