If you are doing it right, 3/8 is the way to go and never need to use
leveling screws. If it does not sit flush, you just take another pass about
1/32" deeper until it does, then use the screws only if needed. You want
the base to sit on the wood, not be suspended by tiny feet.
I would go at least a 1/16 deeper than the thickness of the plate. I
would also 'break' the edge of the opening in your table, using a
chamfer bit or laminate edging bit. I was able to get my insert 'just
right' (BS detector goes off) but the sharp edge of the laminate
chipped in a few spots during use because I didn't chamfer it.
Turned out to be entirely academic. I was using 1/2 corian, and I build a
frame under the "joint" so the frame was supporting the plate (well,
actually a lift...) more than the corian, but I never got that far. After
routing, when I was cutting the blank out with a jigsaw, the thin corian
broke off in a few places. It probably would have been alright, but I
flipped the table top over and just routed the part that would hold the
plate away. I then epoxied in some 1/8" lexan on top of the frame to make
up for the missing corian; and it came out fine.
The plate is entirely supported by the frame, but I have the table top
securely screwed to the same frame, so I don't think anything will move.
I could have saved myself a lot of work if I had just done it that way to
start with; but I thought it best to try to tie the plate in with the table
top. We'll see if that was actually necessary.
The lift (the little one for 2hp routers) works great, by the way.
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