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Anonymous

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Hi,

Some opinions on an idea I have had regarding a router-table top would be useful, please.

I am building a router-table and have got round to doing the top. I was going to use MDF, either varnished (for cheapness) or covered with plastic laminate (more expensive, but harder-wearing).

A thought has just struck me, though, and that is I have some left-over click-lock laminate flooring. It is very smooth, the joins are almost imperceptible and it is very hard wearing.

What do you reckon to covering the top with this? - I would glue it down with the boards joining parallel to the fence.

Howard
 
G

Guest

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I'd go with the laminate but cover BOTH sides, it will help prevent sag.A router is quite a weight and requires a very strong top to support it.
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Howard

I am just finishing the drawers for a New Yankee Workshop designed router table which recommends a laminate on top of two layers of MDF.

I couldn't find any laminate and so gave the top 5 coats of polyeurothane and it works really well. Very hard waring and smooth. Used it about 20 time so far with no marks left on the top after use.

I would have thought that laminate flooring would work well over MDF and you could put a breadboard edge around it as I have with mine
 
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Anonymous

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This may be pretty obvious but be careful not to make the table top too thick or you'll need to buy some extra long shanked bits! I put some foam as a lining on my table and it probably has some minor sound absorbent quality! Does anyone else do this?
 
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Anonymous

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KeithG":1aeysg47 said:
This may be pretty obvious but be careful not to make the table top too thick or you'll need to buy some extra long shanked bits! I put some foam as a lining on my table and it probably has some minor sound absorbent quality! Does anyone else do this?
Not an issue if you use an insert plate - mine is aluminium and only 6mm thick whilst the top is about 30mm thick :D
 

johnelliott

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The best stuff for router table tops that I've found so far is kitchen worktop. I use the 40mm thick stuff, and rout out a big recess so the router itself is only 10m from the surface. It provides a surface that is as near as dammit flat, and more importantly, has no steps. I've tried all sorts of insert plates and haven't yet found one that is sufficiently flat for my purposes.
Only problem with doing it my way is having to lower the router quite a long way to be able to get a spanner onto the collet

If you do use MDF, and no reason why you shouldn't, don't varnish it, polish it with some wax polish

John
 
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Anonymous

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johnelliott":32zyl4yt said:
If you do use MDF, and no reason why you shouldn't, don't varnish it, polish it with some wax polish

John
John

I don't understand this advice as several coats of poly will protect and provide a tough layer over what is in effect a pretty soft surface (MDF) whereas wax will offer no tough protective layer and will not last when wood is repeatedly run over it.

Also, I am surprised at your comment about insert plates, I have used 3 over the years and the two metal ones were/are perfectly flat whilst the plastic one that came with my old router table was terrible.

I do like the sound of worktop for a router table and nearly went that way myself - money was the deciding factor as I only found 3m lengths for sale at circa £70 :cry:
 

johnelliott

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Tony":r38gmpke said:
I don't understand this advice as several coats of poly will protect and provide a tough layer over what is in effect a pretty soft surface (MDF) whereas wax will offer no tough protective layer and will not last when wood is repeatedly run over it.
I must admit that I haven't tried varnishing a router table top, maybe it works ok, although I get the feeling that it would not be a slippery as a waxed finish. BTW, when I am using varnish on shelves I only use water based, it dries faster and is harder that polyurethane.

Also, I wasn't envisaging (though perhaps I should have) that Hermes was going to be using the table that much that he was actually likely to wear away the MDF surface, I've used MDF in similar applications and haven't found it to be that soft.

Which make of metal router plates are you using? maybe I will try one next time I put another table together

John
 
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johnelliott":3jfmdnvd said:
I only use water based, it dries faster and is harder that polyurethane.

Which make of metal router plates are you using? maybe I will try one next time I put another table together

John
Water based is harder!! Sod it!! I spent ages specifically looking for polyurethane as I thought it dried harder than water based varnish. Loads of water based stuff on shelves in the shop as well :twisted:

I used a Trend base a while back that was very good but a little smaller than I liked. The plastic one came with my performance power pro table.

My latest was cut from 6mm ali plate by the machinists at work. I had a counterbored hole set in the middle and then 6 inserts made with varying hole sizes in them.

