Has anyone ever tried a Steel or Aluminum top in their shop made
router table. I will probably go with MDF again, but I have a bunch
of friend who are sell metal. I'm guessing you wouldn't need to thick
of a guage to hang a router under there. 1/4" of steel plate or sheet
would probably be overkill. Not sure how much a 2' x 2' piece would
Just a random thought. My double laminated, double layers MDF top
sagged a bit and the rail and stiles on the doors I just make fit
accordingly. My fault for never building a proper stand. Saw horses
are good until you finish the cabinet, but not a long term solution.
Steel would be find if you don't mind the weight, have the tools to work it,
and bear in mind that dropping a carbide bit on a steel table is more
likely to chip the carbide than dropping it on a wood or MDF table--since
router bits are changed more frequently than saw blades this is a real
Just make sure you have it well grounded.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
That's a better choice in my opinion. In fact
several folks in years past have mentioned using
angle iron on the bottom. I suspect the angle
would do just as well as a steel plate.
Two pieces of 3/4" MDF will not start sagging
If you don't care about the weight, that's true. However, if
you want to keep the weight down, almost any other combination
will do better than a steel plate.
A hardwood frame under the MDF will stiffen the MDF just as
well as steel but with less weight. Pound for pound, if you
get carried away and make hardwood-framed, MDF-skinned torsion
box, it will be way stiffer than a steel plate or steel angle
backed MDF sheet.
It ain't the material, it's how you use it.
I started with the metal base from a Sears router table - threw away the
cast aluminum top and fence as useless. Put on two rails using heavy
angle iron salvaged from an old bed frame. The top is commercial -
1"MDF with laminate on both sides. No sign of any sag using a large
router in a router lift. Weight was not a consideration. I built
drawers into the base and put the whole thing on a mobile base.
Pat Barber wrote:
On 29-Jul-2004, email@example.com (WoodChuck34) wrote:
That's $20 for the steel, but $180 for the finishing. If you don't care about
the quality of the surface, then save the $180. When I worked as a welding
inspector many years ago, I don't remember seeing too many sheets of steel
that were actually flat. Flat was something you had to work on. LV went a
step further and shaped it into a convex curve so that the table doesn't go
concave under the weight of the router. It would take a _long_ time to do
that by hand yourself and probably about $180 to have it done to your
$20 slab of steel.
Ordinarily I would agree with you, but I'm a headhunter specializing
in the metals industry. I've got some friends that owe me some
I've abandoned the idea though. I built my top (double laminated,
double layers MDF) about 4 years ago and I'm just now noticing the
sag. Again, I never built the cabinet, just used saw horses, so its
Thanks for the input.
I got a chunk of 3/8 aluminum one foot square and made my own table insert.
The 6 inches or so from the bit seems to be enough flat area to allow nice
raised panel work.
Table deflection vs size. I looked up some engineering formulas. If a
given weight deflects a beam .005" and you double the length of the beam,
the deflection goes up a factor 8 to 0.04. I.E. it is important to supply
support close to the weight as it is a 3rd power law.
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