Route through laiminate, or lamininate after routing? - Router Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: May 2009
First Name: charley
Posts: 11
Default Route through laiminate, or lamininate after routing?

I'm building a workbench top, comprised of two sheets of 3/4" MDF (total 1-1/2" thick). I'll mount recessed T-track into the top, and *also* around the edges of the workbench top (on all four sides). The T-track on the top will also have more than one "+" T-track junctions.

I *was* going to just cover the top with replaceable hardboard, but picked up formica laminate on sale. So, I'm now planning on laminating the whole top and around the four sides (probably not the bottom 3" overhang, right?)

Should I route for the T-track *before* I laminate, or after? Should I pay attention to the selection of router bit to cut/trim/route the laminate?

I have a router table and fixed-base hand router. I thought about purchasing the Bosch or MLCS laminate trimmer (palm router), but at present, I'll probably try to just make do with the big fixed-base router.

I'm guessing I should laminate first, then route for the recessed T-track? If I used the (replaceable) hardboard, I'd do the same, right?
charleyb is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 12:12 PM
Marine Engineer
kp91's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Country: United States
First Name: Doug
Posts: 4,699

Laminating and then routing is probably going to be the easiest.

1 John 1:9
Fredericksburg, VA
kp91 is online now  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 12:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2009
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Henry
Posts: 61

Hi CharleyB
You were smart enough to ask the question!
I never thought of doing the laminating before routing, but I have to confess Doug has a point!
I actually routed the T track and mitre channels and fitted the track before laminating (mistake no 1).
The main mistake I made though, was to trim the laminate before the contact adhesive I used was completely dry.
As a result my router bit and guide bearing got covered in stringy half dry glue! Doh! (Luckily I had a replacement bearing handy).

All the best,

Last edited by HDS; 08-11-2009 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Added content
HDS is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 12:42 PM
Forum Contributor
Join Date: Jun 2009
Country: United States
First Name: John
Posts: 3,046

Hi CharlieB.
I'd definitely laminate first. Getting the depth of cut right so the t-tracks sit flush could be a problem. Route before and you are faced with hitting the cutout exactly, although I suppose you could use a flush trim bit for most of that but once you laminate the edges you are still faced with getting stuff aligned in a situation where you can't really see your target.
You are glueing the MDF layers together?
You don't wan't screw or nailheads anywhere near your router track. I built my bench from a layer of 7/16" and a layer of 3/4" OSB with a 1/4" hardboard top and carefully spaced the screws on the 7/16" first layer. I then glued the second layer and the 1/4" masonite top.
I am not planning any tracks on it now, but if I want to, I know I can go as much as 5/8" without a problem if I should want to.

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
jschaben is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 01:13 PM
Forum Contributor
AxlMyk's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 3,165

Laminate first, and when you cut the dados make the first pass VERY light to score the laminate. Then go full depth.

Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Mike - Retired FoMoCo Tradesman
My Gallery @
AxlMyk is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 01:46 PM
Retired Moderator
BigJimAK's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Jim
Posts: 3,503

FWIW, I recently recently built mine and laminated it first. It worked great! I made a very shallow (~3/16") first pass then worked my way through the surface in about 6 or 8 passes, the last couple also being very shallow. I probably could have used less passes but it was my first deep cut, so I was cautious. It didn't burn the bit or wood though. The result was very nice.

A bit of mineral spirits to clean off a bit of contact adhesive from the bit and it looked like new.

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
BigJimAK is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Routing Template Verlin Garrett Jigs and Fixtures 16 08-17-2019 09:12 PM
help solving a routing problem dtaylor Table-mounted Routing 4 08-08-2009 01:26 PM
Routing + Template Confusion prav1988 General Routing 8 05-27-2009 08:54 AM
Router table or Plunge routing template tom Guide Bushings and Templates 15 04-14-2009 02:45 AM
What to route first? dwcurry Table-mounted Routing 4 03-02-2009 08:11 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome