As with the excellent Kreg PRS1010 fence, the JessEm 4010 Master Fence II improves upon the standard router table fence adjustment system which utilizes twin slots in the table top itself. Instead, the JessEm 4010 features a dual track fastening system that fits to the left and right sides of the table.
In addition, the tracks have built-in adjustable scales which clearly indicate how far forward the fence is positioned. They can be set for zero reference and facilitate easy, fast repeatable set ups. By track mounting the fence in this way, you are assured of a parallel set up at all times.
The fence measures 36″ long x 4″ high x 3-5/8″ deep and is constructed of precision machined 6061 red anodized aluminum with phenolic edge-banded laminated MDF sub fences, which can be adjusted tool free with locking knobs located on the backside of the fence. The fence has a scale running along the top face which is useful if you’re using the optional JessEm Fence Stop For Mast-R-Fence II and Rout-R-Fence.
The JessEm 4010 has two 1/4″ T-tracks running along the top above the sub faces which is used to mount the supplied chip guard as well as any other accessories you might want – JessEm’s own superb Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides would be my choice – and on the back there’s a dust extraction port that accepts both 2-1/4″ and 2-1/2″ vacuum hose fittings.
The Master Fence II is designed to fit all tabletops from 24″ to 32″ wide and from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″ thick (but in practice it will definitely fit a 1-3/4″ thick tabletop). It goes without saying that the JessEm 4010 is designed to be mounted to phenolic table tops – in theory you could mount it to a cast aluminum top, but I wouldn’t like to try it myself.
It also comes with a set of anodized aluminum outfeed shims which will offset the outfeed fence either 1/16″ or 1/32″ by flipping them over, so you can use it for jointing operations.
JessEm 4010 Master Fence II in Use
Not surprisingly, the JessEm 4010 has been designed to work straight out of the box with JessEm tabletops like the JessEm Mast-R-Top which come already predrilled to accept the fence mounting angle brackets. If you own another brand of table top you will have to drill the mounting holes on the underside of your table yourself. Once you have attached the angle brackets it’s simply a case of bolting the fence tracks to the brackets and leveling them flush to the table top.
The final step is to adjust the scales on the fence tracks – simply loosen the knurled nut underneath the fence track, adjust the scale and re-tighten the nut. Adjusting the scales allows you to set a zero reference point by adjusting the scales to “0” once your fence is in your desired position relevant to the router bit you are using.
Once it’s all set up we found the fence glides smoothly in the track and locks firmly with a twist of the lock down knobs. The dust extraction was also very effective.
Comparison with other high-end fences
If you’re in the market for a high-end router table fence, you’re most likely looking at the Kreg PRS1010 as well and maybe even the Incra LS25WFNCSYS
Both the Kreg and the Incra fences have a micro-adjustment feature. It’s an add-on with the Kreg but is an integral part of the Incra system. Both of these systems – particularly the Incra – allow you to make precise adjustments by turning the adjustment wheel.
By contrast, with the JessEm 4010 you are making adjustments by eye/hand with reference to the scales and you’re never going to get the same degree of control or accuracy. Whether you need that much is another matter, and for most routing jobs you won’t.
If you’re looking for a high-end after market router table fence that’s a well-made top quality piece of kit that’s designed to work perfectly with excellent JessEm routing accessories like the Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides and Fence Stop For Mast-R-Fence II and Rout-R-Fence, you should give the JessEm 4010 Master Fence II a serious look. Whilst not offering the micro-adjustable features of some other brands, the precision is a massive improvement over standard fences and is more than sufficient for the majority of routing jobs.