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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Default Table Top (??)

Just a quick opinion poll for some sage wisdom-

I was given a table tennis table for Christmas, which was impressively damaged through shipping. Amazon tried to contact the seller for me to return the item, but they never responded. So, I received a free, fully refunded ping-pong table. While not suitable to utilize for its intended purposes I naturally wanted to appropriate it to suit other needs.. like a free table top (it measures 9x5).

Contacted the company to determine exact composition, which they said was particle board, and another source said the coating on top of it was comprised of something called polybutylene.

I have plenty of scrap to support the top, and would need to make it thicker for the Kreg leveler hardware to screw into anyways but:

Is it even worth my time?

First time to build a router table, so in your experience is this material just junk no matter how well supported it is?

Like I said, the Kreg leveler has something like 1.25 screws for installation so to make it thicker, those screws would be drilled into a different material under this potential table top.

You can see from the photos the composition of it due to damage.

Anyways, it feels real solid, is smooth, and I have a ton of it now, so I thought I would try to save some cash. Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks,

Chris
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 08:04 PM
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You won't get much sage wisdom out of me. But, as it's your first router table, you've got free material, and know it needs support from under, in your position I'd use it. If nothing else, it should prove a learning experience.

I am on my 4th or 5th router table, and all of the tops have been 1/2" plywood, well supported by a web of 2X4 chunks underneath. The present one is somewhere over 10 years old, and no sagging yet. Nothing fancy either, because I don't need any with what I do.

I made my first table, used it for a bit, worked fine. But then figured how I could make it just a bit better, so another table. Repeat. I don't know what I did with the first ones, but I know that these last two table use removable router plates, again, 1/2" plywood.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 09:13 PM
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Chris, I would use this table to build some cabinets. Particle board just doesn't stand up well for a router table top. The economy table top sticky thread at the top of this section provides the information on building your own Router Workshop style table top but uses the Grizzly mounting plate. ($13)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Joat- Thanks for the advice, its been tempting to use for sure, and its encouraging to know that perhaps just jumping in could be more beneficial than over-thinking this..

Mike- haha yeah it was either the proposed table top, or cabinetry underneath. Thanks for your insights. I knew it wasn't ideal material, but wanted to see if more experienced craftsmen would see some salvaging potential in it. Oh and thanks for that thread! I saw that earlier when I was trying to answer my question. I found the phenolic birch ply online for $24. I assume this is the same material? From Rockler? I will certainly look into that more.

Trying to be efficient with the inventory of scrap I have, so these answers helped.

Thanks,

Chris
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 01:02 AM
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Yes, we bought the phenolic impregnated Baltic birch plywood from a local Rockler store. You can use some of your scrap pieces to build the simple but very effective fence shown. The through hole in the fence is 2-1/4" diameter to fit most standard vacuum hoses.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 08:16 AM
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Chris, certainly not sage advice but I often respond from a learning view vs experience...therefore, FWIW...

As Theo suggested, I have found that those things I have built myself have never made it into long term production. Maybe that says I didn't do it "right", copied something that had different functions in mind or just screwed it together incorrectly. I sometimes do some unconventional things like put a couple of pieces of different scraps together just to use my biscuit jointer knowing that my final would be one piece and different material.

But it has, in all cases, given me insight into what I really want or need. The scrap I have used is still scrap and continues to be useful in visualizing the final next product. I assume your artistic eye would do a better job at seeing the final product than I.

From the responses I gather it is not the right material but if I had it I would be using it for my own learning curve. Your profile indicates differently so I only offer my newbie experiences.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Nickp-

Thanks man, I really appreciate that. What you said is certainly what I'm starting to learn here, I'm afraid my 'artistic eye' turns me into a DaVinci of sorts- how can I make the most ingenious thing from relatively nothing. So this has been a great way for me to add some reality to my perspective haha

I do have tons of it so I'm sure I can build some test subjects in my spare time.. but yeah, the material Mike suggested seems to fit the bill for me. I can add under the table storage now, which was not a luxury I was going to add before I got all this scrap.

Once I get it constructed I'll share the results of everyone's help in the appropriate thread.

Thanks!

Chris
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 02:12 PM
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Hey Mike

I was Noticing your table mounted router set up, nice rig and photos. the photo where you are free hand routing using the Starter Pin. Is there a set rule as to where to place a Starter Pin? I'm getting ready to replace router Table plate,and I've never had a Starter Pin and want to place one on my Table .
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 04:32 PM
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Bob, that is member BrianS using the table, I took the photo. The placement of the hole should be about 3" from the center of your bit. The safety starting pin prevents the bit from grabbing the wood and shooting it away to the right. The pin should be between you and the bit. For free hand work you might want to build the VacGuard so you can include dust collection. Near the top left of any page you will see the tab for member videos. More info on building the VacGuard is there.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 05:30 PM
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Thumbs up Starter Pin Set Up

Mike

Thanks for your input re: Starter Pin. I understand the principle behind the pin, but never used one, I wanted someone familiar with a pin set up to provide the knowledgeable guidance. Really like this site for the vast amount of technical data available. I'll go with the 3'' guideline. I have dust pick system up now, however I liked the idea of using a rounded clear disk with the attached LED light. Somehow I find myself needing MORE light.

Bob
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