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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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I just purchased a Milwaukee 2 1/4 hp mulit base router kit and I am in the process of building a router table. The question I have is on the material to make the top and fence with?
I have some left over 3/4" melamine, and I was wondering if that would be a good choice?

I have read several posts about using MDF with Formica on it. I would have to go purchase those materials when I already have melamine laying around from a cabinet that built.

Is this a good material to use?

Does it hold up pretty well?

Will it make a good fence?

As always your comments are greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 01:13 AM
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Hello, Trevor. Melamine might be alright for a fence, but it will not work for the table top. The reason being that it is made of particle board and is not stiff enough. It will sag and peel too easily. The reason for MDF is it is rigid, very flat and will stay that way if you laminate it on both sides with Formica. I used 2 - 3/4" pieces of MDF glued together with the Formica on both sides and 3/4" pine edging a couple of years ago and it is still as good a new

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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George, thank you for the advice. I am glad I found this out now before I built the top. Do you have any recomendations for the type of glue to use when I am putting 2 pieces of mdf together?
Titebond III?
Plain old wood glue?

Thank You!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 11:58 AM
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Trevor, almost any glue could be used to laminate the layers of the top, but you'll probably want to give consideration to how you'll be clamping it. Most conventional wood glues depend on fairly strong clamping pressures to create a strong bond. With panels, getting enough pressure in the center area can be an issue unless you have a panel press. Thus, you might want to consider using contact cement.

Also, give consideration to a support structure under the top. Although laminating two thicknesses of MDF, good-quality ply, or whatever, will minimize sag, you'll want to minimize the span distance if you can. Those who have made workbenches with laminated MDF without a support structure can tell the tale.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 02:08 PM
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Trevor,
As Ralph said, just about any wood glue will work if you have a way to evenly clamp the boards, such as clamps with cauls or something heavy to set on top of the boards (sometimes I use cement blocks). I used contact cement because I already had some for applying the Formica. You just have to be sure the boards are straight before you put them together. With contact cement it's just what it implies... it cements on contact and there is no moving around after contact. Another tip with the contact cement is be sure you have good ventilation when and where ever you use it. In fact I would suggest using a good fan with the door open.... that stuff is strong!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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I used titebond. I marked out where the plate and t-tracks were going to be located, then I drilled and counter sunk holes for the 1 1/4 sheetrock screws making sure I used enough around the edges of the table and plate. This really tied the two layers of mdf together. Then I covered both sides of the top and ran some 1/2 thich oak around the edges. Very solid table top.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice
I will use contact cement since that is what I will be using to apply my formica

As far as sandwiching my mdf together- I will use my cherry picker to lay cast iron plates on top of the material for a day or two and make sure that is nice and strong.

As always thanks for the advice!!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 04:57 PM
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If you sight along the flat of the MDF you may notice that there could be a slight cup in it. If so, put the convex sides together. That will cancel out any cupping and create a flat top.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 08:26 AM
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Jeep Man,

be careful you don't deform the pieces with heavy steel plates. MDF dents and scratches easily.
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