Do I have to center stock on machine~?
No. But you need to zero the machine on the part of your stock that you designed it (e.g., bot-left, center, top-left, etc.)
You can place the work anywhere on the operating range. You can use a straight bit to line up the stock because it has to be square to the router. Some people use a fence, some use L brackets that are attached to your waste board. Some use painters tape and CA glue to secure your work but use your router bit jogged and a line drawn so you can secure your work to the spoil board.
These clamping aids were made with popular, fences MDF and spoil board MDF. The L brackets are popular. All my clamps and brackets have been made with oak as well. When a clamp gets damaged I just throw it away and have plenty of spares.
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