Router table insert made from hardboard?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-28-2011 08:14 PM 2442 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2706 days

01-28-2011 08:14 PM

I recently purchased a Ridgid router (R29302) and am planning to make a router table. Several plans online describe using 1/4-inch hardboard for the insert plate. Is hardboard going to be sufficiently rigid, or should I use a commercial insert plate?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

3 replies so far

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3033 days

#1 posted 01-28-2011 09:14 PM

It would probably be ok, but the more support you can give it the better. Laminating 1/4” and 1/8” to make 3/8” would be even better.

Instead of having just a 1/2” ledge to support the plate, also give it corner support ledges (on opposing corners so you can still get the router out easily).

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3311 days

#2 posted 01-28-2011 09:43 PM

just screw it to piece of plywood, this way you don’t have to worry about leveling the plate. If your still gonna go with the plate use lexan.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2706 days

#3 posted 01-28-2011 09:59 PM

bigike, my original plan was to screw it to the plywood (or MDF) top, as you suggest. I still may do that. I’m weighing the relative merits of having a stiff table top (with no insert, just a hole for the big) vs. having the ability to change the size of the openings easily (with rings on a commercial insert plate, or insert platess with different hole sizes). (I’m also trying to pinch pennies, which is why I asked about the hardboard insert.)

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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