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Forum topic by Mark Shultz posted 08-25-2012 08:47 PM 1694 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shultz

62 posts in 1041 days


08-25-2012 08:47 PM

I am about to start the build of my router table (as an extension of my table saw).

I was planning on 2 layers of mdf for the surface but saw HD has a large enough piece of melamine to be the top layer. The melamine is over particle board not mdf. It would be easier to use this than laminating mdf for sure Any thoughts on if the particle board should concern me? My bottom layer will still be mdf (finished with something to waterretard it)


5 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1228 days


#1 posted 08-26-2012 12:35 AM

A double layer of MDF with hardwood edging and then plastic laminate (formica) on both sides is the best option for a router table IMHO.

Melamine will work though, just not nearly as durable as laminate for a work surface. Laminate is durable and very hard once attached to the substrate; melamine can, and will scratch pretty easily. WHere it gets scratched, the tiniest bit of moisture and it will swell.

There’s a reason laminate is used on countertops…

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1783 posts in 1145 days


#2 posted 08-26-2012 10:48 AM

I agree with NiteWalker, I would be less concerned about the particle board, and more concerned with the durability of the melamine covering…it’s just too thin, and not nearly as durable as a laminate covering. You could use it as the bottom layer, and cover the top with the MDF and then laminate. Even so, if this is goes on a wide extension (52”), that length may sag a little in the center without some sort of under-bracings (maybe angle iron or such). If it’s a shorter extension, say 30” or so the saw support may be enough. When I was set up this way, my mobile base lifted that end of the saw to move around….the extra weight from the router table was almost too much for it to lift.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Rob's profile

Rob

122 posts in 1638 days


#3 posted 08-26-2012 01:53 PM

When I built my table last year, I used 2 layers of 3/4” plywood and then put laminate on both sides. Even then with the weight of the lift and Porter Cable Router, I was worried about sag over time so I used two pieces of angle steel under the table. So far so good. No sag and no other issues either. I agree with Nitewalker and Fred. Laminate will last a lot longer than Melamine and if you’re going to put a lot of money into the table, lift and router, why skimp on the top?

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 08-26-2012 09:33 PM

How did you keep your plywood flat when gluing? It seems no matter how hard I tried I always get a bow or cup in the laminated plywood tables I attempted. Baltic birch plywood is what I used.

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

View Rob's profile

Rob

122 posts in 1638 days


#5 posted 08-27-2012 12:23 AM

I put the flattest piece of plywood down and the top piece did have a slight bow to it. I glued the two pieces together with the crown up and screwed them together. The two pieces stayed almost flat. Just the slightest of crowns was present. Maybe 1/32nd of an inch. After I added the two pieces of steel angle to the table and screwed the top to them, it took the crown out and left me with a perfectly flat table.

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