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Thread: Questions about router table top

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Questions about router table top

    I went dumpster diving and found a piece of 1-1/2" plywood that has plastic laminate [Formica] glued to both sides. This is actually a single piece of 1-1/2" plywood, I've never seen plywood that thick before. The laminate on one side is peeling off, so I am going to finish peeling it off and re-apply a new sheet of laminate once I clean it up and sand it smooth. I'm going to cut the plywood down, apply some solid wood edging, and turn it into a router table top. I've also researched and discovered that most commercial router table tops are 24" wide by 32" long, which seems awfully small to me. Do any of you guys use a larger router table or do you find that the "standard" size is adequate for your use?

    Also, when I peel the laminate off, I suspect that there will be a couple of small voids in the top veneer. Any suggestions as to the best product to use to fill those voids? I want to make sure the top is dead flat before I put new laminate on it.
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    NE OH
    My top is 32 D x 36 W and that works well for me, providing good support for the furniture projects I build. I have the router mounted about 2/3 of the way back and I wouldn't want it much farther back than that or it would be a strain to reach sometimes. If you plan to buy a fence you might want to pick that out before you settle on final dimensions. My fence is close to 36 wide so that's how I chose the table width since I didn't want the fence to hang over sides.

    Bondo would work well as a filler, or almost any good wood filler should do the job.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Endres View Post
    ... when I peel the laminate off, I suspect that there will be a couple of small voids ....
    The laminate is typically applied with contact cement and a heat gun will allow you to remove it with little or no damage to the wood (typically). I've removed laminate this way in a couple of kitchen remodels. If there are pre-existing voids, or even new, I'd second Mr. Franklin's 'bondo' recommendation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    If you have the space, a larger table is certainly a nice thing to have because of better workpiece support. It's actually handy that you need to replace the laminate on one can choose the color that way.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    I used a sink cutout as the top of my router table. It is high density particle board with laminate firmly attached. I backed it with a piece of 3/4 plywood to beef it up. I built it about 10 years ago and it still works well. I put maple on the edges to dress it up and beef it up. I don't think it is bigger than commercial tops and it works well for me. I do not use my router table for really big pieces, I use one of my routers hand held, sometimes guided by my track saw track.

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