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Can you Mill Aluminum on a Woodworking Router?

I decided to build my own router fence out of aluminum which I cut & machined entirely with woodworking tools!

It's time to finish the built-in router table in my new workbench. In order to do that I have to install the safety paddle switch and come up with a fence. The power switch is an absolute must with any router table and, frankly, I should have done this during the original workbench construction.

I made the choice to make my own router fence for no other reason than I wanted to challenge myself. There are lots of great fence options that could work for this table design either as-is or with a simple modification of the T-bolt locations.

2 Great Options to Buy:

JessEM Router Fence -

Kreg Router Fence -

My fence design is centered around a piece of angled aluminum (3"x3"x0.188") that I cut down to 30" long. After marking out the locations of the various mounting holes, slots, and dust collection window - I get to work. Now drilling the holes and even cutting the part to length is easy, it's routing the slots and dust collection opening that is the challenging part! I chose to use my router to accomplish this but you could also simply drill a bunch of holes and smooth out the openings with a file. It would certainly take longer but would avoid the scary router part.

Some takeaways I learned: Go slow and avoid "climb-cutting!". Since the aluminum is much harder than wood the router bit will violently kick the part during a climb cut so you want to avoid that. I also found that a conventional straight sided bit worked well. I also experimented with an up-cut spiral flute bit but it did not end up cutting well in this configuration.

Workbench Plan Links:

Versatile Workbench Build Series -

Versatile Workbench Plans -

Versatile Workbench Plans (metric):

Smaller "Shmedium" Version Full Color Plans:

Links from the videos (affiliate links help sponsor the channel!):

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3"x3" Angled Aluminum (3 ft long) -

Knurled Black Knobs with threads 1/4-20 -

Threaded Inserts 1/4-20 x 15mm deep (50-pack) -

Black T-Track (36") -

Black T-Track Screws -

PowerTec T-Bolt/Knob Kit 5/16" (4-pack) -

PowerTec T-Bolt/Knob Kit 1/4" (4-pack) -

110V Safety Power Switch -

Router Fence Dust Port -


Blue Sharpie -

Center Punch -

Scribe (2-pack) -

Countersink/Chamfer Bit Set -

Metal Countersink Bit Set -

Machinist Square (3-pack) -

Machinist Ruler -

Incra T-Rule (6-inch) -

Woodpeckers T-Squares -


T-Track Hold Down Clamps -

T-Bolt & Knob Kit -

T-Track Universal Stop Kit -

Featherboards (2-pack) -

PowerTec Router Bit Guard -

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