I'll be posting pictures of the router table (can clearly see insert) when i finally finish the drawers - table has been in use use since Dec 27th :wink:
 

Midnight

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I built Norm's first router table about 3 years ago on a budget so tight that it's still squeeking yet.. The top I opted for was nothing fancy; 3/4" block board with a hardwood finish veneer on both sides. I tidied the cut edges with 2" elm. No varnish, no wax, no footerin with it at all... just sanded to 240 and put to use. It's still as flat as it was the day I first hung the Freud in it. Oh.. Trend phenolic insert plate too; tough as old boots and dead flat.
I figured, keep it cheap, keep it simple, and if it wears out or warps, replace it.... it aint rocket science.....
 

johnelliott

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Tony, they do one water based that's specially for floors, it's so hard that you have to be really careful not to get any on the edge of the tin, because if you do, when the tin is closed it can be really difficult to open. It think it's called diamond glaze or something like that

I rather suspicioned that your dead flat metal plate would have been specially made. The phenolic one I bought from Axminster (but also sold by many others including, I think, Trend, was so unflat that I would have sent it back if I hadn't already tried to flatten it with coarse abrasive. Maybe I was just unlucky.

John
 

Knot Competent

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I too made my own router table as cheaply as possible, and made my mounting plate from a piece of aluminium. However I find it often marks the timber passed over it with a greyish mark. I presume this is the surface of the aluminium oxydising, and don't know a solution.

Regards, John
 

DaveL

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John,

You could try using something like liberon lubricating wax on you aluminium plate. I use it on all of my machine tables and beds, both cast iron and aluminium, it works for me. :D
 

devonwoody

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QUOTE
I do like the sound of worktop for a router table and nearly went that way myself - money was the deciding factor as I only found 3m lengths for sale at circa £70 :cry:[/quote]

I purchased a very good quality laminate top from MFI 20mm thick 1mtrx600 wide. Cost £9 including delivery and tax. MfI split it up from a flat pack using the computer. (delivery about 10 days)
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Hermes
I hope you get as much satisfaction out of Norm's table as I do, it is an excellent design.
OK Everybody else can move on, cos you all know what I'm about to say, don't you? :)

I thoroughly recommend the Xtreme Xtension and Router Raizer available from Woodworkers Workshop. Yes I know they are both expensive. They are also worth every penny.

I also recommend modifying Norm's fence in the way I described recently in GW. It's not much more difficult to make and gives you a lot more control over where you cut.

I'm surprised you have found Laminate difficult to obtain. I have NEVER paid for any of mine. I found a local company who make kitchens and special worktop jobs, and I just ask to raid their scrap bin. A couple of weeks ago I walked out with a piece about 4' by 2'6". They are glad to reduce their waste.

HTH
Steve
 
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Anonymous

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Knot Competent":32var00y said:
I too made my own router table as cheaply as possible, and made my mounting plate from a piece of aluminium. However I find it often marks the timber passed over it with a greyish mark. I presume this is the surface of the aluminium oxydising, and don't know a solution.

Regards, John
Hi John

I have been using this aluminium one for about 6 months in my old table and had a similar problem at first. I found a coat of black bison wax helped at first but later exasperated the problem. I have recently run the RAS over the entire table top including the insert and no longer get any marks!! (well over a two week period so far :oops: )
 

Knot Competent

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Sorry Tony, I don't understand. You ran the RAS (radial arm saw?) over the lot. No, I can't picture that. Please explain?

Thanks, John

PS I use the end of a candle to lubricate planer/thicknesser and my router table and fence, but it doesn't seem to stick to the ali plate very well. But I've heard that Luberon stuff is rather expensive, so I'll save the money and buy a good mounting plate with what I've saved, one day.
And I've just discovered silicon spray lubricant, use it for the sliding glass doors of our vivariums.
 
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Anonymous

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Knot Competent":2mm3b5ga said:
Sorry Tony, I don't understand. You ran the RAS (radial arm saw?) over the lot. No, I can't picture that. Please explain?

Thanks, John

.
Oops :oops: Random Orbital Sander :oops:
 

CHJ

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Knot Competent":2161kweo said:
And I've just discovered silicon spray lubricant, use it for the sliding glass doors of our vivariums.
Be cautious, Silicones may cause you some unexpected bonding and finishing problems if they get transferred to the wood.
 

Steve Maskery

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CHJ":pyrk1a13 said:
Be cautious, Silicones may cause you some unexpected bonding and finishing problems if they get transferred to the wood.

I'll echo that. Silicones and woodwork don't mix.

Cheers
Steve
 
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