Router table top cast iron or homemade?

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Forum topic by Peteyb posted 05-16-2012 03:02 PM 3758 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Peteyb's profile


131 posts in 2759 days

05-16-2012 03:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I am in the process of making a mobile table saw/router table and wondering what everyone thinks of type of router table top. Should I purchase the nice cast iron wing that will fit inside the rails on the table saw or should I make my own with plywood and laminate?

9 replies so far

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2669 days

#1 posted 05-16-2012 03:08 PM

I went the cast iron route, have not looked back. I put it on the left side of the saw, I plan on making one for the right side, mostly just to have table support over there, instead of air under the fence.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Peteyb's profile


131 posts in 2759 days

#2 posted 05-16-2012 03:43 PM

crashn thanks for the input. I plan to put mine on the right sided of the saw. For everyone else what type of cast iron table top do you us or what type of plywood and laminate do you use?

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3195 days

#3 posted 05-16-2012 06:59 PM

For my RT top I laminated two layers of 3/4 MDF and then put formica from Home Depot on top. I used contact cement for everything and it has held up well for over a year. I have a jessem lift and a PC 7518 hanging from it so it has held a fair amount of weight without sagging but I made sure to support it well from underneath. I have been considering builting a new RT and would go the same route with no reservations. However if budget were unlimited I would look pretty hard at the cast iron tops, they seem pretty nice.

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3780 days

#4 posted 05-16-2012 07:26 PM

I make my router tables for the following reasons #1 you can make the size you want to fit in the area you have space for a router table,#2 Shop made router tables cost far less the factory built,#3 you can make the storage area to fit your routers and router bits. #4 you can make your fence to meet the kind of work you do,#5 you get to select what material you want your table made out of and what it looks like.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jaidee's profile


51 posts in 2983 days

#5 posted 05-16-2012 07:26 PM

I also laminated 2 pieces of 3/4” MDF and trimmed it in 1”x2” maple, then topped it with a piece of black laminate. I bought an insert from Rockler (I think) and mounted a switch on the side of the table. It works great for my 2 1/4 hp Portercable router and I made a fence that attaches to the back of the table saw fence so it does double duty. If money was no option I probably would have gone the cast iron route and put in a lift, but “honey” said “money was an option” soooooo…...... you get the picture.

Of course a couple months later I found a woodshop closing up on Craigslist and picked up a Grizzly floor model drill press with custom table and a Hawk Articulating Router table with 3 1/2 hp router and 3 sets of panel raising and cope/stick bits. Went for the drill press but ended up taking the table/router/bits for an extra $200. Still use the home made table for quick stuff as it’s much easier to set up.

-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

View Peteyb's profile


131 posts in 2759 days

#6 posted 05-16-2012 08:37 PM

Vrtigo1, a1Jim, and jaidee thanks for the info. I think that I want to go with the cast iron top but have some similar feelings with cost. I also think a plus for the cast iron top is that it will even out some of the weight with the table saw on the mobile base. How I am building my mobile table saw/router station I will be able to build storage for my router and router accessories with either top. Here is my blog on the progress of my build

View newwoodbutcher's profile


777 posts in 3053 days

#7 posted 05-16-2012 08:50 PM

I’m dreaming about the Grizzly cast iron router top with an additional cast iron wing on the right side of my saw. $$$ but I think worth it.

-- Ken

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3780 days

#8 posted 05-16-2012 09:51 PM

I hope it works out very well for you Pete

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3200 days

#9 posted 05-16-2012 11:21 PM

I have several different types of router tables. The FIRST one I made from Formica and plywood, mounted it on the left side of my table saw, changed it over to metal.(Still using it today) , MY next one WILL be the cast one.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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