Question about Woodsmith/Shop Notes router table

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Forum topic by Brett posted 02-04-2011 01:34 AM 3418 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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661 posts in 2887 days

02-04-2011 01:34 AM

I’m considering building a router table using plans from the Woodsmith Shop website:

The table is built with a base of 3/4-in MDF and two “covers” of 1/4-in hardboard (basically, the two hardboard layers are glued onto the MDF and the assembly is banded with hardwood and covered with a sheet of plastic laminate).

Why this design? Wouldn’t it be better to use a 1/2-in piece of MDF instead of the two hardboard sheets? What’s the reason for this design?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

8 replies so far

View TMcG's profile


191 posts in 3204 days

#1 posted 02-04-2011 01:48 AM

They are all roughly the same pattern, a sandwich of some flat material with a top layer of low friction laminate, this one is a little different with the 3/4 ply and 2 hardboard layers but, I guess, achieves the same result, a flat rigid surface to mount the plate to.


View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3126 days

#2 posted 02-04-2011 02:33 AM

Yeah, that is weird. I’d be inclined to just use 1/2” MDF instead of the two hardboard layers. Hardboard doesn’t have any grain, so lamination isn’t helping.

View Belg1960's profile


1076 posts in 3269 days

#3 posted 02-04-2011 02:59 AM

can’t help with the why but I hope you are going to build the version with the door/drawers as otherwise it seems like missed opportunity for some all important storage.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Brett's profile


661 posts in 2887 days

#4 posted 02-04-2011 05:38 AM

I was leaning toward the non-cabinet version, because I”m fairly new to woodworking and it seems a more attainable goal. I’m open to suggestions for other router tables that are not too complicated to build.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View thiel's profile


394 posts in 3496 days

#5 posted 02-04-2011 05:51 AM

Hmmm… the plans say 3/4 inch PLY, not MDF, which could be the reason for the hardboard…to eliminate even the grain fluctuations in the ply?

I went with two layers of 3/4 MDF, then laminate right on top of that. Can’t help feeling like I overdid it.

-- --Thiel

View Brett's profile


661 posts in 2887 days

#6 posted 02-04-2011 04:55 PM

Good point, thiel. I forgot that it says ply, not MDF.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View EEngineer's profile


1117 posts in 3817 days

#7 posted 02-04-2011 05:51 PM

As a matter of fact, my first though t was that this seems a little underbuilt. Like Thiel, my top was made of two sheets of 3/4” MDF laminated, and I don’t consider it overbuilt at all. If you are gonna hang a big router under it, you probably need that to keep the table top from sagging under the weight of the router.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3340 days

#8 posted 02-04-2011 08:10 PM

I tried to figure out the reasoning behind this and couldn’t. If I was to use hardboard with MDF or Ply I would put 1 piece on both sides…

I tried to figure why Norm used 1/2 + 3/4 for his top???

Was it for weight reasons or biscuits reasoning???

-- Rick

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