What type of plastic for a laminated table top? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default What type of plastic for a laminated table top?

Im thinking about laminating some 1/4 plastic to a piece of MDF for a router table top, but im not sure which type of plastic to use. I have a Tap Plastics locally which has quite a few different plastics to choose from. Is there a preferred plastic for router table tops?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 10:14 PM
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The most used plastic would probably be countertop laminate. You can buy 2'x4' pieces at many hardware stores here for about $5.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 10:28 PM
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Formica brand or a comparable laminate is a very popular choice for several reasons. It is durable, it cleans easily and wood slides on it like silk. You can make pencil marks on it and it wipes right off.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 06:14 PM
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I used WilsonArt plastic laminate, similar to Formica. Be sure to use a good type of contact cement and apply to coats to both surfaces prior to adhering it to your substrat. My top is 2 layers of 3/4" MDF, with a maple edge band, then the plastic laminate on top of both. I then routed the edges with a 45 degree router bit. the bevel is only 3/16". Use care when cutting out for the inserts and miter guide tracks. a spiral bit works well.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 06:44 PM
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Hi

May I suggest some 1/4" thick plastic, it works great I used some on one of my router tables, the great thing is that it's same thickest as most router plates,I got it for free at a sign shop, they use it for the background on many signs ,it was in a old sign they put in the trash can with a Alum. frame holding it in place, I just remove some screws and pulled the white plastic out, it had some 1/8" clear plastic as cover over the white plastic with some vinyl letters on it that just pull of the white plastic easy..I still have the Alum. frame in the back of the garage ,I just may use it some day LOL ,,yes I'm a old Hoarder

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 10:05 AM
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I used some melamine coated shelving which I found at Home Depot. Its 3/4 inch thick MDF base so I backed it up with another 3/4 inch MDF. It cleans up well & I marked center lines with a perminent Sharpie. Near the right & left edges, I routed a 1/16 inch deep dado so I could imbed a metal ruler for positioning the fence.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:45 AM
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All the melamine shelving I have seen at Home Depot is particle board based. Where did you find mdf based melamine in the store? I have been looking for that. The melamine particle board is strong but I am concerned about the particle board construction vs mdf.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitardemon View Post
Im thinking about laminating some 1/4 plastic to a piece of MDF for a router table top, but im not sure which type of plastic to use. I have a Tap Plastics locally which has quite a few different plastics to choose from. Is there a preferred plastic for router table tops?
If I were going to use 1/4 plastic it would be Lexan for its strength and scratch resistance, but to me a piece of Lexan large enough for a router table would be cost prohibitive. I get a lot of my small pieces of acrylics free, but I needed a piece of Lexan recently that was 18x9x1/4 and Tap Plastics wanted $26.00 for it so you can imagine what a piece 24x32x1/4 would cost. The cheapest way out and also the sturdiest would be 2 pieces of 3/4 MDF topped with Formica type laminate as pointed out in a couple of other posts. I have a Woodpeckers Table, but now wish I had made my own and modeled it after the Woodpeckers table making me over $100.00 richer. The major reason I didn't was because at the time I built my router table I wasn't aware of the Router Forum.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 03:41 PM
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John,

Here is the PDF file for installing a router table insert plate.

My connection is so slow I can't get the Router Book PDF file to upload so I will try later.

There is a thread in the forum with the link for the router book. Just search for router book and you should be able to locate the thread.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 6 Step Router Plate Installation.pdf (329.8 KB, 173 views)

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimInWoodstock View Post
All the melamine shelving I have seen at Home Depot is particle board based. Where did you find mdf based melamine in the store? I have been looking for that. The melamine particle board is strong but I am concerned about the particle board construction vs mdf.
I mis stated this. The MDF backing gives the added stability and rigidity needed 1-1/4 inch screws into the MDF side and select pine 1X2 banding glued to the unfinished edges round out the top. It is attached to the table base with a piano hinge at the back and a piece if 1X2 hinged to the lower side of the top to be used as a support when the top is lifted to access the router.
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