Should I finish my router table surface with a varnish, oil, or poly urathane?


My first woodworking project was a router table found in a wood working magazine last month. It has aluminum t-slots and is made from 3/4 oak plywood.
I'd like to finish the surface to make it more slick but I worry about fouling my t-slots with whatever I coat it with. What would be a good way to finish its surface?
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5+ coats of shellac, sanded to 600, buffed with gray and white pads, followed by paste wax. It will be so slick that if it isn't perfectly level, stuff will just slide off the edges. :) It's easy to renew if it gets damaged (which is why I don't suggest poly).
I use shellac to seal and slick up mdf zero clearance inserts for my router table, the bottom of a cross cut sled, and top surface of outfeed table. A couple times a year, I hit the outfeed table with a sander to remove glue spots and rewax.
Dave
Modat22 wrote:

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What router is gonna be hanging from that 3/4" thick top? If not well braced underneath, a heavy router will cause the top to sag in the middle. You could always add another piece of ply to the underside to stiffen it. AAMOF a mid-sized router may also cause some sagging.
I don't see why you expect to "foul" the T-track when applying the finish...got tape?
Dave
Modat22 wrote:

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23 Years 3/4 Birch ply, PC 690 hanging underneath and no sag. Oh, no finish on the ply either.
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Rumpty

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What's the weight of a 690? I couldn't find the net weight at the PC site, but expect it to be much less than a 7518. That baby and a PRL or Master lift isn't going to be too easy to suspend from a single piece of 3/4" ply for even a month, much less 23 years.
Dave
Rumpty wrote:

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I have a Porter Cable 890 series with a veritas router plate hanging on my 3/4 " oak ply table. The table top is framed very well and very rigid. The shipping weight of the 890 is 13.5 pounds so figure around 10 pounds for the router.
I built mine from plans from a magazine (can't remember the title) the project title is called weekend router table and is made for those that don't have much shop space. You clamp it on your wood bench when you need it.
I use an old B&D shopmate worktable to hold mine (never found another use for it anyway).
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I saw some testing that say it takes 24 years to sag. Time to start taking remedial steps before the top just caves in. .
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LOL!
Dave
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Ya, I was thinking the same thing, maybe time.... Just posted over in ABPW a photo of my no sag router table.
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Poly euethane is a really tough coating used on floors and is highly scratch resistant. Although I don't think you would be worried about that it being a router table.

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What's "euethane"? I asked my local suppliers for some and they gave me this long blank stare...
bronzzy wrote:

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RE: Subject
Neither IMHO, use a piece of laminate with a dull finish.
Mine works quite well.
Lew
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Modat22 wrote:

A plastic lminate, like Formica.
Barry
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