Sheet aluminum instead of laminate for table top? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default Sheet aluminum instead of laminate for table top?

has anyone used sheet aluminum instead of laminate as a table top covering?

I was thinking of using the thinest sheet of aluminum i can find opposed to laminate. The website onlinemetals.com describes 5052 aluminum as corrosive resistant and has a good workablility. A 2'x3'x .02" sheet cost only 7.63$. I would probably use epoxy or contact cement to hold it to an MDF top.

Is there a better kind of aluminum? Will the metal expand and contract with temperature changes so badly it will not be usable? Should i use a second sheet on the bottom to balance the table like you would with laminate? Can i use regular carbide bits to cut? Is .02" to thin?

onlinemetals.com got me started on this its a good site with product guides that are both technical and non-technical, they sell by the piece check it out.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 05:04 PM
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Hi Mike:

Aluminum top? Absolutely NOT! Not unless you want to spend a lot of time removing the marks aluminum will leave on your work pieces.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwatso18 View Post
has anyone used sheet aluminum instead of laminate as a table top covering?

I was thinking of using the thinest sheet of aluminum i can find opposed to laminate. The website onlinemetals.com describes 5052 aluminum as corrosive resistant and has a good workablility. A 2'x3'x .02" sheet cost only 7.63$. I would probably use epoxy or contact cement to hold it to an MDF top.

Is there a better kind of aluminum? Will the metal expand and contract with temperature changes so badly it will not be usable? Should i use a second sheet on the bottom to balance the table like you would with laminate? Can i use regular carbide bits to cut? Is .02" to thin?

onlinemetals.com got me started on this its a good site with product guides that are both technical and non-technical, they sell by the piece check it out.

Hi Mike - I second Cassandras' comments. Be an uphill fight

John Schaben

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 05:55 PM
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Hi

I would 3rd. Cassandras post,, do this just for kicks ,pull out some Alum.and you can almost use like a pencil on wood or take your finger and rub it on the Alum.it will be black/gray..and nasty to get off...you may say I will just coat it, almost nothing sticks to it..it's almost like painting lead...
If you want something neat looking for your router top take a look at Big Jim's router table.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, i'll scratch the aluminum but i still like the idea of using a thin sheet metal inplace of a laminate. Perhaps using a stainless steel 2x3 sheet would work. as long as any kind of sharp edge is smoothed out and you make the edges level with the top it just might work.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 06:29 PM
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Hi Mike

If you have a metal fab shop in town stop by and have them make you a stainless steel top cover for you router table, they can round over all the edges and corners.
They do it all the time..( think kitchen equipment metal fab shop ) I had one of them make me a parts cleaner out of stainless steel and not one sharp edge on it..

=======

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Originally Posted by mwatso18 View Post
Ok, i'll scratch the aluminum but i still like the idea of using a thin sheet metal inplace of a laminate. Perhaps using a stainless steel 2x3 sheet would work. as long as any kind of sharp edge is smoothed out and you make the edges level with the top it just might work.



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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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here is the website link so you can see what i'm looking at.

Order Stainless Plate, Sheet Alloys 304, 316 in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com

the 2b finish and probably the thinest sheet.

a sheet that thin could be smoothed on the edges using automotive sandpaper or an old sharpening stone.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 06:52 PM
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Bronze would look better.

- Ralph
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 06:59 PM
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Hi

Stainless steel is one of the hardest to work with ( most of the time it's 18.8 stock) and a real bear to sand and cut or drill..without spec. tools. but I will say go for it..

==========

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwatso18 View Post
here is the website link so you can see what i'm looking at.

Order Stainless Plate, Sheet Alloys 304, 316 in Small Quantities at OnlineMetals.com

the 2b finish and probably the thinest sheet.

a sheet that thin could be smoothed on the edges using automotive sandpaper or an old sharpening stone.



"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"

Marc Sommerfeld Tools ,Videos
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-n...RWaEpMA/videos

Find all threads started by bobj3
http://www.routerforums.com/search.php?searchid=944097


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