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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. New to this forum!

I'm re-building my router table because my 6 year old top has lost its flatness. It was built with 1-1/8" thick MDF, with 1/2" melamine glued to it for a work surface. It was mounted to a vanity cabinet, but the back of the table overhung the cabinet by about 12", and the sides and back overhung about 8".

Overall, the new table will be about 46" deep, and about 32" wide. It needs to be that deep to accomodate my Incra system. The new table will also incorporate a Woodpeckers phenolic plate (until I can afford to buy an aluminum plate with a nice Woodpeckers lift). The melamine on the old table wasn't as durable as I'd like, so the new table is going to have a Formica top.

Here's the question...
What do I use for a substrate for the Formica? Since the table overhangs so much, I need it to be something that won't sag over time...I need a flat table. I've been told that particle board will remain flatter than MDF, although I'm not sure if that is true??? I'd like to buy 3/4" thick material and adhere layers of it together to yield something at least 1-1/2" thick. I might also make a box frame underneath the table to provide support to help keep overhanging edges from sagging.

I'd certainly appreciate any advice that you folks have. I just want to make it myself...Don't want to buy something commercially made.

Thanks,
Aaron
 

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Welcome to the site Aaron!
Personally if you are going to laminate it with a standard grade laminate I would use particle board. Nothing wrong with MDF, but particle board will hold the laminate better. If I wasn't going to laminate it I would use MDF for the smooth flat surface. Either one I would support an overhang of more than 2-3inches. You could use angle supports made from scraps. If you laminate it, I prefer the Wilsonart laminate over most others because of its strength and durability. Their glue is also superior to others on the market. I do a lot of laminating for the fast food restaurants industry and have the best results with Wilsonart.
 

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Hello everyone. New to this forum!

I'm re-building my router table because my 6 year old top has lost its flatness. It was built with 1-1/8" thick MDF, with 1/2" melamine glued to it for a work surface. It was mounted to a vanity cabinet, but the back of the table overhung the cabinet by about 12", and the sides and back overhung about 8".

Overall, the new table will be about 46" deep, and about 32" wide. It needs to be that deep to accomodate my Incra system. The new table will also incorporate a Woodpeckers phenolic plate (until I can afford to buy an aluminum plate with a nice Woodpeckers lift). The melamine on the old table wasn't as durable as I'd like, so the new table is going to have a Formica top.

Here's the question...
What do I use for a substrate for the Formica? Since the table overhangs so much, I need it to be something that won't sag over time...I need a flat table. I've been told that particle board will remain flatter than MDF, although I'm not sure if that is true??? I'd like to buy 3/4" thick material and adhere layers of it together to yield something at least 1-1/2" thick. I might also make a box frame underneath the table to provide support to help keep overhanging edges from sagging.

I'd certainly appreciate any advice that you folks have. I just want to make it myself...Don't want to buy something commercially made.

Thanks,
Aaron
Welcome Aboard!

Here is a link to a cool Router Table... designed to be attached to a table or bench, used, & stored away. The table Top design may help you build a good solid top.

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ProjectsAndDesign/ProjectsAndDesignArticle.aspx?id=28007

It shows that a router table does NOT have to be fancy with a lot of bells & whistles...

MDF is the best substrate for veneers, etc. IMHO.
 

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You can also get MDF in 5/4 thickness if you're concerned about standard 3/4 taking a dive after awhile. We've used it for something, (can't remember now) but I do remember almost leaving one of my reproductive organs on the floor of the loading dock when I tried lifting the full sheet by myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can also get MDF in 5/4 thickness if you're concerned about standard 3/4 taking a dive after awhile. We've used it for something, (can't remember now) but I do remember almost leaving one of my reproductive organs on the floor of the loading dock when I tried lifting the full sheet by myself.
I'm 6'6" tall and 295 pounds, and the last time I lifted a 1-1/8" sheet of MDF I thought it was going to fall on me and crush me. MDF didn't work out for me the first time, but probably because I didn't support it at the edges and overhangs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the informative replies fellas. I'll definately look for some Wilsonart laminate. I tend to call everything Formica, even when it is another brand!

The linked article was very informative as well Joe. I'll definately be building a framework underneath the table top this time to try to keep it nice and flat.
 

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Don't forget...

Most places where you can buy sheets of ply & MDF will give you One cut FREE and charge you a small fee to get additional cuts...

By getting it cut into 4 pieces, the weight is spread out a little into smaller / lighter chunks! :yes: :laughing:

I always try to get at least that one FREE cut... makes life much easier on my weak back.
 
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