Almost beginning to build my table --edging - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Default Almost beginning to build my table --edging

Hi Guys and Dolls:

This summer I hope to build my first router table. It was also function as worktable.

The top will be two layers of 3/4" MDF, laminated top and bottom, edged with hardwood, and with a hardwood frame attached to the bottom. The overall size is 24" x 48". All exposed edges of the MDF to be sealed.

My question is: What are the pros and cons of putting a groove along the length of edgings and rabbets along the top and bottom edges of the MDF, then gluing the hardwood to the MDF?

My thought on this is to reinforce the MDF at the edges, against flexing and warping.

Thanks,
Cassandra
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 12:12 PM
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Hi Cassandra

You don't need the edging banding on MDF,,,I made one the same way you are gong to do...two layers of 3/4" MDF is strong , it's so strong you can drive your car over it...and all you are going to do is hang a 15 lb. router from it..
The banding on the router table is just one more thing the stock can hang up on.. it's just for looks the norm but like most wood joints it will move it time..and you will have edge that's up or down on the edges,once MDF is seal it's sealed,, I use Johnson floor wax on my top all the time..I can put a pencil mark on it and with a rag I can just wipe it off easy..

===

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Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
Hi Guys and Dolls:

This summer I hope to build my first router table. It was also function as worktable.

The top will be two layers of 3/4" MDF, laminated top and bottom, edged with hardwood, and with a hardwood frame attached to the bottom. The overall size is 24" x 48". All exposed edges of the MDF to be sealed.

My question is: What are the pros and cons of putting a groove along the length of edgings and rabbets along the top and bottom edges of the MDF, then gluing the hardwood to the MDF?

My thought on this is to reinforce the MDF at the edges, against flexing and warping.

Thanks,
Cassandra


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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Hi Cassandra,

Bob got it right (again) . The MDF is pretty much indestructable, but does not like water or excess moisture. All you need to do is make sure the edges are sealed to avoid spilling water (or coffee) on it.

In my opinion (and a lot disagree) the laminate is not needed on the MDF other than it is a bit slicker than a well sealed and waxed top. Somewhat prettier too.

Have fun whatever you do,

Last edited by a1tomo; 03-22-2009 at 01:04 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 02:18 PM
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Although Bob and Tom are probably correct about the durability of MDF, my opinion differs from an aesthetic perspective. To me, MDF looks ugly and shouts temporary. A Formica top surface and a hardwood edging would look far better and probably be more durable. The bottom surface of the MDF can just be sealed, I think.

Although expansion of the hardwood edging might create a small lip, that can always be trimmed with a hand plane. Plus, the direction of the expansion can be controlled to a degree by the selection of the wood how it's attached. I'd choose a wood with a relatively low expansion coefficient, first of all. Then, I'd do a small-ish rabbet around the top edge of the MDF - 1/2" x 3/8", perhaps. With a corresponding lip on the edge boards, gluing only the rabbet area would force the majority of the expansion toward the lower edge of the edge boards. Generally speaking, however, the amount of expansion across a 2" wide piece of hardwood is really negligible, so the whole surface could probably be glued for additional rigidity without much of a problem.

For example, assuming the edging boards are well dried and aclimated to your shop environment, a 2" wide piece of red maple would shrink or expand only 0.01 to 0.02 inch or so, going from 12% to 14% or back.

You can use the Shrinkulator at this link for other woods:

The Shrinkulator

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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While I've already contact cemented formica to the top and bottom of my MDF top, I'm still up in the air about the edging. I'll probably edge it with hardwood for the aesthetics, if I decide not to, what do you "seal" the edges with?

Thanks
Bill
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gazippoman View Post
While I've already contact cemented formica to the top and bottom of my MDF top, I'm still up in the air about the edging. I'll probably edge it with hardwood for the aesthetics, if I decide not to, what do you "seal" the edges with?
Glue, with some hardwood on top?

I think any sort of varnish will do.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys:

A lot of good information above! Many thanks!!

The concept I am going with is to apply the hardwood edging all around the edge of the table. Using a router, provide a smooth transition from MDF to the edging. Then apply laminate, top and bottom, covering the MDF and top and bottom of the edging. Finally, with a chamfer bit, finish the top and bottom edges of the table top.

My motives for hardwood edging are (1) provide better esthetics, (2) provide edges for sleds to run along, and (3) provide something better than MDF to screw attachments into.

My biggest concern with the grooving and rabbetting is whether differeinces in expansion (MDF vs hardwood) becomes a significant problem.

And no Bob, I don't intend driving a car over it!

Thanks,
Cassandra
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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That's what's neat about this forum. Everyone has an opinion and mostly, no one is wrong. There are many ways to do things, and the assesment is up to the doer to do his or her thing. What a great group!
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:29 PM
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Hi Cassandra

No need to drive your car over it,,, but it's 1 1/2 thick..should hold..

It will look just fine,,,with the hard wood for edging,, but MDF is funny stuff as I sure you know,,you can't drive/screw anything into it on it's edge,, it will spit just like cardboard and will lift the MDF up the same way ..some will say pre drill it, but have you tried to drill cardboard/hardboard is the same type of stuff but with more rocks/dirt in it.. ..

If you want to use banding on the edges I would suggest using the router bits made just for that type of job but with no screws just glue...and clamps..

MLCS roman ogee and edge banding router bits

========



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
Hi Guys:

A lot of good information above! Many thanks!!

The concept I am going with is to apply the hardwood edging all around the edge of the table. Using a router, provide a smooth transition from MDF to the edging. Then apply laminate, top and bottom, covering the MDF and top and bottom of the edging. Finally, with a chamfer bit, finish the top and bottom edges of the table top.

My motives for hardwood edging are (1) provide better esthetics, (2) provide edges for sleds to run along, and (3) provide something better than MDF to screw attachments into.

My biggest concern with the grooving and rabbetting is whether differeinces in expansion (MDF vs hardwood) becomes a significant problem.

And no Bob, I don't intend driving a car over it!

Thanks,
Cassandra



"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"

Marc Sommerfeld Tools ,Videos
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-n...RWaEpMA/videos

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
If you want to use banding on the edges I would suggest using the router bits made just for that type of job but with no screws just glue...and clamps..

MLCS roman ogee and edge banding router bits

========
Hi Bob:

I like the look of #7733 on the website you pointed to.

Thanks,
Cassandra
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