I recently received a Bosch 1617EVSPK for my birthday. The first project for any new router owner is the router table.
The design of my table is influenced heavily by the fence system I will be using. I just picked up the “17 Incra LS Super System.
In order to allow for the full 17” range of the system while mounting the carriage fully on the table, I am making the top with the dimensions 27×43.
The top is made from 2 sheets of 3/4” MDF glued together with Titebond III. After gluing them together I found a slight curve in the table. Flatness is what I desire so I decided to add a series of angle irons to the bottom of the table.
Yesterday I laminated the bottom of the table with a cheap laminate from Menards. I found a simple white colored laminate for a few bucks. The top will be laminated with Formica Microdot, if the local shop ever calls to let me know that my special order has arrived. I chose the Microdot for its slick and durable properties. It seems to be a favorite for router table tops.
The laminate was secured using 3M's 30NF Contact Adhesive.
Prior to laminating, I cut down the angle irons and laid them out in a mock up and marked them for drilling. I drilled three holes in each of the three short spans, and 5 holes in the two long spans. I then drilled the angle iron with a 3/8” bit and laid them back out on the underside of the table.
I drilled tiny pinholes in the center of each hole to help guide me from the other side.
After flipping the table, I used a 7/8” forstner bit at each point to recess the washers and head of the hex bolts I would be using to attach the angle irons. I then drilled a 3/8” hole through the center of each recess.
Now I was ready for laminating the bottom. I used a 4” brush to spread the adhesive on both surfaces. I think I will use a roller for the top application. Even spread was difficult and slow with the brush.
I had about 3 inches of overhang on each side of the table with the laminate so alignment was simple. I used a J-Roller to press on the laminate. Once I got it started, I routed the laminate flush on the edges, and then went back to the roller. With the edges flush I was able to then add more pressure to the edges without worrying about accidentally snapping off the overhanging laminate.
Once the laminate was plenty secure, I flipped the table over and punched through the laminate with the 3/8” bit in the holes I driller earlier.
Bolts and washers were inserted and the table was flipped. Angle irons in place, nuts were added and tightened. The table is much closer to flat now. I am still hoping that a little bit of time will bring it perfectly flat. We shall see. Here is a picture from the sketchup model.
The next step is now to fill all of the holes on the top with a wood filler of some kind, and then sanded flat with the top. Once that is done, and when I have the Mocrodot in hand, I can laminate the top.
Any thoughts on the best way to fill these holes? They have a 7/8” diameter and are about 3/8” to 1/2” deep. The two part minwax wood filler seems to work okay, but it is not the easiest stuff to deal with and produces awful fumes. On the other hand, a one part Elmers I have doesn’t get hard enough and is crumbly. My local lumber shop has some wood epoxy, but the price seems excessive.
I went this route because I’ve only had bad experiences with screws in MDF.