Best material to use for router table top ? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default Best material to use for router table top ?

Ok I'm not a machinist so cast iron is out , but was wondering about other materials .
I thought about melamine but it isn't very scratch resistant . Was thinking about laminating mdf with arborite (kitchen counter top stuff) but would be concerned about how flat the end result would be .
We get these killer deals here on occasion on 1" mdf , but the sheets are precut 5'by4' which would work fine IMO .
And yes I realize mdf as most materials should have some structural support underneath to prevent sagging over time . There's another thing I read here about phenolic coated wood.Not sure if I spelled that right ?

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 04:58 PM
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I have also read posts by some users on this forum that phenolic coated plywood has stayed flat and true for router table tops. Rockler carries it.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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I have also read posts by some users on this forum that phenolic coated plywood has stayed flat and true for router table tops. Rockler carries it.
I suspect Winsor plywood doesn't carry it
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 11:20 PM
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I think it can also go under the name "formply".

Phenolic coated plywood used for concrete forms.....

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 11:24 PM
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You must have missed the threads by me and Theo about our router tables. Mine was 5/8" melamine and Theo's is 1/2" ply. Mine is still flat after nearly 4 years (I gave it to my son-in-law recently) and Theo's is flat after more than 10 years. It's the frame underneath that matters. Mine also had grooves for t-track which made it only 1/4" thick in spots but I matched the grooves to the supports as closely as possible. A layer of counter top laminate is easy to apply and is very durable.

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 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 05:54 AM
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Check with a local cabinet shop. I get sink cutouts for free. Can't beat the price.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 11:48 AM
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For the two router tables I have built, two layers of MDF topped of with formica. Makes a great surface.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
I think it can also go under the name "formply".

Phenolic coated plywood used for concrete forms.....
Thanks for the tip, James. I believe my local home center either carries it or I saw an advert that it's available by special order.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
You must have missed the threads by me and Theo about our router tables. Mine was 5/8" melamine and Theo's is 1/2" ply. Mine is still flat after nearly 4 years (I gave it to my son-in-law recently) and Theo's is flat after more than 10 years. It's the frame underneath that matters. Mine also had grooves for t-track which made it only 1/4" thick in spots but I matched the grooves to the supports as closely as possible. A layer of counter top laminate is easy to apply and is very durable.
Thanks Charles, now I don't need to post.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 10:32 PM
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We'll convince someone eventually Theo that the top doesn't need to be 1 1/2" thick or more to get the job done.

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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