I'm halfway done with building a mobile saw/router station, TS is now
mounted on the mobile platform.
I need to buy or make a router table top. My plan is currently to use
two layers of 3/4" MDF wrapped in Maple with formica on both sides.
I'm undecided if the top of the Maple frame should be laminated or
not, I'm a little worried that expansion/contraction will cause the
laminate to break loose. My current top that came with my TS is just
laminated MDF with no edging so maybe I could skip the edging.
Looked at the Borg and formica is sold in 4x8 sheets, that plus the
contact cement will cost me over $100. Has anyone gone to a custom
countertop place and asked them to laminate something? $.$$?
I have also searched online and can't find a premade top big enough
since I want it 27" (depth of TS) by ~36". Does anyone know of a pre-
made top that is that big?
Last option is the pre-laminated chipboard sold at the Borgs in 4x8
sheets that I could double up and band with Maple. Probably quick to
do but will leave me with a crummy end-product.
dazed and confused
I made a horizontal router fixture with the router coming in from the back.
The table is made from the white laminated chipboard in 8 foot by 12 in"
pieces for shelving.
I think the Orange Box has it.
I cut two pieces to the length I needed and then put a 5/8" gap between them
which I filled with an old piece of scrap that was about 1/4".
This left me with a nice straight groove for the miter guide.
I built it to do raised panels with but found I like the horizontal layout
better and use it more than the vertical.
The rear height adjustment is kind of kludgy but it works for me.
I think a company called MDS has one they sell.
Works well and have no problems. A friend went to a local cabnet shop and
got a used counter top taken from a job and made his out of it, once again
no problem with it at all. The cost of both router tables was under 50 bucks
( not including inserts) and both work as well as commercial ones.
On Wed, 23 Jul 2008 11:45:25 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor wrote:
I did the same thing ... but with three layers of MDF.
I applied the laminate to the MDF, then added the maple edge band.
BTW, I put laminate on both sides of the top. Not sure it was necessary.
You might also try obtaining scrap laminate from a cabinet shop.
Woodpecker will make a custom top. Dunno about cost.
I don't think that will be as stiff as the MDF, and it might be more
difficult to work with, especially when you make a cutout for a router
plate (if that's how you're going to mount the router). And the melamine
surface is not as readily glued together without glue made for the
I just bought a 4x8 sheet of formica from the borg for $35. Try
looking at the price of different colors/textures. They're priced
accordingly. I like textured formica for jigs and table tops because
wood slides better over it. Less friction. My router table is 3/4"
birch ply with 3/4" MDF and then formica on top. It's over 6 years
old and hasn't warped. Formica is great stuff to have laying around
for jigs and such. My router table fence is faced with it also.
Interesting, less friction.
I built a jig years ago and was able to buy either a 1/2 or 1/4 sheet
of laminate but can't remember where I got it.
I was just looking at the prices for the white, I'll have to go back
and recheck the other colors.
On Fri, 25 Jul 2008 08:08:14 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor
In Dobsonian telescopes, the lowest-friction surface used by most
builders is a WilsonArts laminate with a "Premium #50 finish" (most
commonly Ebony star). The equivalent Formica surface is called
"Mist". Teflon will slide on these surfaces with very little
and another in the middle but out of the way of the plate. I was concerned
with the weight factor as it hung on the aluminum fence ways. If you
really want a white top just use melamine from the orange borg.
It is really dependent on your desire to make that specific size. My
old table was 2 pieces of 3/4 MDF glued and screwed with a piece of
white laminate on it and edged with thin strips of maple. I installed
this as a table extension on my old Delta Contractor saw. Wehn I
upgraded to my new Steel City, I already knew that my table sxtension
took up too much room in my small shop, so, I went with a much smaller
extension. To compensate, I made a router table using the "Rockler's
#1 Router Table Package". At $129.00 with an ok fence and a nice
aluminium plate, it was a steal. 1 1/4" thick, melamine on both sides
with a nice aluminium T track and edged in plastic T moulding. The
problem for you would be that it is only 24" X 32".
Hope this helps a little.
definately make you own.
I use 2 pieces of 3/4 mdf glued up - no edging
the frame of the table itself is 2x4's
some extra notes: -
1. make sure the frame is level (DAMHIKT)
2. put the hole for the plate in 3/4 the way back, towards the left
side... be sure that the plate can be lifted out when a fence is in
place (DAMHIKT either)
3.after cutting the hole for the plate, , I flipped the table onto a
flat surface, placed the plate in the hole, and used some 1/4 scraps
glued into place to hold the plate - it works great (okay, this you
4. put some thought into how the fence will be mounted... I used t-
5. don't bother witt the t-track slot in the front - i never used mine
I think I have a solution.
As I was leaving the building for lunch the maintenance guys were
trying to dissamble a huge desk for the dumpster. I stopped by and
About 3' x 6', 1" thick top made of MDF with a genuine imitation wood
top (veneered). Perfect. I had them through it in the back of my
I'll cut it down to size
sand & poly the top
glue a piece of 3/4" mdf under neath for an 1 1/4" thick top
Too bad I didn't get there before they destroyed the heavy duty full
extension roller-bearing drawer slides. :-(
Turns out the top is 1 1/8" particle board (not the MDF I thought it
was) with laminate on top and a thin layer of what appears to be MDF
on the bottom. This particular particle board seems to be denser than
what you find at the Borg for shelves. The desk it came from is ~40
What are the opinions about putting a router plate into this particle
board that has plastic laminate on the top?
I think one of the best answers you've received was from Pat Warner and one
that will serve you well.
Also, while looking at his web site, pay special attention to the
micro-precision router fence he makes and offers on his site. A few years
back Pat did an article for FWW that featured an earlier version of that
fence. I made one from the article and a few emails to Pat and have used it
considerably (for a weekend warrior) and that is one solid design. I just
finished another set of doors and drawer fronts for a kitchen rehab and that
router fence got another good workout.... Thanks Pat.
Pat will be the first to tell you that all you need is a 2by4 and a nail to
make a router fence but if you want repeatable setups and precison cuts -
that is one helluva design he came up with. A lot of years of practicle
experience and good ole common-sense. The fact that he also knows what he's
doing helps a bit.....
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