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Building a router table insert for a table saw

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 07-20-2012 02:43 PM 1944 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


07-20-2012 02:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router table insert

A while back I purchased the bench dogs cast iron insert for my table saw. I like it, but my plans have changed. It was going to be on the left of the blade. I also purchased the Incra LS-TS fence system which I have to wait another 3 weeks or so to get. After a lot of research and videos, I really want the incra wonder fence for my router. That thing is amazing. Incra is really on top of their game (I just wish their stuff as cheaper). That means the insert needs to go to the right of the blade. Here are my questions:

Materials: Melamine? MDF? Buy a laminate counter top and cut it to fit?
Insert or no Insert? I see a lot of both. I have one that I ordered with the bench dogs kit, but it’s unopened and I can still send it back. Also it’s kind of crappy looking and some reviews say it sags over time with a heavy router (I am using a PC 7518)

Anyone in the western MA area that wants to buy the bench dogs cast iron insert, I can save you the wait and shipping cost if you get back to me by Monday :)

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


21 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4322 posts in 1699 days


#1 posted 07-20-2012 03:19 PM

I build two router tables with melamine stuff, they both sagged over time, this is why I bought the bench dog cast iron table.The grizzly table is also nice

-- Bert

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1228 days


#2 posted 07-20-2012 10:50 PM

My choice would be formica laminated MDF with hardwood bracing underneath and around the perimiter (laminate AFTER applying the hardwood edging for a seamless top). Get your bracing flat and the table surface will stay flat.

For thickness, 1 1/2” (2 3/4” sheets laminated together) will give you decent weight and stability, but you cna use 3/4” as well as long as it’s braced properly.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#3 posted 07-21-2012 12:09 AM

No need for edging, this is getting dropped in a table saw and will be surrounded on all 4 sides. In driving home, there is a kitchen cabinet shop about half a mile away. I stopped in to see if they have any counter top scraps. They are cutting this stuff called Formica MDF Solidz for a vaniry tomorrow, which is supposed to act like a natural stone counter top but is some kind of funky impregnated MDF I guess. He said it machines like wood and it will be free for a 2ftx3ft piece, so I’ll give it a shot.
Off topic but i am grabbing a lot of plywood and some hardwood scraps too. His motto is “giving it up for free is cheaper than a dumpster pickup”. I like this guy.
My question now is, how do you attach MDF to MDF? Wood glue and screws? Just screws? Liquid nails and screws?I’ve never worked with MDF other than screwing it down to some 2×4’s for a table top.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Alexandre

1417 posts in 842 days


#4 posted 07-21-2012 12:17 AM

Joe, What table saw do you have?

-- My terrible signature...

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1228 days


#5 posted 07-21-2012 12:28 AM

I’d use the edging as it gives a much more durable way to attach it to the tablesaw; mdf along can compress pretty easily. I would do it for durability personally.

Glue and clamps work fine, glue and screws do too, just make sure to do all your layout for the router plate and things like that so you don’t put any screws in that area.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

1876 posts in 1882 days


#6 posted 07-21-2012 12:33 AM

@lumberjoe – you need to make that guy your friend!!! Whatever it takes.
If he was in Texas, he would be getting a double meat and cheese Whataburger on the house! :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#7 posted 07-21-2012 01:02 AM

Alexandre, the almighty Ridgid R4512.

NiteWalker, good call. I will do that. I have tons of thin, useless strips of oak I can use. I am going to use the bottom piece of MDF to make the template to cut the top with. I have it planned out in my head, we’ll see if it works.

MT_Stinger, I make my own beer as well as making stuff out of wood. I’ll be showing up with a few imperial pints. If he’s not a drinker, I make my own soap too. In manly scents of course.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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tomd

1756 posts in 2421 days


#8 posted 07-21-2012 02:08 AM

Maybe use some biscuits also.

-- Tom D

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1064 posts in 1444 days


#9 posted 07-21-2012 02:37 AM

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/62281

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#10 posted 07-22-2012 12:57 AM

I got all my stuff today. I decided to go with the Jessem insert and I am glad I did, That thing I nice. I got it drilled for the router base, that took about 4 minutes, super simple thanks to the centering insert. thanks Jessem!

Now, I have absolutely no idea how to cut the insert. Any tips would be appreciated. My only idea is to put the insert on the table and box it in with some MDF I have. Pull the insert out and use a top bearing (pattern) router bit to cut the outline by riding the bearing on the MDF.

Questions:
1 – how do I keep the MDF “template” down? I see a lot of people use double sided tape. This will have to be on the top of the table. I have used double sided tape on stuff that was permanent, and that stuff is PERMANENT. How would I get it up after? I don’t want to use brads either, Again this is the top and I don’t want holes. I also can’t clamp it because the router sub base has to ride along the top of the template. Clamps would be in the way.

2 – the edges of the plate are curved. Do I need a specific size diameter bit? I have a few Whiteside pattern bits; 1/2” and 1” diameter. In roughing the router around the template (framed MDF), neither appear to match the curves on the edges.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View crashn's profile

crashn

518 posts in 1116 days


#11 posted 07-22-2012 01:38 AM

Can you not just use the same piece on the other side? My peachtree router table wing can be mounted to either side. Or am I missing something?

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

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#12 posted 07-22-2012 01:45 AM

I am referring to the table not the insert. I need to stick the template to the top so I can route out a groove the insert sits in

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View MichaelR's profile

MichaelR

42 posts in 1080 days


#13 posted 07-22-2012 01:49 AM

Joe, I bought the Jessem Master Lift from Rockler a few years ago for my PC 7518. The radius looks to be 3/4” if I measure that right. It’s not 1/2” or 1” for sure.

I used some double stick tape to put the template in place but then followed up with a board clamped across one side. This let me route a little over half the cutout then move the clamped board to the other side to finish it off. The tape made sure the template didn’t move while I switched the clamp. If you don’t let the tape set for too long it’s not quite so hard to remove.

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 899 days


#14 posted 07-22-2012 01:53 AM

I found a PDF online. It would have been nice to include in the box. It is a 3/4 radius, which requires a 1 1/2” pattern bit. I have never seen one of those.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Alexandre's profile

Alexandre

1417 posts in 842 days


#15 posted 07-22-2012 01:54 AM

Joe, Thats why I have a Mast-R-Lift Excel II (the full version with all the tweaks…)
No hassle for me

-- My terrible signature...

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