Howdy from Texas, name is Dale. I saw this site referenced on another woodworking site and have been lurking and researching for a week or so. Seems like a nice group here so decided to join. Got a new Grizzly hybrid table saw from the lil woman for Christmas and after tuning it decided that a router table was next and maybe even my first project, though I have never used a router before. Forgive me if these questions have been asked over and over.
The top...what is the best material to construct it from and how thick should it be? I found some 3/4 phenolic impregnated baltic birch ply at Woodcraft that looked pretty slick...but at 59 bucks for a 24 x 48 sheet is should. Maybe use it for the top and bond it to some MDF under it, or just use MDF and formica all the way? Also...it seems that just buying a top will be about as cheap as purchasing materials and hardware. But just something I like about doing it myself and taking pride in workmanship.
The router plate. I got a Freud FT3000VCE plunge router on sale at Woodcraft and plates seem somewhat hard to find for it, but drilling shouldn't be too much of an obstacle. 3/8 aluminum or phenolic? Is one any better than the other or just personal preference? Woodpeckers looks to have some nice ones and they also have the inserts to fit.
The fence...build one or buy one? Peachtree has some at a decent price. But after looking several over and studying, it doesn't look too hard to just build a functional fence.
Am planning on constructing a cabinet style stand with a hinged top. I like the look, extra storage and the plywood will be cheaper than buying a commercial made stand.
Many thanks in advance for any help or advice that can be offered.
Hi Dale - Welcome to the forum
Phenolic Birch make a great top. I you go with that, I don't think you would need much else as long as you provided support about every 12" along the length.
As far as making your own top, I would do 3/4 MDF over 3/4 plywood. Don't see MDF bringing any structural strength to the party.
Nice router, I got one the same way.
Course I have spent what I saved setting up a table. No need for a hinged top with it. Do everything but speed control and locking from on top. Tip - pick up a 10mm internal hex socket and a 1/4" hex to 3/8" square drive at the local Sears or auto parts place. Assemble, chuck in your drill and you got a power lift for it.
Incra makes a 3/8" aluminum plate predrilled for it for about $90, depending where you buy. It uses Mag Lock insert rings.
Fence, again - build or buy, your choice and there are plenty of commercial ones available. Just depends on what you want for capability.
Once again, welcome to the forum. Be Safe