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Thread: melamine for router table carcass?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    melamine for router table carcass?

    Good morning, I am currently planning on my router table build today and wanted to get input on material selection. I was considering using 3/4" double sided melamine for the base cabinet. The design is based on the NYWS design with a couple of modifications ( I am eliminating the toe kick and using the space as storage. I am also going to beef up the top mounts to help prevent sagging. I have some large pieces of melamine that I was considering using. I like the fact that once assembled it is already finished. I have built numerous shop cabinets (bases and uppers) out of it and it is easy to work and is a true 3/4" thick. I would then face frame with hardwood to help add strength to the assembly. I have seen videos where people use it just like plywood with dadoes, rabbets, etc...any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    I would run some solid wood around the bottom under the floor, and use some casters or wheel kit to make it mobile. It will be HEAVY! My router tables are so heavy with all the stuff in the drawers, so I made one mobile by using casters on one end, and a piece of angle iron on the other and use the moving tool that fits my MM16 to move it. All that router stuff gets heavy. Plan to make the other table mobile soon.
    Last edited by Jim Andrew; 03-29-2014 at 8:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    Jim,
    Good point about the weight of the assembly with stuff in the drawers. I could easily see adding the heavy duty wheels on it. This could be accomplished by running a frame of solid wood around the perimeter of the bottom. Is that what you are referring to? This would give whatever material I use additional strength. I am just torn between using melamine and plywood.

  4. #4
    SSC_0586.jpgSSC_0587.jpgSSC_0588.jpgSSC_0589.jpgSSC_0590.jpgSSC_0586.jpg

    Here's mine, the carcass is all 3/4" melamine coated particle board. I doubt you'll ever get much more weighted down than this, and I haven't seen any sign of failure. BTW, it doesn't have a permanent home, so it gets moved around almost daily.

  5. #5
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    Johnny, thanks for sharing your pictures and experience with melamine. That is a cool color of melamine, where did you get it? How did you assemble it? Did you use dadoes, rabbets and glue?

  6. #6
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    I don't see why Melamine wouldn't work out nicely as a cabinet material for your router table.

  7. #7
    Butt joints with pocket screws and melamine glue. I can get MCP in all sorts of colors and designs from my local supplier. I'm sure your local wholesale supplier would probably stock black and grey. You might try calling a cabinet shop in your area. My first router rable cabinet was the same design in plywood. I didnt like the way it resonated. The MCP dampens vibration a lot better.

  8. #8
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    I have used pocket screws for some light drawers made of 1/2" melamine. How would they compare to traditional dado/mortise construction? Why do you suppose the MCP dampens it better? I would think the plywood would be denser and therefore resistant to vibration and sound amplication?

  9. #9
    Particle board is definitely denser than any normal plywood. Also, the homogenous nature of particle board seems to be more "sonically dead" than plywood. I doubt luthiers will be using PB anytime soon, while laminated veneer is pretty standard in the instrument world.

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