Best workflow for router table extension lamination

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Forum topic by DW833 posted 11-10-2013 10:36 PM 1514 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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215 posts in 1880 days

11-10-2013 10:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router table extension mdf laminate

I’m buiding a router extension table for my table saw.
Have a few questions on how to laminate top and then cut hole for insert and dado for t-track.

The materials used are:

Table is 2 Sheets of 3/4 MDF
Laminate on top and bottom of mdf
Kreg insert
Hardwood edging

The process I want to follow is outlined here.

Table Glue 2 sheets of mdf to size using titebond. Using screws as a clamp to hold together until glue drys. Do I pre-drill for screws? Should pre-drill be through both sheets of mdf? Should screws be removed?

Edging 3/4 hardwood joined to mdf edge using glue and screws.

Table will have laminate on top and bottom Is the table saw ok for cutting the laminate to size for the top? Will there be chip-out or tear out? I’ve read that using a laminate knife is better for cutting laminate. Laminate is secured to mdf using contact cement. I have the laminate that I picked up from a cabinet shop. I’ve read that once the laminate and mdf have contact cement on them, I should let them dry for a while. Not sure how long to let them dry. Once the two pieces touch it is difficult to shift them. How do I initially align them so that I don’t have to shift them to align.

Cut hole for insert and t-track After laminating the top and bottom, my plans are to cut hole for insert and dado for t-track. To cut for insert, I plan on using a template to position and size hole. Drill holes in corners and use a jig saw to cut out hole. For t-track, not sure if using a router or dado blades is best. Any suggestions?

My biggest concern is how do I prevent chipping and other damage to the laminate?

Is this the correct order or should I cut hole and dado before applying laminate?

Haven’t done any lamination before. Searched for decent guide on how to laminate mdf, but couldn’t find one.
Anyone know of a tutorial or guide I could use?

5 replies so far

View Garry's profile


103 posts in 1713 days

#1 posted 11-11-2013 12:59 AM

My suggestions -

Cut the laminate oversize. Trim flush with a router after it’s glued down

When the glue has dried (maybe 5-10 minutes) lay scrap sticks on the top and position the laminate on the sticks. Pull out one stick at a time while rolling the laminate down to contact the top.

Apply edge banding after the top is down. Use router to trim flush if needed. When trimming the edge band flush, set router bit so blade doesn’t contact the laminate.

Keep searching for more detailed instructions or videos. They’re out there.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 3476 days

#2 posted 11-11-2013 01:26 AM

Search for AskWoodMan on YouTube….he has some good videos that will help you.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2059 days

#3 posted 11-11-2013 02:07 AM

I did something very similar in my TS router table project. This works fine, but there was one unexpected negative. Direct sunlight on a warm day will make the laminate’s contact cement gooey. If I’m not paying attention and my TS is in the doorway sunlight for a while, the laminate surface will start lifting up. I can stick it right back down and when cool, it does fine. But, it’s something I need to constantly be aware of.

My project is here.


View DW833's profile


215 posts in 1880 days

#4 posted 11-13-2013 10:09 PM

GarryP, Thanks for the feedback. I haven’t worked with contact cement before. If it is dry before I lay the laminate, how does the laminate stick to the mdf?

View DW833's profile


215 posts in 1880 days

#5 posted 11-19-2013 12:45 AM

After further research discovered why its called contact cement. Even when dry it will stick when it makes contact.

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