Newbie Needs Advice re: Router Table Surface Disaster


I am trying to make my first router table for my new PC 7518 router. Several books suggested "plastic laminate" on top of the plywood (I useed 3 sheets of 1/2' birch plywood). The closest I could come was some formica from Lowes.
The lamination seemed to go well but I edged the table with 1/4" birch strips. I made a "Flush-Trimming Baseplate" as described in Hylton's Router Magic book. Either I set the tolerance to close or the table was not quite flat ... when I tried to level the edging I took off some of the color layer of the formica. AARRGGH!
I tried touching it up with some enamel touch up paint and it doesn't look TOO terrible ...
I think I might have been better off to just varnish the surface of the birch plywood. Then at least I would be able to repair the surface. Would this work as well? Or is there a better surface material which is not so thin?
Is it possible to remove the formica? Its bonded to the plywood with Weldwood contact cement.
Any suggestions appreciated.
Wayne
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Easy to fix. Cut the edges off on the tablesaw. Now you edge it with 3/4" strips.
Or, flip it over and laminate the other side.
Or do both
If the table is not flat, you may run into other problems when using it. Check that first.
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Forget about how the thing looks and spend some time checking out it's performance.
You can shim/shave/adjust to your preference.
Woodworking is usually not pretty ('cept in the magazines).
Lou
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Well, I don't know about router magic, but when I trimmed mine, I went nice and slow, leaving just a little lip, and then filed the excess off carefully. It turned out well, but even if it had not, I don't think it would have really been an issue- the top just has to be smooth and flat, not pretty!

I'm not sure if it is hot enough or not, but I'd try using an iron to soften the cement. But odds are, you're stuck with it.

Just use and enjoy the table- you can try again later if you decide to make another one for some reason.
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Thanks everyone for your comments!
I was being way too perfectionistic. The table is comming out quite nicely and the enamel paint worked very nicely, you hardly notice it. Also it is not in a critical working area of the table.
I posted some pictures if anyone is interested. It might be of interest to anyone with an old DeWalt DW744 table saw. This saw has dual rack and pinions for the fence which can be extended way past the end of the saw. I took advantage of this. I still have to make a secondary fence which will attach to the table saw fence for clearance and perhaps a dust collector.
Here is the table less the final fence addition:
http://i.pbase.com/v3/81/464381/1/48024609.router1.jpg
The place where I routed through the formica paint layer is on the top left ... hardly visable.
http://i.pbase.com/v3/81/464381/1/48024623.router2.jpg
Here is the underside of the table. You can see the captured hex cap screws which bolt to holes I drilled and threaded in the side of the saw table. There are small set screws in brass inserts near the edge to help with leveling. The cap screws in the braces lead to captive threaded plates inside the table.
http://i.pbase.com/v3/81/464381/1/48024629.router3.jpg
Leveling could be better but the table is not off by more than 0.01" at any point and remains adjustable.
http://i.pbase.com/v3/81/464381/1/48024770.router4.jpg
Comments welcome.
Wayne
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Important question: Does it work? If answer is yes, continue to enjoy it!
See, it really isn't that hard.
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Cut my first mortises last night. Never having had a router table, its like a dream!
Thanks again,
Wayne

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