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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default high humidity area

I built my table a few months ago when it was cold outside & low humidity, built it out of 2 layers of 3/4 mdf glued together, used it to build first cabinet with no problems, then the second when I started noticing that the rail & stiles were not matching up just perfect like the first one but was not off that much until a few weeks ago when I was making the doors for the 2nd cabinet that things were way off, took a straight edge to the table & found my problem. I laminated the top,bottom & sides, & sealed the area where the plate goes, the area around the plate has grown to about an 1/8 taller than the outside edges. So was wondering on what would be a better material for the table that will remain flat in a humid area?

Making sawdust & scraps all at the same time

Last edited by Salty Dawg; 05-03-2014 at 02:06 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 04:14 PM
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Probably not the correct answer but I used plywood that came with with a paper laminate for 2 router tables in SE GA and haven't had a problem.

My first thought for your situation is use the leveling screws of the plate to make it flush with your table.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 04:47 PM
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I have never heard of a table doing that before but I don't live where it is very humid. I would suggest the same thing as Jim, rout your rabbet deeper and then level it before each use.

The only other thing I could suggest is going to a metal top or something like Corian which isn't affected by moisture.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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I have the Kreg plate & leveler & the hole for the plate is cut all the way thru. The plate is flush with the top but the problem starts in the middle of the table, from edge of plate to front edge of tables there is an 1/8 gap at edge of table if you lay your workpiece flat on plate, then a on the table by the left front corner there is a small hump that was not there before, leaves a 1/2" mark on wood when you go over it.

Making sawdust & scraps all at the same time
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 07:23 PM
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I'll suggest that you try something different then. My last top was only 5/8" thick and Theo's top is only 1/2" thick but they are both attached to a strong level framework with multiple cross members. Try a top like that and you shouldn't have trouble with it warping.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 08:32 PM
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It almost sounds like the edges around the plate have got wet, somehow.

I have used MDF for other projects and the humidity has not caused that much swelling.

Even for items stored out in the car port......

If the edges continue to curl up, I would bite the bullet and make a new top from birch play.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 08:40 AM
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Greetings Don. My table has two pieces of angle iron, one on each side, that strengthens the table. I wonder if something like that would help?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 10:18 AM
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When I want a top to be and remain perfectly flat, I make a framework of 3/4"x2" hardwood that has had the edge jointered dead flat. I then run it through a table saw to make the width the same all round. Drill oversized holes, larger than a wood screw head to leave 3/4 inch of wood at the bottom. I do this every 6 inches or so, then attach the whole thing to a 3/4" ply top with 1 1/4 wood screws.

I use a long bit in a countersink to drill completely through the last 3/4 inch of the frame. That allows the screws to get a half inch grip in the top, but doesn't go through far enough to raise a bump on the top side while avoiding any splitting. If using mdf, you have to predrill the screw holes for the MDF. I then start two screws through the framework to hold it the frame place while I double check the fit, then screw the whole thing in place. Nothing I make this way ever warps. I bet this would work on Corian as well but I'm sure you would have to pre drill the holes or risk damaging it. Some sort of top laminate material might make workpieces slide smoother, but make sure you apply it so it is perfectly flat. If you're going to put in miter slots, you should add a second layer, at least half an inch to retain the strength.

I guess my wife is right about me getting nit picky about things.

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 05-04-2014 at 10:20 AM. Reason: left something out
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
If you're going to put in miter slots, you should add a second layer, at least half an inch to retain the strength.

I guess my wife is right about me getting nit picky about things.
My last top was only 5/8" melamine coated particle board and it had slots for t-track cut into it but I did try and keep them close to the frame members underneath. It's still flat after 4 years and it stays outside from -45C to +40C so thicker isn't even necessarily needed since mine was only 1/4" thick in spots.

BTW, I used biscuits to attach my top. Just one more way to skin the cat.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 12:30 PM
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Like others stated a flat frame underneath is needed no matte rmost material

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