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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Default Router Table Plywood Types

I was at my local Menards looking at materials to build a router table. They had two types of plywoods, a CDX Pine and the other unlisted(maybe birch?). The Pine is a few dollars cheaper than the other and I was wondering if this type of wood would be good to use for a router table? I'm planning on making the tabletop from Shopnotes #1 (Plywood, 2 sheets of 1/4" hardboard, laminate).
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 09:15 PM
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Hi juschen


Get the birch it's bit higher in price but it's a tool you will have a long time if you use the good material from the get go...



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2007, 11:18 PM
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Definitely agree with Bob, go with the birch, the pine will work but the difference in cost is worth it in my opinion.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 07:54 PM
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Why not a counter top blank? Any draw backs?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 08:12 PM
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Being a newbie at this game - and I found out the hard way - not only go with Birch but go with Baltic Birch plywood -
as it has no voids in the ply. Even grade A birch has some voids - which I found out after trying to put a metal insert in it.......

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 08:51 PM
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Hi George

Most counter top blanks are made with so called chip board not MDF..

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Why not a counter top blank? Any draw backs?

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 10:20 PM
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Hi George

Most counter top blanks are made with so called chip board not MDF..

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Yes, but won't it work? What would be the draw backs?

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 10:25 PM
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Yes it will work but like it's name "chip board" which comes from how it is made it isn't the most durable stuff, not as nice to look at and doesn't work with as many tips of fasteners and it is heavy as heck. I call it particle board but same thing you and Bob are talking about. Best way to fasten it together is with Confirmant screws and a special drill bit. I would go with the fir plywoods before I would partical board myself.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 12:05 AM
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Particle board - chip board - osb ---- some technical differences (see Mike's explanation above) but essentially the same thing -- commonly used for sheating where all its primary purpose is to provide is a backing material to nail shingles or siding to.

Just my personal opinion - but -
To me it would be hard to think of a worse choice where you wanted a smooth surface or something to hang a router etc.

You can make a good router table out of counter inserts -
- They have the up-side of having a formica surface already laminated on
- and a cutout for a double sink is almost the ideal size.
There are those on the forum who have done so -- and maybe they will speak up on what they looked for.
My thought would be to look for the densest backing you can find (smallest particles).

My .02 --
If you want to save money - MDF
If you want to go plywood -- I would second the vote for Baltic Birch from someplace like Rockler or Woodcraft -- NOT one of the big boxes.

The one who says it can't be done --
Should avoid interrupting
the person doing it.

Last edited by Drugstore Cowboy; 11-13-2007 at 12:22 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 12:18 AM
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Particle board is more properly called high density particle board. It is made from sawdust and glue. Chip board or Oriented Strand Board (OSB) uses much larger chunks of wood. Baltic birch plywood might have 13 layers bonded together and no voids compared to birch plywood having about 7 layers with void spaces. Having more layers laminated together makes for a stronger more stable board.

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