Melamine for a table top? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default Melamine for a table top?

Hi everyone,

I'm still working on plans for my router table and still asking questions. I plan on building a bench top table for my Bosch 1617 router. I'm looking at my local home supply store and see a lot of melamine coated particle board for a good price. Would this make a good top? I was thinking of mounting that on top of a piece of 3/4 mdf. I would then seal the mdf so it doesn't absorb moisture.


What are your thoughts on this? Has anyone done this? Could I use 1 piece of melamine particle board, or would my top eventually sag?

Thanks
Todd
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 08:44 PM
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Todd,
You will find that melamine is too thin and fragile to make a good router table top and particle board is too flimsy. Melamine chips too easily. Your best bet is to use a couple of layers of 3/4" MDF topped with something like Formica.

George
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 08:50 PM
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Hi Todd, I have a router table top made from an old desk. Its melamine top has served me well for years. The bottom of this desk top was sealed with something by the desk mfgr; humidity doesn't seem to have affected it over the years.

Steveo


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Originally Posted by taa800 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm still working on plans for my router table and still asking questions. I plan on building a bench top table for my Bosch 1617 router. I'm looking at my local home supply store and see a lot of melamine coated particle board for a good price. Would this make a good top? I was thinking of mounting that on top of a piece of 3/4 mdf. I would then seal the mdf so it doesn't absorb moisture.


What are your thoughts on this? Has anyone done this? Could I use 1 piece of melamine particle board, or would my top eventually sag?

Thanks
Todd
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 08:55 PM
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Hi,

I have the OP table that is 3/4" ply melamine. I've had it for a number of yrs now, it shows no wear. I'd stay away from particle board. Too flimsy. George pointed out something that many members do. Sandwich a few 3/4" MDF together, then seal those. You do have several options available to you. Many members have made their own tables. Do some searching here on the forums.

Ken

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ken. I have been reading a lot of posts. Most people do seem to favor the 2 pieces of 3/4 mdf with laminate on the top and bottom. I was thinking that if melamine particle board was pretty close in quality and durability, that's much less work to go with that.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 11:06 PM
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Doubling layers up helps to counteract/minimize warping. The weight helps to stabilize the unit from vibration.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taa800 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm still working on plans for my router table and still asking questions. I plan on building a bench top table for my Bosch 1617 router. I'm looking at my local home supply store and see a lot of melamine coated particle board for a good price. Would this make a good top? I was thinking of mounting that on top of a piece of 3/4 MDF. I would then seal the MDF so it doesn't absorb moisture.


What are your thoughts on this? Has anyone done this? Could I use 1 piece of melamine particle board, or would my top eventually sag?

Thanks
Todd
Hi Todd

I made my router top ot of a piece of top that I had from back when I was a project manager for a commercial casework company in Houston,Texas. This was spec'd out as a 1 1/4" paratical board top with laminated top and melamine under side. I chose the melamine because the laminate was not in the best of condition. It has all worked out so far and I did this because I had it on hand so the price was right. It has held up good so far, but when I replace it I will use MDF 3/4"X2 and then seal it as some of the guys have mentioned.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 09:20 AM
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(from Googles wise Geek)

Melamine resin is used in Formica and similar construction products made from composite materials. Formica is made using melamine resin, which is used to coat the fibers in the upper layer of the construction product. The melamine resin makes the end result heat resistant, so that hot objects can be set on the counter without concern. The surface of the material is designed to be easily wiped and cleaned, creating a long lived household product.

Maybe there're different grades of melamine, the only product I ever dealt with was cabinet interiors, (easy cleaning, bright white) had to be careful not to scratch during install.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 01:55 PM
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The melamine shelving you get from the big box stores is very thin and chips and scratches too easily for use on a router table. Also, as stated earlier, the particle board it is mounted on POSITIVELY will not work for a router table top without being strongly braced . That is unless you want to replace it every few months after it sags.
All of this being said, some master woodworkers use only a 3/4 piece of wood with a hole bored in the middle and clamped to their work bench. I guess it all depends on what works for you.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 04:37 PM
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Hi,

It's not grades, it's thicknesses. George is spot on with this one.

Ken

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