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1/2 MDF for Custom Router Table Plate

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 10-11-2014 03:22 PM 1210 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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paxorion

1102 posts in 1512 days


10-11-2014 03:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router

After flip flopping on router base plate options, I’ve decided to make my own (sized to match the Woodpeckers plate at 9 1/4”x11 3/4”). To keep the cost down, I am planning on making it out of MDF, which I have plenty of. I was curious if 1/2 MDF would be stiff enough. I’ll be using one of my Bosch MRF23EVS router which is rated at about 9 lbs.

-- paxorion


9 replies so far

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 803 days


#1 posted 10-11-2014 03:45 PM

I would say yes in the short to mid term but I worry whether 1/2” MDF would do it over the long. MDF is hard to put a finish on that will protect it from oils, etc. but if you have a lot of it make several plates and have at it. :)

Oh make sure the mdf is dead flat. I like phenolic for router plates. it is expensive but man that stuff is magical. Tom

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 890 days


#2 posted 10-11-2014 06:11 PM

MDF is too susceptible to humidity and moisture. I would use plywood, at a minimum.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

875 posts in 1751 days


#3 posted 10-12-2014 07:44 AM

I just made one out of one of these . So far, it works very well. They are textured, but once sanded down, they are nice and slippery.

Joe

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1817 days


#4 posted 10-12-2014 11:42 AM

I would put Formica on both sides, that will stiffen it up considerably and give it a more durable surface.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Tooch's profile

Tooch

1352 posts in 1342 days


#5 posted 10-12-2014 11:44 AM

i guess it depends on what you are using it for. if you are just routing edges and ends, it should definitely work for you. If you are planning on doing very precise joinery (i.e.- box joints, dovetails, tongue & groove, etc.) you may want to consider something a little thicker.

When I first started working at the high school 9 years ago- we had a homemade router table made from 2×4’s and 3/8” ply for the top. It sagged a little in the middle but you could still get decent edges and ends. I wouldn’t trust it with joinery, though.

I agree if you have alot of extra MDF to just mass produce a dozen or so, then you have them… good luck

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1102 posts in 1512 days


#6 posted 10-12-2014 12:05 PM



i guess it depends on what you are using it for. if you are just routing edges and ends, it should definitely work for you. If you are planning on doing very precise joinery (i.e.- box joints, dovetails, tongue & groove, etc.) you may want to consider something a little thicker.

When I first started working at the high school 9 years ago- we had a homemade router table made from 2×4 s and 3/8” ply for the top. It sagged a little in the middle but you could still get decent edges and ends. I wouldn t trust it with joinery, though.

I agree if you have alot of extra MDF to just mass produce a dozen or so, then you have them… good luck

- Tooch

Great point on it. My goal really was to be a cheapskate, so that I would have a router table at home, better than nothing. The thought of paying $60+ bucks for a router plate was not appealing, and I’m sure that I would have buyers remorse for not splurging for the Woodpecker’s plate. I also wanted to use material I have on hand for a prototype first, so that I can learn from the build experience and decide what would want to do for the next version.

My main uses would be for edge treatments and pattern routing. To reduce the change of sagging, I am planning on taking the plate off the table whenever it is not in use.

-- paxorion

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1415 days


#7 posted 10-12-2014 09:48 PM

no matter what you use you will have to thin it down to 1/4”, or buy longer screws and have your bits stick out of the collet further.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5182 posts in 2661 days


#8 posted 10-12-2014 11:17 PM

I’m with timbertailor on this one…..Unless you put laminate on both sides, you may run into problems….Having plenty of MDF on hand is a good thing for making several, and not wanting to put out the big bucks for an expensive plate (I think they are way tooo high), you could go two ways…....Make a plate out of 3/8” Lexan, which will probably never sag, or pick up a Rousseau plate (same thickness), but it comes with a cuple of inserts for different size bits (or use to), and it’s about half the cost of the plate you mentioned…I used a Rousseau 3509 Deluxe plat4 for years….still have it….Google it…..$36.49….and remember…..MDF doesen’t take screws good at all….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1102 posts in 1512 days


#9 posted 10-13-2014 02:54 AM

Well in my haste, I made one out of 1/2 MDF already, with $0 invested into it. Based on everyone’s feedback, this prototype might not last too long, which I am OK with. Odds are, after this iteration, I’ll decide if I want to stick with the make route for its replacement, or just shell out for a better plate.

-- paxorion

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