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Thread: What's your favorite router base material?

  1. #1

    What's your favorite router base material?

    I've got about ten routers in need of new bases. What material do you like and why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Synthetic bowling alley flooring. Solid, rock hard phenolic, and a little less than a half inch thick. Free if you catch a bowling alley installing new lanes. They always have a lot of scraps left over, and throw it away. You have to be able to get over the fake woodgrain though.

    I've made a number out of leftover Corian scraps too, but that was back when that was The countertop material, before the days of Granite. It chips a lot easier than the bowling alley floor though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
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    3,710
    I like 3/8" clear acrylic so I can see a little more then the little hole where the bit goes through.

  4. #4
    I prefer polycarbonate (Lexan) for my bases. Have used 1/4" tempered hard board also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    9,547
    If I'm making my own, baltic birch. I have it around, I like working with it, and I know how to machine it. If I'm buying a pre-made base, whatever they're making it with. I don't think the material matters very much.

  6. #6
    1/4" clear Lexan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Falls Church, VA
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    I like Lexan. It scratches pretty badly so the view isn't perfect but I can generally see a piece of blue painters tape coming. That said, The base I probably use the most is black sheet PVC because I had it around.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Doylestown, PA
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    6,507
    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Falk View Post
    I like 3/8" clear acrylic so I can see a little more then the little hole where the bit goes through.
    That's my choice as well, especially if I want the base to work with Porter Cable style bushings. I find 1/4" thick not thick enough. I also sometimes counter bore the mounting holes a little oversized. That way there's a little adjustment to center the bit in the bushing. I've been concerned with the base moving due to oversized mounting holes but as far as I can tell that hasn't been an issue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    I like to use clear Lexan in whatever thickness I happen to have a scrap of that will work, usually 1/4 or 5/16". Lexan won't shatter like acrylic can. They make bullit proof windows from Lexan. I always save my larger scraps for this purpose.

    Charley

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    2,261
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    I like to use clear Lexan in whatever thickness I happen to have a scrap of that will work, usually 1/4 or 5/16". Lexan won't shatter like acrylic can. They make bullit proof windows from Lexan. I always save my larger scraps for this purpose.

    Charley
    What operations are you doing that you fear shattering your router base? If you drop a router these days, there is plenty of plastic to shatter besides the base plate.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,636
    What ever is on hand. I've used polycarbonate, acrylic, plywood and hardboard. The last one I made was out of an old plastic cutting board from the thrift store.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
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    1,690
    I put peel and stick flooring on one. Works fine.

    Clamped in vise it's a router table.

    Router 4.jpg

    Sorry for inverted pic

    Piece of purple heart package taped on to accommodate unflat stock.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    I put peel and stick flooring on one. Works fine.

    Clamped in vise it's a router table.

    Router 4.jpg

    Sorry for inverted pic

    Piece of purple heart package taped on to accommodate unflat stock.
    This piqued my interest. I'm not familiar with this product, is there an industry name or brand to look for?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Here's a picture of one made from the free, phenolic bowling alley flooring. I use six of these for making reproduction 18th, and 19th Century window sash. This rig gets 100% of the chips, and sawdust, with just a shop vac. Notice the router, that has been used a LOT, still looks like new.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    1.5 hrs north of San Francisco, CA
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    783
    I like phenolic. Phenolic or steel don't flex or sag as much as Lexan or wood, but for small dimensions, that's not a major factor.

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