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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Default granite router table top?

Hi, My name is Craig and I am a Tile and Stone man by profession.

I have an Incra LS 17 and With a Mikita 3612 mounted on a plate. I need a bigger top to make full use of the fence.

The price of some Tops that are marketed is Crazy. $300

I can fab a 32"x 48" out of Granite. Open a 9 1/4 X11 3/4" with a 7/32" deep 1/2" rebated rabbit to hold the plate. Bore the mounting holes. for that price. That would be a heavy

I also have access to a sheet of 5/8 solid phenolic 32"x 60" ( Commercial stall divider Door) Would installing a 3/8" plate in the 5/8" phenolic sheet weaken it too much? Could I trim out an area to fit my router base, skipping the plate and mount the router to the sheet directly? ( would I want to do this?) If so i can recess the top side, install some rare earth magnates and use the Incra hole plates.

Which of these 2 options would you go with and why.

Thanks for your help

Craig

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 01:53 AM
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Greetings Craig and welcome to the forum. Both sound interesting, but why not just use two sheets of 3/4" MDF laminated together with an edging of oak or any hardwood? Many of the guys here use this formula for their router table top. Mine is not MDF at this time but will be probably this summer or fall.

I will grant you the granite would be flat and smooth enough but really heavy. The phenol would not be thick enough for a miter slot or "T" tracks. I think I would look into the MDF with the hard wood edge similar to mine. (BTW mine is also heavy with the cabinets and all, but I can still turn it over to replace the castors which I will be doing this summer also.)
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 04:24 AM
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hi Craig,

i agree with Jerry on the mdf top. but my choice would be to use formica on the top , bottom and edges. this way i wouldnt be taking a chance on the screws splitting the mdf top and i think this would also look fine. i think most you will see has the formica edges.

this is just a matter of personal preference.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 05:21 AM
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While I think a granite router top would be very flat and stable, I would have an over-riding concern; one I share with steel tops.

A 1" bit, rotationg at 23,000 RPM is moving at 147 miles per hour. You get the drift. :-)

As for me, I want something that will absorb energy (like wood, or even aluminum), not something that would cause a ricochet.

Just my $0.02.. your mileage may vary.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 05:58 AM
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I would use the phenolic but cut it in half and laminate the two halfs. I would also use an insert plate. They're just too easy to use, allowing instant withdrawl of the router from the top, ability to level, and accomodates different sized openings for the different bits. Heck, Jerry found a new use, using the insert to guide the router for off-table routing.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 06:05 AM
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Craig, This sounds like a "no brainer" to me. If you have the skills and ability to cut out and rabbit the granite for a plate. You will have a table to last a lifetime. I say, go for it.

Rusty

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:19 AM
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I'm on the side that says "Go for the granite". That would be a fantastic top.
A ricochet wouldn't be a concern. You're using an insert, and people even make steel tops.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:43 AM
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The 3/8" phenolic plates are not 3/8" at the edges where it is mounted. The middle is 3/8" but the edges are thinner, not sure how thin, maybe 1/4" thick.

Putting a phenolic plate in a granite top would be the better way to mount the router than mounting it directly to the granite. If you can get granite cheap, use it instead. Who knows, we may see granite top offerings in the future of router tables. Bench dogs and a few others offer cast iron tops like the table saws and some of the new table saws by Rigid now have 1 ¾" thick granite tops. Some of the concerns I've seen about granite tops is chip-out, so don't use your top to hammer stuff together.

I'm going to put 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF together as a table top. I would like to laminate it but I can't get any drop-offs and I would have to buy a full sheet of it at Home Depot for $42 (which is more than I want to spend). As for splitting MDF, the trick is to always drill pilot holes. That's what most speaker boxes are made of and I use one of these: Dewalt DW2730 drill and drive LINK You attach the main body to the drill, then countersink and drill with one side, flip the insert over, and drive it home with the phillips bit. I used it when building a 12' x 12' deck and this think made it so much easier to keep from splitting the wood.

Edit: Forgot to add that course drywall screws work better than wood screws on MDF.

Last edited by Noob; 05-24-2009 at 12:26 PM.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 10:12 AM
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Craig..

the cool factor alone would say lean towards the granite. IMHO!!!


More and more mfg's are going with an optional granite table top on everything from bandsaws to tablesaws. Actualy I wish i had thought of this before investing in my top. Since you are a stone guy, you might be able to answer the only question i would have. What about vibration? Would granite hold up to the high speed vibration that a router would inherently create? Either mechanical or audio. I'm sure that most of the vibration (however minor) would be absorbed through the plate, but would the granite be able to absorb it without causing some kind of stress fractures over time???
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 05:42 PM
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As for splitting MDF, the trick is to always drill pilot holes.

even drilling pilot holes, adding a long series of screws as on a top to the edge of mdf is a nono.

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