Phenolic or Aluminum - Router Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Question Phenolic or Aluminum

Hi, I am wanting to build a router table but not sure which is a good insert. Is it just personal choice or is there a significant difference between phenolic inserts or ally ones. I have looked at a few from, kreg,woodpecker,axminster ar even a trend RTI, why so much choice, life is supposed to be simple.
Any pointers or pitfalls to watch out for.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 07:57 PM
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I wouldn't use aluminum if its not anodized, but having said that, if you coat it with paste wax then maybe there wouldn't be the "marking" problem. Just my 2 cents, im no pro or expert.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Soapdish View Post
I wouldn't use aluminum if its not anodized, but having said that, if you coat it with paste wax then maybe there wouldn't be the "marking" problem. Just my 2 cents, im no pro or expert.
+1 on the anodizing... Most of the name brands are... About the only really functional difference I can think of is Phenolic are generally 3/8 thick and AL are 1/4". Difference of 1/8" depth of cut.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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So in general theres no diference, they both do an adequate job its just a personel choice and cost.
thanks for the input
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 01:02 AM
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"marking problem" is that anything like how I had marks from the feet of the router table on my table saw before I started putting something on top of the table before using it? Aluminum saw table top...think router table top too. I have since waxed and buffed out the table top. Should probably do it again soon.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 04:21 AM
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Annodized aluminium is great until it gets scratched,then visually is looks awful. Phenolic works. I have both. They both make good inserts and are good materials for making and using as router tools.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 05:53 AM
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The last plate that I made for a 1/2" Bosch router was from the bottom corner of this 3.5mm Aluminium painted plate and it was fine, no sag whatsoever.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 06:19 AM
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I think between the two that aluminum would maybe be a little stiffer, but I've heard a lot of good things about phenolic too. Sounds like a luxury problem to me.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your input, i think it is just the cosmetic look then that people go on, as there does not seem to be any strength issues between the two, both are well capable of dealing with what they are designed for, Routing.
Remember, if you don't ask, you won't find out.
Thanks again,
steve
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 11:46 AM
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I started with Phenolic and replaced it with aluminum because of sagging. My advice is to spend a little extra and use aluminum. Good luck.
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