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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Default Router Table Question

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I am in the process of building my router table. It will fold up into the wall of my garage. I already have a piece of 3/4 MDF that is 24X48. I'm going to cut it down to 24X36. I can get another piece if needed, but I also have a surplus of 2X4s in my garage. I'm wondering if it would be advisable to build the top frame in a way that would have 2X4s underneath the router plate for additional support? Or, am I simply better off in adding another 3/4 of MDF and binding those together?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 11:47 AM
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Hello

I am in the process of building my router table. It will fold up into the wall of my garage. I already have a piece of 3/4 MDF that is 24X48. I'm going to cut it down to 24X36. I can get another piece if needed, but I also have a surplus of 2X4s in my garage. I'm wondering if it would be advisable to build the top frame in a way that would have 2X4s underneath the router plate for additional support? Or, am I simply better off in adding another 3/4 of MDF and binding those together?
Hi Mike, I think it kind of boils down to what you're comfortable with. I have always been kind of puzzled by multiple layers of MDF when it's primary value is flatness. Seems to me that laminating 1/2" MDF to 3/4" plywood or even OSB would be stronger, thinner and lighter with the plywood/OSB contributing the strength and the MDF contributing the flatness and smoothness. All would need moisture sealing. JMHO

by the way, welcome to the forum

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 12:52 PM
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Although MDF is flat from the factory, it can/will sag over time if not well supported, and especially if moisture is allowed to penetrate. This is one reason many laminate two 3/4" pieces, and then further laminate both sides with Formica. I used two pieces of 3/4" phenolic BB ply for mine, laminated using contact cement (about the only thing that will stick to the phenolic surface).

Hinging your RT to the wall can save space, but can also introduce other "issues". The play in the hinges, for example, may introduce some tendency toward vibration, which can affect the smoothness of cuts. Some sort of bolt-down flange in the lowered position could solve that problem, though.

If you use 2x4s for the edging around the MDF, you could cut a wide enough rabbet for the surface to be flush. Then, "1x2s" could be used for additional (glued and screwed) under-table support, if you liked. I'd keep them a couple of inches away from the plate opening, however, to allow better access to the router. That might be different if you use a lift, however.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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What I was thinking about doing was having 4 2x4s across the bottom, from front to back, 2 of them being right underneath the plate on the right and left sides. Then, I would also have 2x4s running the front and back connecting those 4. Then, around all of that, I would frame it in 2x4s. Tee support 2x4s underneath would be set at a level to where the MDF would be flush to the frame.

Thanks for the advise on the vibration! I will have to figure that one out.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 04:53 PM
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What I was thinking about doing was having 4 2x4s across the bottom, from front to back, 2 of them being right underneath the plate on the right and left sides. Then, I would also have 2x4s running the front and back connecting those 4. Then, around all of that, I would frame it in 2x4s. Tee support 2x4s underneath would be set at a level to where the MDF would be flush to the frame.

Thanks for the advise on the vibration! I will have to figure that one out.
If I'm picturing that correctly, your 2x4 internal frame would block under-table access to the collet, meaning you'd have to lift the whole thing out of the table to make bit changes, and perhaps even to make depth-of-cut adjustments. That's not a bad way to go with routers of moderate weight, but may be a literal pain in the back for heavy ones. You may also have a tough time getting the MDF precisely flush with the edges of the 2x4s. "Lumpy" tables are not good.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 05:13 PM
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Default Router table

"It will fold up into the wall of my garage."

Will this be the table without the router attached?

I have two router tables, both support heavy routers and have for many years without sagging at all. One is the Freud table which appears to be 3/4 inch thick, the other is one i made to fit into the extension arms of my beisemeyer fence on my table saw. The homemade one is the one I usually go to and the top is 3/4 inch mdf.

Both these tables have heavy routers, a TR12 and a freud ft2000. I wish I had some kind of router lift for bit changes. I have no trouble lifting them out but it would be easier if they could be just cranked up for changing bits.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Will this be the table without the router attached?
Yes, the router and plate will be removed when not in use. With my router, Craftsman 17540, and my plate, HF plate, I would have plenty of room between the 2X4s and would still be able to have my above table adjustment. At least, I think so. So it would be a pain to have to pull the router and plate every time to use, but I would also think it would help with sagging as it won't be in all the time.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 09:06 AM
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Yes, the router and plate will be removed when not in use. With my router, Craftsman 17540, and my plate, HF plate, I would have plenty of room between the 2X4s and would still be able to have my above table adjustment. At least, I think so. So it would be a pain to have to pull the router and plate every time to use, but I would also think it would help with sagging as it won't be in all the time.
If you remove the router and fold the table up against the wall when not actually in use, I doubt that you'd have any sagging at all - even with no support structure under the center area of the two laminated sheets of MDF.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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I doubt that you'd have any sagging at all - even with no support structure under the center area of the two laminated sheets of MDF.
But I only have a half sheet of 3/4 MDF (@ 24-48), so that is why I was asking. It sounds as though most prefer the 2 sheets laminated. I guess I should just buy another 3/4 sheet of MDF.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 10:54 AM
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I remember seeing an article about a fold up router table I think it was in Shop Notes, but I'm not sure.

It was cool the thing was a cabinet type of assy. and it had storage for the tools, router, and bits in the cabinet, and the table it self would fold up and the front door would close over the table, (I think) or it could of been the table was the front door I can't remember.

Any how the whole thing mounted on the wall and would fold up and close to be out of the way. Good for small shop with space limits.

Don't know if you want to get that fancy, just thought I would mention it.
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