Mentioned this in a comment yesterday, and got started on it last night. I’m creating a router table insert for my Craftsman table saw using 1/2” sheets of MDF laminated together. There’s also a 1” strip glued vertically across the bottom on one edge (like an I-beam) for extra support.
Here it is,glued up:
Alternate title: meticulously sealing my MDF topped bench one drop of glue at a time :D You can see my table saw in the background. The bottom sheet is about 2” narrower than the top, and is inset 1” on each side like a rabbit. The table saw’s top is 1/2” thick too, so the MDF sheets are perfect inserts, and the bottom sheet helps add rigidity. You can also see my router on the bench, it’s just a Ryobi, but it works, and it was free :)
Here is the insert on the table saw, after I drilled the hole for the router bit:
I didn’t take any pictures of the 1” cross support unfortunately, but it’s there on the bottom. I’ve already used the base of the router to mark out the hole positions on the bottom of the insert, just need to make a trip to Lowes and get the proper bolts. I haven’t decided if I’ll use a washer to secure the router, if I do I’ll need to pick up a matching Forstner bit so they’ll be below the surface of the table. I’m just not 100% confident in the MDF supporting the weight of the router with just a counter sunk bolt.
I hope to finish this up tonight, and start testing it out. There is a very small amount of flex in the insert, despite the cross support, so I may need to brace it with another cross support going along the other edge. I didn’t put one on there, because I was afraid of having easy access to the router to switch out the bit. I may add cross supports that stop 1” away from each side of the router in the middle as well.
This is really just a temporary solution, since I can’t afford a real router table top currently and can’t justify the cost of it for the projects I’m wanting to get done.
-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"