In Tools

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Tool: Micro Plunge Base

Manufacturer: Micro Fence

Price: $300

The term “precision” tends to be thrown around with impunity, but in this case, it’s warranted. Imagine gene-splicing a micrometer with a plunge base, and then shrinking it; that’s the new Micro Plunge Base from Micro Fence. It’s a miniature version of their standard Precision Plunge Base – made for compact routers – and miniaturized it. Combined with an Edge Guide (shown here, but only available as an accessory), the Micro Fence system oozes quality.

For intricate inlay work, detailed mouldings, small hardware installation, guitar and luthier work, and scale model building, even a compact router can seem unwieldy. The Micro Plunge Base is sized for use with high-speed rotary tools like Dremel and Proxxon. Each requires a different collar/adapter to fit the base.

The base alone is just 1.6 lbs. Outfitted with the cordless Dremel 8200, it weighs in at just under 3 lbs. So it’s easy to manage, yet has a substantial feel.

Operation, though it looks complex, is quite simple. One of the handles locks or releases the plunge mechanism. Gross depth adjustment is accomplished with the depth stop rod. The rod’s end contacts a rotating turret which has detents for 1/32″, 1/16″, and 1/8″ depth settings. Lock the depth stop rod in place, and dial in to .001″ accuracy using the micrometer dial.

The Micro Plunge Base includes one acrylic insert for your particular tool, one LED light that mounts in the base, a driver for assembly and adjustment, and a sample bottle of spindle oil.

There are a number of optional accessories available for purchase. The base plate is recessed to accommodate an insert that holds a standard router guide bushing. Micro Fence makes a set of precision guide bushings as well. Another optional accessory is automatic centering bearings, which mount in drilled and tapped holes in the base plate. This allows you to instantly center a cut on parts up to about 3″ wide.

The small bits used in a high speed rotary tool don’t create a lot of dust, but you can purchase a dust shroud that fastens with thumb screws.

Micro Fence’s Edge-Guide – also equipped with a micrometer-style adjustment – and Circle Jig Attachments both work with the Micro Plunge Base. If you already own the Edge-Guide or Circle Jig, you’ll need a special adapter plate to fit them to the Micro Plunge Base.

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