Norm's router table

I've got Norm's table almost done and am wondering about an alternate (to plastic laminate) surface. Anybody have any thoughts on the pros and cons of an alternative surface?
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On Dec 30, 10:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

What about Corian?
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Corian is great but expensive and a bit difficult to get as DuPont no longer sells to anybody except an authorized fabricator.
I guess I was looking for a less expensive alternative.
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Free is about as inexpensive as it gets for Corian
You're correct about DuPont only selling to authorized fabricators, so you need to schmooze up to one of them.
I turn a lot of pens, and use a lot of different color corian scraps that I get from a local cabinet maker/kitchen installer. They're mostly small pieces, but once in a while I score a sink cutout from a kitchen or bathroom. These would certainly be big enough to use in your router table.
Every once in a while the guy asks me to make a matching set from the stuff for his customer, but for this I have a regular supply. He even calls me when he has a 5 gallon bucket or two for pickup.
Just a thought.
Joe aka 10x
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You could also get together with a bath remodeler. Corian sells a bath wall that is sold to anyone, not just countertop installers. Lou
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On Dec 30, 12:22 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I scored a 3' x 5' piece of Corian that an installer goofed up on when he installed it, and had sitting in a field outside his shop along with a bunch of other odd pieces that were waiting for use. $50 got me the whole thing, which was enough for a nice, big router table top and a nice island top for the kitchen.
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Lignum Vitae? (or any other really hard wood)
Granite/marble?
(I used laminate on my table)
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You might consider MDF and a couple coats of a good epoxy paint. But plastic laminate is inexpensive, easy to apply, and sufficiently durable.
Max
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

For my non Norm table I simply used 3/4 inch birch plywood, sanded smooth, a good soak or two of Watco with solid wood trim on the edges......Being cheap I also used a 3/8 plywood insert.....my table is 2ft by 4 ft(router off center or nearer one end). .... I braced under the table for additional support for both the insert and the table itself...it has held up fine for both routing(Bosch 2 1/4 hp), off feed for the table saw(just low enough for the table saw miter bar to clear) and assembly. Nonetheless even though I have no complaints next time around I'd use a double layer of ply......Oddly unless I need additional material support I use the table off of the 2 ft end. Rod
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Sun, Dec 30, 2007, 10:53am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Rod&BettyJo) doth sayeth: For my non Norm table I simply used 3/4 inch birch plywood, sanded smooth, a good soak or two of Watco with solid wood trim on the edges......Being cheap I also used a 3/8 plywood insert. <snip>
Made my own table, no plans. Top is 1/2" plywood, no finish. Insert is 1/2" plywood. I'm not cheap, just don' need no steenkin' plans, and the plywood works just fine. Table probably cost a couple of bucks, total. Nothing for sale fit my needs/wants - this one does - for now.
JOAT If you can read this you're in range.
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Sun, Dec 30, 2007, 11:09am snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com doth query: I've got Norm's table almost done and am wondering about an alternate (to plastic laminate) surface. Anybody have any thoughts on the pros and cons of an alternative surface?
I suppose that would depend on what you mean by 'alternative'. My top is plywood, and I have no problems with it at all. If there is another version made it will have a plywood top. What's supposed to be bad about a plywood top anyway?
JOAT If you can read this you're in range.
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On Dec 30, 9:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

for me, router tables are often quickly made for a specific job and abandoned when the job is done. a few of them have been better built than that, adapted to new uses and kept around.
most of them have melamine faced particle board tops. the down side of the melamine board is rigidity. if you add a heavy router to a wide table it'll sag. this can be overcome just fine with an understructure of ribs. the melamine has a nice smooth surface and with a coat of wax it performs very well as a router table top. best of all it's cheap, even often free, so if you need to drive screws into it, or chop off a corner, or drill holes into it there's no guilt or hesitation. make the needed mod and get the job done. when the top gets too torn up, pitch it and make a new one. if you don't use mel. board as a material in your shop enough to have a ready supply of scrap it can be purchased in less than full sheet amounts as closet shelving at the borgs, or scavenged from low end furniture and cabinetry. my biggest router table top right now is a door from some kind of white storage cabinet left behind by the previous tenant at a space a client of mine was moving his business into.
if your goal in having a router table is to have an impressive looking piece of shop furniture, buy one from a catalog. or heck, build it from fancy hardwoods and put a granite top on it. just don't use it hard, or it'll get scratched ; )
one benefit from building your own, and building plenty of them, and not taking them too seriously is that you stop thinking about how to make your projects work with the router table you have and you start thinking of how to set up your router in the best possible way for the operation you are performing.
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On Sun, 30 Dec 2007 11:09:03 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:
How about poly or shellac on mdf. Several coats with smoothing with 200 grit (or finer) between coats. Seems I read about this a long while ago someplace.

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At the risk of being horned out of the group.. I'm confused..! Why would you not use high pressure laminate.. You have all this time and money invested already in a long term router station. At the local hardware store here I spent $37 for a half sheet (16 s.f.) That's about $2.30/s.f. and you only need about 9 s.f. at the most if you include the fences.. Ok, you do need some contact cement too. You can use the leftover for a drill press table, extension for your table saw or million other things. Its so strong and can take a whack once in place. If you drop something on MDF you'll dent the crud out of it... Its a smooth surface, can take spills and with a putty knife you can clean off most dried up spills. You can also measure and mark all over laminate with a pencil and it washes right off. Too me, its too cheap to not use.. You can cut it easily with a router straight bit.. My vote is to use it..
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After building one of Norm's router stations, one thing I would really consider changing is the way the fence attaches to the table. If you need to remove the fence for freehand routing, for example, the T-bolt on the right side drops down into the compartment where the electrical wires are when you lift off the fence and you have to lift the whole table top up to get the bolt back. The other bolt on the left drops into the tool drawer which isn't quite as bad, but still a nuisance. Instead of routing all the way through the top for the T-bolt, seems like it would be better to just epoxy and screw a short piece of T-track in a dado on top that allows you to just slide the T-bolts and fence off the track to the back... kinda like you can do with most drill press table tops. The base of the fence is so wide that you don't have to tighten the T-bolts very much to have them hold the fence in place. Good luck with you're new router station.. It gets used all the time here..

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