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minuteman62-64 01-24-2013 03:01 PM

Router Table Top Advice
 
In the planning phase for a knockdown router table (gotta be knockdown because of space limitations). The table top layout/construction will be similar to the New Yankee Workshop Deluxe Router Station. The table top will be supported at two locations, similar to the one in the attached photo (the bottom structure will be different). [whoops, site says the pdf is too big to upload - I'll try an alternative :( ]

Since the table top will have to be carried to and stored against a wall, weight is a consideration. Stiffness and flatness is also a factor.

So, I'm looking at two alternatives. Either two pieces of 3/4" MDF, laminated together, as per Norm, or some sort of a torsion box arrangement.

I've built some torsion box shelves that turned out with an incredible (at least to me) strength/weight ratio, so I'm intrigued with the possibility of having a stiffer, lighter table top than I'd have with the two pieces of 3/4" MDF. Maybe 1 1/2" thick with 1/2" MDF on top and 1/4" on the bottom?

Any thoughts/advice?

minuteman62-64 01-24-2013 03:06 PM

Rather than fumbling around trying to reduce file size, here's the site that shows the picture of how the table top will be supported: http://www.sawtoothideas.com/woodwor...g-router-table

frankp 01-24-2013 03:43 PM

How would you mount the router in the torsion box? Do you have an insert that is metal for mounting to or do you plan to mount directly to the table top?

Personally I don't like MDF router tables... I've torn through them before with a not-so-powerful router.

Fred Hargis 01-24-2013 03:48 PM

If you make it that size, I don't think you need worry. A torsion box, besides having a few other problems in a RT, would be a bit of overkill.

JohnnyTooBad 01-24-2013 03:52 PM

How about steel or aluminum square tubing as support under the table top? You could thread the square tubing and screw into it or use nuts. Aluminum would be lightweight and very stiff. Steel could be a smaller dimension, but heavier and stronger with the same thickness walls.

minuteman62-64 01-24-2013 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frankp (Post 430672)
How would you mount the router in the torsion box? Do you have an insert that is metal for mounting to or do you plan to mount directly to the table top?

Personally I don't like MDF router tables... I've torn through them before with a not-so-powerful router.

Router mounting would be with a drop-in aluminum mounting plate (Rockler?). The router/plate assembly would be removed before knocking down the table.

minuteman62-64 01-24-2013 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad (Post 430680)
How about steel or aluminum square tubing as support under the table top? You could thread the square tubing and screw into it or use nuts. Aluminum would be lightweight and very stiff. Steel could be a smaller dimension, but heavier and stronger with the same thickness walls.

I've also read (maybe on here?) of routing channels in the table top and embeding steel bar in epoxy in those channels as a reinforcement. I'm starting off with an (almost) clean sheet of paper in the planning.

JohnnyTooBad 01-24-2013 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by minuteman62-64 (Post 430693)
I've also read (maybe on here?) of routing channels in the table top and embeding steel bar in epoxy in those channels as a reinforcement. I'm starting off with an (almost) clean sheet of paper in the planning.


Yeah. One of those threads is mine. I'm also about to build a router table. Don't just some random steel or aluminum channel into the table. Go to Rockler and by some t-tract and miter slot. The t-track has all sorts of accessories you can use it for. I ordered a new router and a Rockler table plate and t-channel and a bunch of other stuff a few days ago. Don't forget an on/off switch so that you don;t have to fumble around for the switch on the router. I'm also considering a remote or power activated plug to turn on my dust collector when I start the router.

I'm going to be using a piece of melamine that I already have as my top. If nothing else, it'll be a good, free test. I can always build another table surface if I don't like the melamine, and swap all the parts over.

jimmomech8 01-24-2013 05:32 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I built this cabinet and used a Rockler top with a 7518 PC router and a Bench Dog lift 2 years ago and have no trouble w ith sag or tear out. Notice that the dust box supports the router plate within 2" of the router plate.

Mandres 01-25-2013 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmomech8 (Post 430718)
I built this cabinet and used a Rockler top with a 7518 PC router and a Bench Dog lift 2 years ago and have no trouble w ith sag or tear out. Notice that the dust box supports the router plate within 2" of the router plate.

Nice job, I like this setup a lot. Was it based on the New Yankee design?

minuteman62-64 01-25-2013 03:12 PM

Thanks, guys. Lots of food for thought. I'm also playing around with an idea for a single layer 3/4" MDF top reinforced with carbon fibre/epoxy "stringers." May even do a couple of test pieces.

I proceed kind of slowly (sometimes tend to over think these things), so it may be awhile, but, I'll keep you posted.

jimmomech8 01-25-2013 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mandres (Post 431115)
Nice job, I like this setup a lot. Was it based on the New Yankee design?

No. I just started building a cabinet and let it go where I felt each day.

Fred Hargis 01-25-2013 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by minuteman62-64 (Post 430693)
I've also read (maybe on here?) of routing channels in the table top and embeding steel bar in epoxy in those channels as a reinforcement. I'm starting off with an (almost) clean sheet of paper in the planning.

I can tell you for a fact that this arrangement stays flat. This is essentially a "Mr. Sawdust" table for an RAS, and I've built 2, one is over 7 years old and dead flat. Bear in mind, you have to have a flat surface to start (I use an assembly table I have) with to clamp the pieces together while the epoxy cures because they will assume some of the shape they rest on.


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