Ok to route Plastic Laminate?

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Forum topic by Eric_S posted 08-28-2009 07:19 PM 2055 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1565 posts in 3433 days

08-28-2009 07:19 PM

Hey guys,

I’m about to build a simple router table. I want to glue a piece of plastic laminate to the top surface but I’m wondering if its safe to route through plastic laminate (for the router plate opening). Is this how its usually done? Will it ruin my bits? I’ve never dealt with cutting laminate before.

Eric Seidel

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

8 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#1 posted 08-28-2009 07:24 PM

what plastic laminate are you using?

generally speaking – yes, it’s ok to route laminates (formica etc) and it will not ruin your bit – these are very thin, and brittle materials though – so make sure you take light passes/bites with the router. preferably – cut the opening first with a jigsaw/drill and just route the edges clean. this is how it is done normally.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3433 days

#2 posted 08-28-2009 07:27 PM

Not sure what kind, I was going to the stores this weekend to decide. Any suggestions?

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3441 days

#3 posted 08-28-2009 07:54 PM

Most laminates are made the same way – a top layer of plastic coloring, followed by 3 or 4 layers of paper, held together with adhesive. What kid of bits are you using? Carbide tipped? HHS? Solid Carbide? (not that it matters). The point is, you will use HHS drill bits to drill through – carbide will cut it without a problem.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

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Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#4 posted 08-28-2009 08:11 PM

Howdy Eric:
I agree with Billy 3 on the procedure of cutting the laminate. A couple of things I might add—when cutting the laminate on the table saw(if that’s what you’re gonna use), don’t let the laminate slide under the rip fence. I use a 1/8 in. piece of plywood double-sticked down next to the rip fence to keep that from happening.
Also, cut your piece about a 1/2 in. larger that the top of your table, and use dowels to keep the two pieces from sticking together after you apply the contact glue to both pieces, cause once they stick together, they are there. So be precise and careful. Hope I helped a little. Rick D.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

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3902 posts in 3935 days

#5 posted 09-02-2009 01:12 AM

That is the way I have made mine no problem use your router.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3935 days

#6 posted 09-02-2009 01:20 AM

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3935 days

#7 posted 09-02-2009 01:20 AM

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#8 posted 09-02-2009 06:28 AM

That’s how you trim them after gluing

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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