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JessEm, Router Table Accessories

Review: JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides

Review: JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides

Design9.5
Features9
Performance9.7
Ease of Use9.6
Value for Money9
9.4 out of 10
What's Hot?
  • Guide rollers angled 5° toward the fence, pulling the stock tightly against
  • Well made, smooth running and precise
  • Eliminates the need for a hold-in
  • One-direction rollers eliminate kickback
What's Not?
  • Stock must be wider than 1-1/2" to work
Bottom Line JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides are innovative roller-type hold-downs that mount in the T-track of your router table fence that are faster, easier, safer, and more flexible than traditional feather boards. With guide rollers angled at 5° toward the fence, they pull the stock tightly against it, eliminating the need for a hold-in. They're one of those tools that make you wonder what you ever did before you owned them.
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Introduction

The key to making perfect edge profiles on the router table is holding the stock securely against both the table and the fence at the same time while you are routing. The traditional way to do is this is to use a couple of featherboards – one attached to the fence and one inserted into the miter slot. Given the inherent limitations of the plastic combs on the featherboards, setting them up can be tedious. Jessem has simplified the procedure with innovative roller-style hold-downs that mount in the T-track of your router table fence – JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides.

Description

The system consists of a pair of guides – an infeed and an outfeed guide – that mount to any 1/4″ T-slot track. Each guide has a stainless steel mounting bolt and a pivoting lock bolt. The guides themselves have 2-3/4″ of total adjustment and obviously the height of your router table fence will determine the range of stock the guides will accommodate, but on most fences you will get a range from 0″ to around 2-1/2″ which is more than enough capacity for most jobs.

Another Great JessEm Product – They Work Perfectly!

The most important feature of the guides is the rubber-tire rollers which are angled inward 5° to keep stock tight to the fence, thus eliminating the requirement for a separate hold-in featherboard. In addition, the rollers only rotate in the feed direction preventing kickback.

Priced at $105 they may seem expensive at first glance but once you’ve seen the quality and experienced what they do for your router table work, not to mention how long they’ll last, the price won’t be a consideration.

Video: JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides in action

The video below clearly demonstrates how the JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides overcome two common problems encountered when using a router table:

Machining end grain on the short side of a board is challenging, especially since you can’t use a featherboard to hold in the stock.
Holding long boards against the fence when starting a cut is very difficult. The JESSEM guides act like an extra set of hands.

Watch the video to see how much easier both these tasks are with a set of the guides installed.

Once you’ve seen the JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides in use, they seem like an excellent investment that will last a lifetime for only $105. 

Advantages Over Traditional Featherboards

JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides have a number of advantages over traditional featherboards.

A key difference is the simplicity with which you set the height. Simply set your stock under each guide, press the guide down with slight pressure to ensure adequate friction, tighten the non-pivoting mounting bolt knob, then tighten the pivoting lock bolt knob. Finally, if routing similar sized stock for any prolonged period, you can secure the guides in place using the supplied allen wrench.

They eliminate the need for a hold-in, which is a major advantage. The rollers not only hold the stock to the table, but because the guide rollers are angled 5° toward the fence, they also pull the stock tightly against it.
You will achieve safer, smoother, more precise cuts because your work is always held firmly in position, even when using wide boards. When working with traditional featherboards, you are limited by the distance between the fence and the miter slot – typically not very far – and wide boards have to be manually held against the fence while the other hand feeds in the work.
Being constructed from a combination of solid CNC machined aluminum, case-hardened cold-rolled steel and stainless steel they are going to last a whole lot longer than traditional plastic featherboards, making them cheaper in the long run (as well as better, of course).

What if I use a shop-made fence?

No problem – you can take advantage of all the benefits of these roller guides even if you use a shop-made fence because JESSEM make a mounting kit specifically for this purpose.

Summary

It’s a complete no-brainer. If you want a well-made, quality product that’s faster, easier, safer, and more flexible than traditional feather boards, you need to get a set of JESSEM Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides. They’re built to JessEm’s usual high standard which means they’ll last forever and are one of that select category of tools that make you wonder what you ever did before you owned them.




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Chester is older than he likes to admit, a lifelong woodworker with a special interest in everything related to routers, router tables and router lifts in particular. His aim in life is to own everything made by the Kreg Tool Company, and his doctor says he's most likely addicted to anodized aluminum.