Advice on router table insert construction

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by jeff posted 11-09-2015 02:55 AM 813 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3668 days

11-09-2015 02:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router table insert

After finishing my router table insert,insert only,for my Rigid 4512 TS I feel its really heavy.It’s made of 2 layers of 3/4” mdf with 3/”4 edging.The insert is 14-5/8”x 27”.Adding a router and possibly a lift will make it more heavier.I’m worried the 2 piece fence rail system might sag after some time.So my question is can I get away with an insert that isn’t as thick?.I’m not upgrading the fence rails and I wanted to use that wasted space on my TS since my work space is small-12×14.Thx.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

9 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile (online now)


944 posts in 1644 days

#1 posted 11-09-2015 07:05 AM

You’re calling it an “insert” but you’re really building a router table extension wing for the saw, right? (An “insert” usually refers to a plate—-typically 9 1/4×11 3/4 or so—- that drops into a router table.)

I don’t know that saw well, but I would expect it to handle the weight of two pieces of mdf at your dimensions, plus a router. Are you replacing one of the factory wings or adding on outboard of the existing?

You will probably want the portion of the table where the router sits to be thinner than 1 1/2”—-this is where the “insert” comes into play. The thinner material allows greater range of depth of cut for the router, and possibly above-the-table bit changes.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3668 days

#2 posted 11-09-2015 07:33 AM

Sorry-it’s a router table extension.I’m leaving the right wing to the TS in it’s place.Thx for the advice.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3668 days

#3 posted 11-09-2015 10:57 AM

Thought I would post a few pics of the progress.After thinking about it I think the added weight of the router/lift ect. will not affect the fence rails.I could probably add a bracket of sorts underneath for support though..A pic of the top and a shot of underneath the extension.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View rwe2156's profile


3171 posts in 1684 days

#4 posted 11-09-2015 12:48 PM

You can always add a couple support legs, no?

Make sure you waterproof that MDF somehow.
I put several coats of BLO on and even with that, when some water got on it from a roof leak, the BLO didn’t protect it from bubbling.

Therefore, I strongly recommend covering both sides with laminate if you want it to stay perfectly flat.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1379 days

#5 posted 11-09-2015 01:30 PM

As rwe2156 suggest laminate both sides. I would go with an off white color that way you can mark on it with pencil (i.e. position of fence) and the pencil will wash right off. Remember to do both the top and bottom.

I tried a single piece of 3/4 MDF as my first router table top on my saw and after a couple of years there was a sag in the middle from the weight of the router. If I had added a router lift it would have been worse.

If weight is a problem you could leave the router & lift out of the table and only add it when you need the router. That way the weight is only present for short periods of time.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 11-09-2015 10:22 PM

Thx everyone.I did plan on using wipe on poly to seal the mdf.If I laminate the extension I won’t have to seal it before correct?.I never shopped for laminate.Not sure if it can be purchased in small dimensions or not.I do have hardboard would that be a good choice for the top/bottom?.Thx for responses.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1193 posts in 3053 days

#7 posted 11-10-2015 02:01 AM

I think 1.5” MDF is a bit of overkill but it’s not going to move that’s for sure. I can’t remember where I saw it but I recall once seeing a set up similar to yours (and mine) where the user mounted angle iron running back to the TS legs to put more support onto the wing. I don’t store my 3 hp router in the wing and when in use have a leg set that I put at the end of the wing

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3668 days

#8 posted 11-10-2015 02:57 AM

ChefDAN—-There’s a few router extensions with added support with legs/angle iron ect that I have seen posted somewhere so I’m sure I can add them if needed.I’ve considered making the extension with less thickness since I’m not that far into the build?.I’m not in a hurry its been a fun build so far.Thx.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View JohnDon's profile


69 posts in 1372 days

#9 posted 11-10-2015 04:46 AM

Agree that 1.5” thick mdf is overkill. I made one with 3/4” mdf, but with a couple of 1×2 cross braces beneath- kind of like miniature floor joists. It’s only been a few months, but no sag so far. I spaced them so as to be just to either side of the insert plate cutout.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics