Granite top router table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Granite top router table

Has anyone ever used a slab of granite for a router table top? Some of the woodworking equipment sold by Steel City uses granite for the tops. I have a jointer with granite and it's great. I currently am using a home made router table I built from a roll around stainless steel cabinet from Sam's. I used a piece of 3/4" plastic laminate covered pressed wood top and the humidity in Memphis is causing it to "blister" somewhat around the edges and openings. (Air conditioning the work area is not an option at this time.)
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 07:07 PM
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Hi Michael and welcome to the forum. We are glad to have you with us. The granite sounds like a nice option, but I have never tried it.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 07:27 PM
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Greetings Michael and welcome to the router forums. The only problem I could see with the granite is it isn't workable by me. Any modifications would have to be made at a stone masons. As for stability you couldn't beat it.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 11:44 PM
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Welcome to the RouterForums Michael.

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In woodworking there is no scrap, only firewood.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 07:57 AM
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I think it would be great idea, but you will need to be able to cut the granite some how to install a router, or router plate. I would guess that you could purchase a remnant at the local counter shop in the size you need, and they should be able to cut the hole for a router plate. Some of these places use cnc machines to do their cutting. It may be a little pricey, but you will get zero humidity caused movement. If you do it, please post pictures.
By the way, they do make a routers designed for cutting stone.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 09:33 AM
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Hi Guys

granite for a router table top, I will say you must be joking

going off the deep end with the flat thing I think ..

for counter tops sounds good but for router table I would say NO

at some point you will need to mount the router to top and that will be a very big job.. with one small crack/chip in the stone will make you very sad I'm sure it's just a flat rock...



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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 05:33 AM
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I am new to routing and have been lurking around this forum for almost a month now. As a tile/stone tradesman I may be able to shed some light on this question.
First off you would probably want to polish and maybe ease the edges simple enough for anyone who can handle a router. You would need a 4 or 5 inch variable speed grinder and pick up some polishing pads. A set of dry pads run around $70.00.
Next is a question; how are you going to mount the top? We typically use silicone.
So will the vibration over time cause it to release?
Then of course the question is how to mount the router plate. From what I have seen, and I am in no way an expert, plates will be mounted and adjusted with screws.
So with that, if the lip for the plate is around a , how will those holes be drilled? You must cut granite with a diamond bit and a hole that small should, in my opinion be drilled wet. If you use threaded inserts they would have to be, once again my opinion be installed with epoxy for them to stay.
If you use a plate that is 3/8 thick, and slabs are usually 1 thick there should be enough meat left over for support.
It just so happens that I purchased a slab on Friday for my bathroom vanity. I am going there today to pick it up. I have a template of the Rockler router plate so for shoots and giggles I will ask them for a ballpark price to make this cut out and drill the holes.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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A little clarification is in order I think. I am a stone mason. I have been fabricating and installing 2 and 3 centimeter granite slabs for homes and businesses for many years (kitchen counter tops especially.) I will soon have access to a CNC machine which I will use to drill holes, cut miter and t-track slots, cut out edged holes for plates and chamfer the edges (although I am thinking of epoxying a hardwood edge on all around.) Aquiring the material is not a problem (we generate, literally, tons of scrap.)

Attaching the stone is not a problem either. I could use t-bolts underneath. This would make it removable. But I think I will use epoxy to laminate it to a sub-top. It can be attached to any moble or fixed base.

Granite is harder than steel. It can only be cut with diamond tools. It is very dense so it will have a dampening effect on vibrations. Like cast iron, it can be machined very flat. It can be polished to a high shine, but for a work top it is better to be honed to a matt finish. I have made a face frame clamping table of polished absolute black granite by surrounding it with 80/20 t-track. It has been great. Just take a razor blade to scrape off any glue.

My question really wasn't should I make a granite router table top. It was has anyone in the community done it.

It will be a while before I get the top plotted for the cnc and there may be a "trial and error" period. When I get one, though, I will share the cnc program with everyone. That way someone could take the program to a cnc equiped fabrication shop and say "Here, make this out of a piece of your scrap, please."
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 03:59 PM
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Given that you're a stone mason I hear you asking about its functionality. I've never seen a granite router table (or used a cast-iron top), so this is based upon my intuition.

The mass of granite should make it damp vibration analogous to how cast iron damps it in my unisaw. This is very good.

Routers turn at very high RPMs and even with precision balancing, there is still some vibration. The one issue I'd focus on is not transferring any "chatter" between the two. I think that would be very do-able with a thin layer of rubber sheeting under the plate and between the plate and the sidewalls. The rubber could be attached to the granite and I'd expect the weight of the router/plate combo would hold the plate in place. The rubber may well not be required but I suspect that, if there was going to be problems, that'd be it.

Please note that I have not delved into any potential impact of the strength of granite in bending where it is unsupported. I trust you have the expertise in that area or know others who do! :-)

Just my $0.02.. and at a deep discount!

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 11:10 PM
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Default Here's my granite router table

Here's my granite router table. My brother knows a granite guy and give him the template for the bench dog router plate to cut the opening. Very flat but you won't have any miter slot on the table top. It measures 24x48.
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