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Brass setup bars picture

Brass setup bars make it easy to accurately set the distance between the cutter and fence on your router table without damaging your carbide bit.  For example, if you want to set the distance to 5/16″, simply place the 3/16″ and 1/8″ bars together between the fence and the cutter.

I first saw these bars on my favorite woodworking show: the Router Workshop.  The show’s host, Bob Rosendahl, uses them extensively.  The set pictured above features five precision solid brass bars — 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ square, and 2-1/2″ long.  Of course, you can apply them singly or stack them together to create thicknesses between 1/8″ and 1-7/16″.

You can find brass blocks from numerous retailers, but this particular set is available via Amazon for $20 — $13 plus $7 shipping.

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3 Responses to Brass Setup Bars Make Accurate Router Setup Simple

  1. sean says:

    It seems to me like switching the 3/8″ for a 1/8″ and the 3/16″ for a 1″ would give you a lot more combinations — any measurement to the nearest 1/16″ between 1/16″ and 1 15/16″.

  2. Roscoe says:

    These are a huge time saver for repeatability in the woodshop.

    Sean- the 3/8″ bar is a pretty common one for a lot of guys- 1/2 of 3/4″ in ply or 1x stock makes a strong simple locking joint.

  3. Sean, there are other sets of bars available. For example, one set has 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 1/16″ x 3/4″, and 3/32″ by 1″. Notice a few of the bars aren’t square to get you a few more sizes.

    I’ve also seen sets of 5 with 2 sizes to a bar, but I think the square ones are easier to use, and make harder to screw up the measurement.

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