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Advice for router table build

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Rookiecutter

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I am currently building my first router table. It has a 910mm x 400mm top surface, I currently have two 12mm MDF sheets cut to size for it. I wanted to top that with something.

Would a plastic sheet be any good? Does anyone have experience of using a plastic sheet as a router table top?
 

Droogs

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You could use aluminium sheet like below. I have a 3 piece wooden insert lined up with the exact centre of my router chuck to help line things up and have 4 different styles of fence depending on what I intend to do. Not shown here, I have since routed T track for fence adjustment and also along the front for a mitre gauge

AliRtrTop.jpg
 

Rookiecutter

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You could use aluminium sheet like below. I have a 3 piece wooden insert lined up with the exact centre of my router chuck to help line things up and have 4 different styles of fence depending on what I intend to do. Not shown here, I have since routed T track for fence adjustment and also along the front for a mitre gauge

View attachment 109888
I have read about aluminium oxidising and subsequently marking your work piece.

Has that been an issue? Or have you found a solution to it
 

Droogs

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The surface of Ali is in a naturally oxidized state unless you have just sanded it. when i made the top I waited until the end and gave it a going over with the ROS, starting at 220 and worked up to 400 then just gave it a good couple of coats of spray Boshield T9, 12 hours apart and that was 3 years ago and have had no problems at all. My workshop is in an old rope hanger about 60 yds from the Forth Estuary and the North Sea
 

Hornbeam

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My router table has a 9mm PVC based engineering plastic top (free from work) which is bonded down to an 18mm birch ply sub-base.
400mm is quite small for the depth. I would go to at least 600mm
I think most router tables, mine included dont allow enough room behind the cutter. All fine for routing edges but not if you want to rout grooves etc
Ian
 

Rookiecutter

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It is mainly going to be used for edging but that is a good point. I don't think I'm going to permanently fix the top, to allow for changes in the future.

Would you mind being more specific about what type of top you used @Hornbeam. There are so many varieties on the market.
 

TheTiddles

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All aluminium is surface oxidised, you can remove it but it re-oxidises in milliseconds, sanding it is just polishing it really.

You can stick plastic to boards with contact adhesive, I had 2mm PVC on MDF for several years and it worked just fine.

Your top sounds quite shallow for anything other than edge routing

Aidan
 

JobandKnock

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You could always try stainless steel. The stiffvthey sell hor kitchen splashbacks is very affordable and often comes bonded onto MDF
 

Hornbeam

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I have had 2 proper router tables
The first was 15mm solid tufnol with a 6mm mild steel insert plate
My current one has the plastic on birch ply.I have no idea what the plastic is other than we use it for table wear plates. It has very good abrasion resistance but can scratch easily from a sharp point.
The plastic was exactly the same thickness as the T track so I just cut the pieces to size on the table saw and fitted the T tracks between. The only machining was to fit the router plate
one of the advantages of having a very large site engineering shop is the availabilty of seconds and offcuts.
For your fence you can either go for one where the whole fence moves back and forward or have it pivoting from one end.
The advantage of pivoting is that assuming the cutter is halfway along the fence, them 1mm of movement at the end is only 1/2mm at the cutter.
If you have a fence that slides back and forward look at setting up a fine adjuster. There are some images of my set up on this thread



Ian
 

6x4

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When I changed from a commercially made one to my own make I looked at Tufnol, fireback laminate etc. and ended up with ......... Formica, laminated onto 2 x 19 mm sheets. I don’t like mdf in general but in this case it’s the most stable, the Formica laminate is on top AND bottom of course. With the contact adhesive, get (and sacrifice if required) a roller to avoid bumps in distribution and all is well I use an Incra plate and the slight Formica texture provides a slicker surface than the anodised plate. Oh and you have a lively selection of colours to choose from.
Phil
 

Chris Young

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Hi folks,
I use a Triton Router table and router which I find very satisfactory - and of course, portable for jobs away from base.
At the moment I am building an organ case, using some wonderful old pitch-pine from a reclaim yard nr Wisbech, machined into 50mm square section.
I have had a problem with creating beading for the panelling on the router from 20mm square. No matter how I try to control the speed of passing the wood between the the cutter, there always seem to be places where the cutter has bit more deeply than others so making the strip unusable.
Would I be better cutting the beading onto a larger piece (say 20mm x 80mm) then cutting off on the table-saw or is there a device by which I can control speed through the cutter?
Chris Young
 

Droogs

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Do a search on the site for this phrase "powerfeed for router table" several threads will come up
 

Spectric

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there always seem to be places where the cutter has bit more deeply than others so making the strip unusable.
When doing mouldings on long runs I use the Jessem stock guides to hold the wood down, JessEm Clear Cut Stock Guides and Kreg featherboards to hold the wood against the fence. With decent cutters, the right router speed and a steady workpiece feed I get good results.
 

6x4

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Is everything featherboarded within an inch of its life? Does the outfeed side of the work have capacity to move toward the fence/tilt/fall once the bead is cut, if so would an approx negative profile on the outfeed side help support this? Is it even that the work is vibrating when it encounters your beading cutter in a wide fence opening, if so would a sacrificial fence help?
 

Spectric

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You need to look at the profile, if what is supporting the workpiece as it enters the cutter is removed during the cut then you have no support on the outfeed. With simple rebates and the like it is easy to provide outfeed support, with more complex profiles this can become more difficult and I had a case where I had to make a block that supported the workpiece on its two outside faces as it left the cutter, think of a tunnel.
 

recipio

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You need to look at the profile, if what is supporting the workpiece as it enters the cutter is removed during the cut then you have no support on the outfeed. With simple rebates and the like it is easy to provide outfeed support, with more complex profiles this can become more difficult and I had a case where I had to make a block that supported the workpiece on its two outside faces as it left the cutter, think of a tunnel.
Very true. I have an old Veritas steel table and while it is functional it is a hassle to make shims to stick on the outfeed side for rounding over cuts in narrow stock and so on. Jessem sell a lovely TA fence with inbuilt outfeed adjustment for about £380 - another thing to save for. 😲
 

paulm

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Used formica on mdf for mine many years back, works very well and easy enough to do, biggest challenge was finding somewhere to get the formica from !
 

Spectric

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recipio

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