Router Table Extension Wing #4: Which side is up?

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Blog entry by HungryTermite posted 02-07-2011 05:59 AM 2558 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Adding some laminate Part 4 of Router Table Extension Wing series Part 5: Time to Zig »

I woke up this morning and tried to get some work done before the Super Bowl (Go Packers!). I trimmed the extra laminate and proceeded to bond the second face. Here is the top with sticks on it so I can position the laminate above it without gluing it in the wrong place:

Then I placed the laminate on the sticks and got it positioned so there is equal amounts of overhang all the way around:

Then I pull out the sticks working out from the middle and press the laminate down:

Once again I used my dead blow hammer as a “roller” to apply pressure to the laminate and once again I heard the same popping noises. Since it happened twice I guess it’s normal? One thing I probably should look into before I laminate the fences is to find out if I can use a sealer under the contact cement. The wood sucked up so much cement I couldn’t believe it. I would never get even close to the coverage amount on the can unless I could seal the wood 1st.

Next, it was time to trim the extra laminate. I think there is something to be said for using the tool the top is for to create the top. I just thought it was funny while working today.

I used a 45° carbide chamfer bit to trim the laminate flush. I did one pass to clean things up and remove most of the waste and then lowered the bit slightly to do a final pass. One thing that I wasn’t expecting was that there was a gummy residue that kept getting on the bearing and on the sides that caused a wavy cut. I think this was the excess glue that was on the laminate. This was the main reason I had to complete the trim in two passes instead of just one. After the 1st pass I took a scraper and cleaned up the sides so when I came back with the lowered bit it gave a nice clean cut. I am not sure the same thing would happen if I was using a flush trim bit.

Here is a shot of the “back” corner:

And a shot of the “front” corner. The roundover came out better than I was expecting:

Posting these photos makes me really wish I had decided to make mitered corners. I’ve done it before and it probably wouldn’t have been that hard I just didn’t feel like fussing around with the miters when I put this together. Oh well, maybe next time.

To finish up the day I put some masking tape along the edges of both sides and put on a couple coats of wipe-on poly to seal the maple.

Now my only problem is… which side is the top? Before I put the laminate on I wrote on the plywood which side I wanted to be the top side but I forgot to transfer that to a surface that would be exposed after the laminate was put on! I am sure I had a good reason for which was supposed to be the top but I can’t remember what it was so I will just pick the flattest side and make that the top.

Now I need to figure out a few things before proceeding. Mainly, I need to work out how I will attach the top and where I will put some reinforcements so the top wont sag over time, although at 1.5” thick I can’t imagine it sagging much. I also have to figure out what to do for an insert plate. There seem to be about 100 different kinds or I could just make one myself. So far the whole project, aside from the laminate, has been made from scrap so there is some appeal in making my own. The only problem is that the scrap acrylic I have is only 1/4” thick. This was great for making a base plate for the router but seems a little on the flimsy side to use as an insert. It might be nice to buy one but for the prices they are asking I could buy 6 pieces of 1/2” thick phenolic from eBay and have 6 custom insert plates! I like the way phenolic takes screw threads and it’s plenty strong enough, I just hate working with it. I also wasn’t very happy with how it worked on my zero clearance table saw insert (that was probably mostly my fault though).

Anyway, I ordered some MLCS combo track so I can have a miter track and t-track in the top. I also need to start thinking about how I will make the fence (I saw some good ideas on LJ).

-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.

3 comments so far

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2757 days

#1 posted 02-07-2011 02:53 PM

You are well on your way to having a nice router table extension. I too considered those very things when I was designing my router table extension. I understand that the makers of router table inserts need to make some money but the prices they are asking are just rediculous. I made two inserts for mine. One was made from 3/8” acrylic and the other made from a 1/4” piece of aluminum. I found that the acrylic, even as small as it was, still sagged under the weight of my router so I use the aluminum one instead. I still haven’t made a dedicated fence for mine. Fortunately I am able to get enough left hand travel from my saw fence to use it in conjunction with a sacrificial piece if MDF. All things in time I suppose. May the rest of your build go well.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 02-07-2011 03:01 PM

Consider mounting it with a piano hinge across the back if you aren’t using a router lift. That way it’s easier to change bits, just lift the top.

View HungryTermite's profile


90 posts in 3046 days

#3 posted 02-07-2011 04:52 PM

nobuckle: out of curiosity, what size router did you use?

ClayandNancy: I have a few different plans for a DIY router lift but I won’t get around to it for a while probably. I’ve been toying with the idea you mentioned. The thing is, in order to get to the collet on my router I need to take the base off so I am not sure if having the top flip up will help much. I would still have to take the router off. I wouldn’t have to crawl under the table I guess.

-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.

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