Hardwood edging on router table build - Router Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Default Hardwood edging on router table build

I am building a router table out of two layers for 3/4" MDF.
I am planning to put an oak edging around the table and wondered if a flat hardwood edge glued on is sufficient or if I should rabbit the top edge of the mdf and the inside bottom edge of the wood so that the oak will have a lip over the MDF. I figure this will make the glue bond stronger and make warping of the MDF less likely.

I was planning to laminate the MDF then add the oak edging and use a flush trim bit to even them up. I will want to put some sealer on the wood as well, do I need to worry about the sealer adding thickness at the edge of the table making a slight bump? Or should I bevel the top of the oak edging down?

Opinions appreciated.
Trent
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 10:50 AM
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Hi Trent

This just my 2 cents..

Why cover up the MDF or put a hard wood edge on it,,the MDF works very well the way it is ....a nice round over edge and a coat or two of Johnson floor wax makes it slick just like anything you put on it..plus you can recoat it anytime you want to..

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Originally Posted by the_nite_owl View Post
I am building a router table out of two layers for 3/4" MDF.
I am planning to put an oak edging around the table and wondered if a flat hardwood edge glued on is sufficient or if I should rabbit the top edge of the mdf and the inside bottom edge of the wood so that the oak will have a lip over the MDF. I figure this will make the glue bond stronger and make warping of the MDF less likely.

I was planning to laminate the MDF then add the oak edging and use a flush trim bit to even them up. I will want to put some sealer on the wood as well, do I need to worry about the sealer adding thickness at the edge of the table making a slight bump? Or should I bevel the top of the oak edging down?

Opinions appreciated.
Trent


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Bare MDF vs laminate

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Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi Trent

This just my 2 cents..

Why cover up the MDF or put a hard wood edge on it,,the MDF works very well the way it is ....a nice round over edge and a coat or two of Johnson floor wax makes it slick just like anything you put on it..plus you can recoat it anytime you want to..

==========
I think the laminate will be a tougher more durable surface and it will help seal out moisture and prevent warping.
I am a relatively new hobbyist and my work area is a former one car garage in the basement which I have expanded a little bit but it is also an entrance into the house so anyone and everyone will be traipsing through there, especially in the winter when the back steps or the hill up the driveway are treacherous to navigate with snow and ice. Anyway, everyone walks through there and things are often dumped on any flat surface in my work area so I want to make it durable.
It is also a large table that I am building at 33" deep by 42" wide so the stiffer it is the better. It is being made to fit over the steel frame my table saw came packed in which makes a great base for this router table and the table can pull double duty due to lack of space in the workshop.

I may eventually make a router table extension for my table saw but I need to source some steel to replace/extend the mounts for the rip fence and support the router table. I have a granite topped table saw so I cannot easily support it directly from the end of the table wing.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 12:00 PM
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I'm curious to see how you resolve this. Keep us posted.

I am planning to steam bend a strip of hickory around the rounded corners of my MDF laminate/formica table top, and butt the bent hickory against it.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 12:36 PM
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Sounds like you have a good plan Trent. The laminate and edging will certainly offer more protection in the long run, although a little more work up front. BJ's recommendation is a great idea in a normal one person setting, but with your having to share the space as you described, the laminate may be a better option.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 12:56 PM
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Trent, here is a link to some pics of my table. I used two 3/4" pieces of MDF with laminant on the top and bottom. The edging is simply 2 x 4 lumber cut to size, glued and rounded over. To obtain a perfectly flush joint I used a hand plane before rounding over...

Table Pictures

George
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 02:49 PM
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Hi Trent:

Like a lot of issues here, the issue of hardwood edging elicits many different opinions.

People like Bobj3 and Pat Warner go without edging.

People like Bill Hylton (Woodworking with the Router and Router Magic) put on hardwood edging.

In most cases where edging is applied, the hardwood is jointed and then glued to the MDF core. Then the laminate is applied and one chamfers the edge. The laminate may cover only the MDF or it may cover both the MDF and the edging. Personal choices.

In my case, I have grooved the edging and rabbetted the MDF. I then glued the edging onto the MDF. Next, I will apply the laminate, covering the MDF and edging, and follow that by chamfering the edges (top and bottom.)

Everything here is personal choice.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 02:52 PM
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Hi Trent:

On my top, the edging is 1.5 inches square. Lots of thickness here. This allows me to re-surface the edging at a later date, if the need arises. So, if my edge gets banged and dented, I can re-true the edge.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 03:34 PM
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Let me add to my post

How do you collect moisture,, cover it with something, plastic,laminate,etc. it's great to have it in the kitchen because you can and will spill things on the top and it gives you time to wipe it up but it the shop you should not put you pop,coffee,hot pots.etc. or anything else on the router table..
The MDF is always open,,like around the router mounting plate for just one spot..that's why the Johnson wax works so great, you can put it around all the edges and keeps the moisture out so to speak..
Look under your kitchen cabinets and you will see the spots from things that have spilled over and have run down under..it just happens.
If you put laminate on the bottom side you just made a pocket for the moisture/water to collect..( plastic bag thing ) the air will dry out the moisture if it can get to it..
Aging back to the kitchen thing,look under your cabinets in the kitchen you will not see the bottom side that have been laminate..they know it takes air to dry it out..

Same thing for the edging,you will have a small crack and it time it will fill up with junk..the Oak or what every will not act like MDF, it will move or shrink , to me it's just something you add to cover up something or to match the base wood stock..
It just takes a bump with some stock and the edging has a crack in it,that will fill up with router dust in time..once the glue drys up it's free to move..and in time it will..look at a book case that has edging on it..and that's made out of plywood.. the plywood is very stable but the wood edging is not..that's why many use plastic edging to match the plywood/MDF/PB/etc., it's very stable also.. not the glue on type but the push in slot type..

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 03:46 PM
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BJ... do you always have to be so logical?

Your post makes perfectly good sense and very hard to argue against
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