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Forum topic by Lee Imbimbo posted 02-05-2010 07:35 PM 1171 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 3096 days

02-05-2010 07:35 PM

I’m designing a Router Table/Work Tool Storage Cart. I’ve collected almost all the pieces for it and will hopefully within the next couple weeks have the wood and everything assembled in a pile ready to go.

The overall table will incorporate Router Bit Storage for upwards of 70 bits, hold varying router table accessories, (such as push blocks, feather boards, wrenches, etc.), have four 22” deep drawers for tool storage of many kinds, incorporate dust collection for the router directly (triton 1-1/2” dust port), and indirectly through the Box the router drops into, and the Incra Wonder Fence. To top it all off I’m incorporating my newly purchased 25” Incra LS Positioner, and soon to be purchased Incra Aluminum Router Plate.

I have a few kinks to work out in the design, and then order the final bits and pick up some wood.

But I wanted to get some feedback from people on this forum about the design, and my material’s selection.

The basic construction of the table is similar to that showcased in Shop Note’s Magazine: Setting Up Shop, Workcart (shown on the cover). However, I have incorporated the Router Bit Storage (the one that uses the Accrylic sheets to hold the bits) into the design, aswell as Dust Collection. For the Top I’m making one Modification which is to use 1 sheet of 3/4” MDF, and 1 Sheet of either Phenolic coated Plywood or Laminated MDF.

For the Body I was looking at either Birch or Maple Plywood, I may go with Maple because it is about ten dollars cheaper for some reason right now. The Lumber guys told me that last year it was almost the exact opposite. With similar Wood Trim to the plywood body, and the Aluminum Extruded Pulls for the Drawers I think this project will look really slick and provide me with some shop storage that I have none of at the moment.

The Top is currently designed around (1) sheet of 3/4” MDF with (1) Sheet of 3/4” Red Phenolic Coated Birch Plywood to provide for a slick top surface. While I like the look of the Phenolic Plywood it’s cost has got me looking at several alternatives, one of which that is about a quarter of the cost is 3/4” Melamine laminated Plywood. After screwing and gluing the two pieces together I would then outline the whole group with wood trim (probably the maple to match the body). For the Fence I’m incorporating the 25” Incra LS Positioner Super System, the aluminum Incra Router Plate, and the Kreg or Bench Dog 32” Dual Track.

For Dust Collection my current design incorporates a 4” main dust port for the main body, with a 2-1/2” portion for the Wonderfence, and a 1-1/2” tube going directly to the Router Base. It seems like a lot of tubes, but I want to make sure that I get the best dust collect I can.

I was wondering if any of you have any experience using Phenolic Plywood or Melamine Laminated tops and could give me some feedback. I would also like to find out if there is anything I should consider about dust collection design, or a single Miter Track versus something like the Dual Track.

Part of the reason I’m also considering the laminated top is that it is a lot cheaper, the laminate is a lot thicker, and therefore more durable, and to top it off if it got too damaged I could always strip the laminate and replace. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for the Feedback

2 replies so far

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117115 posts in 3601 days

#1 posted 02-06-2010 06:08 AM

Photos might help

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 3096 days

#2 posted 02-06-2010 06:47 AM

yeah I know, but sadly I haven’t made any yet, and uploaded them to flickr or some other photo sharing website.

But fundamentally what I’m really wondering about is whether or not to use phenolic plywood for the top or a laminated top. The laminated top would definitely be cheaper and I would think more substantial. I’ve heard that while slick and pretty the phenolic coatings tend to chip and scratch easily. Which in my mind puts a bonus point in the harder laminate column.

What is your opinion?

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