Good morning. I found a screamin' deal at Ikea in their "as-is" area on
a countertop that I couldn't pass up. I have been planning to build a
workstation to house my table saw (with a router table built in to one
end), and now reality has set in. I'd be interested in opinions. Here
are the parameters.
I found a countertop, laminated on six sides (edges, top and bottom)
that is 96.75" long and 25.625" wide (1.5" thick). I paid $25.
My portable tablesaw is 26.6875" wide and 17.125" deep (not counting
the 1"x1" aluminum clamping tube for the fence).
My original plan was:
1. Cut an insert for the saw table from the front.
2. Fab a replacement for the 1"x1" clamping tube from an 8-foot tube
and mount to the front of the table.
3. Rout a slot down the center of the counter to accept the back of the
fence clamping mechanism (I'd drop in a piece of aluminum angle to
provide a bearing surface for the clamping mechanism).
This would allow me to move the fence three or four feet to the right
and left of the blade.
Here is the issue:
1. How do I keep the left and right surfaces of the table level? I'm
concerned about the counter flexing. I have two 8' steel U-channels,
which I had planned on clamping to the top of my saw before setting it
into the cut-out. That way, I could measure for and build the mounts
for the tablesaw to ensure it was flush with the counter. However, how
do I keep the counter from flexing after removing them? With the cutout
for the saw from the front, there will only be an 8.5" section of
counter along the back of the counter to resist flexion.
I guess what it comes down to is the engineering of the counter
understructure. I'm hoping someone has some ideas, 'cause I'm fresh out
and new stock is backordered.
The top will sag even ithout the cutout. This countertop stuff is very
heavy, not too stiff and moreover takes a set. If you want it straight
you need to mount it to a stable straight base with support over the
I think you're right to worry about it. Like Juergen said, it's doubtful
that this isn't solid wood or solid whatever, if it's only 25 bucks new
even if it's at Ikea.
In our area we've got this outlet for the University's surplus stuff and
I regularly see 1.5 inch countertop for ten bucks or so and I'd like to
build a router table out of it.
But that MDF stuff sags. A lot.
I watched David marks build an assembly table out of MDF though. He built
a torsion box, maybe six inches thick I think. Long pieces end to end,
then short pieces to make the cross section across the width. All of them
glued and, um, "with a few brads while the glue dries". Well he didn't
exactly say that but that's what came to mind. :-)
And then you put another sheet of mdf on it and end pieces, so it looks
like a solid piece of mdf. And then you go find two or three friends to
help you pick it up.
So, when I build my router table and/or table saw station, I'm planning
on building a torsion box thing. According to David, that stops sagging,
twisting, and it stays flat. No reason I can think of that the same idea
wouldn't work for counter tops. You just have to be very careful while
you put it together to make sure everything's flat or you'll build any
sag or twist right into the finished product.
If it were me rather than cut out an opening for the saw I would rout
out an area leaving ~1/2" at the top and drop it over the saw. You
lose a bit of max cutting height, but in addition to a continuous
surface that you don't have to muck around getting even with the saw
top, you don't have to line up the miter slot tracks, just make your
own (you can buy metal T-track that just goes in a dado that will
probably be a step up from what's in the table now. Plus if your saw
is anything like mine was it's a royal pain to make a zero-clearance
insert that fit - you can make an opening that's easy to make an
I'd build a full length cabinet under there. Store all your table saw
and router stuff right there. That way you may on occasion actually
be able to use the saw without spending 10 minutes to clear off all
the stuff you'll inevitably start leaving on it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.