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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to build a router table and feel that the top will dictate size, style and so on.

I have new counter top (sink cutouts) available for zero cost.
The largest router I am going to mount in this table is my Triton tr001.
I plan to use the same table to swap other routers in and out by using router plates of the same size.

OK - here is the question, does anyone think that the counter top is stout enough to support the triton?
If the strength of the one inch thick counter top (made of particle board) appears to be a problem I plan on increasing the strength by adding a few angle iron supports.

I would appreciate anyones opinion.

Thanks-Jim S.
 

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I want to build a router table and feel that the top will dictate size, style and so on.

I have new counter top (sink cutouts) available for zero cost.
The largest router I am going to mount in this table is my Triton tr001.
I plan to use the same table to swap other routers in and out by using router plates of the same size.

OK - here is the question, does anyone think that the counter top is stout enough to support the triton?
If the strength of the one inch thick counter top (made of particle board) appears to be a problem I plan on increasing the strength by adding a few angle iron supports.

I would appreciate anyones opinion.

Thanks-Jim S.
put a torsion frame under the top...
do the joints/intersections w/ edge half lap joints...

.
 

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Jim while a torsion box would be mega support what is important is that the surface is perfectly flat and remains so. It also needs to be supported so it can not flex. A top can be a simple flats supported piece of wood and a straight piece of wood for a fence using clamps to secure the fence. From there it can go most anywhere. What should determine size would be its likely use. Trying to route large pieces on a small table can be near impossible. Think about your usage and look at tables on the market. Generally there are 2 sizes, the small portable and the shop dedicated. From there it can go anywhere. Also don't forget the table saw add on router tables as an option. This really becomes a personal choice. I built a dedicated table which is used most often but also bought the cast iron table for my Sawstop because I have the Inca LS Positioner and Wonder fence on my table saw which evolved later on in my shop expansion.
 

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You can certainly using counter top material for a router cable. However, because it is made of particle board, it will sag in time with the weight of a router set into it.

Angle iron would be an excellent support. Others have done that. You could achieve the same net effect using strips of hardwood underneath all perimeter edges and then side-to-side and front-to-back. In effect, similar to the torsion box concept Stick suggested, but with the necessary opening for the router/router lift. Here is an underside view of the one I use. Members are 2-1/2” tall. Notice the side to side members in front of and behind the box. In my case, the dust collection box also serves to provide front-to-back support since it is attached to the front and middle side-to-side support members.




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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank-you - Everybody.
The torsion box looks strong and should be a fun build for a newbie with a new router!

The other methods look pretty easy for someone like myself (used to flatwork).
I have intended from the start to put everthing in a box as MBRUM suggested because of dust collection and the orderlyness it creates.

By the way, my future posts should have my name included. My bad. I'll blame it on being a newbie.

See you folks in the sawdust pile.
 

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:grin:
 
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Thank-you -
The torsion box looks strong and should be a fun build for a newbie with a new router!
strong doesn't quite cover it well enough...
use your table saw and a dado blade for the joints...
search ''torsion box''.. lots of hits..
here's a thread you might want to read...

rim joints for a torsion box...

 

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I have intended from the start to put everthing in a box as MBRUM suggested because of dust collection and the orderlyness it creates.

By the way, my future posts should have my name included. My bad. I'll blame it on being a newbie.
thanks for name inclusion...

DUST COLLECTION

There is some information on dust collection w/ your health in mind at this here link if you need it...
 

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I have a plarticle board outfeed table on my table saw. I have 1x3 hardwood trusses crossing underneath and it has stayed perfectly flat for 12 years so far. Another method is to add a second layer of very flat ply or MDF (which is very flat). If you use MDF for the second layer, you must pre drill for any screws you might use to attach it. You can add trussing as well, but don't crowd the trusses too close to the router, they can get in the way of your Triton when you reach for the lock lever or on switch.
 

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The strength of a torsion box comes 100% from the strength of the glue bond between the ribs and the skins. The ribs can be butt jointed, and don't even need to touch. While rabbets, dadoes, notches, and any other joints might help in assembling the box, they add zero strength, but may add a lot of time.

One thing to consider with a torsion box is that you need to make sure there's enough clearance underneath. I just got rid a torsion box table saw extensions table / router table, because the thickness was too restrictive, due to the thickness of the top.

If the countertop has laminate on both sides (unlikely?), then it will sag. It need laminate on both sides for stability, in effect making it a thin torsion box.

My new extension/router table is 3/4" baltic birch with laminate on both sides. I also plan on attaching some 1/4" thick aluminum angles on the bottom to increase stiffness.
 

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a simpler image of a torsion grid...

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A few years back I built a temporary table that got used for about 6 years. It was a scrap piece of melamine coated particle board maybe a hair bigger than a sink cut out. I wanted to try t tracks for holding the fence in place so that only left 1/4” of material where they were but I added supports under them and that strengthened those sections enough. I laid the sheet onto a ladder style frame with supports close to the cut out for the plate too. Joined the top to the frame with biscuits. It sat in a shed that went from -40 in winter to plus 40C in the summer and was still dead flat after 6 years.

The short answer is yes it will work. Sometimes a small table is preferable to a large one. A piece with some warp may bridge across a long table but be okay on a shorter table. Lee Valley made a steel table top that had a slight rise to the centre that was there to prevent bridging.
 

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put a torsion frame under the top...
do the joints/intersections w/ edge half lap joints...

.
Yeah, my router table has a sort of torsion box, and a 1/2" plywood top. Hasn't sagged a bit in the 10-15 years or so since I made it. My torsion box is made of chunks of 2X4 glued together tho. Longest chunks is maybe 8", looks like a spider web under the top. I glued them together (still haven't figured out how I did that, on a flat surface, then when the glue dried, flipped so had a nice flat surface to glue the plywood on. The top is in 3 pieces, and the plywood router plate sits in the cut-out, with a perfect fit. And still trying to figure out how I did that too. All I actually know is, I knew I needed a router table, no idea how to do it, so grabbed a chunk of 2X4 or plywood, and the rest is a blank, until it was finished, and not a clue how I did it. Zen woodworking.
 

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I forgot all about this ,but here was my attempt at making a torsion box router table replacement wing for my tablesaw .
Unfortunately it failed because I used pocket screws to attach the torsion box to the top . It caused some warping and ended up being a wright off, as I had glued everything not knowing I had distorted the tops level ness after I had screwed them all down . A lot of work and time down the drain,as I done my first laminate job to , and it turned out great .
If I did it again I’d only glue the boards and not even use pocket screws , or add the screws after the glue had dried .
Also, I’d spend more time getting the lap joints just right , as they ended up being a little on the tight side when I went to assemble them .

You’ll notice I got lazy and didn’t add some of the cross members, but I believe it would have been plenty strong .
It’s only holding up a PC690 and a plastic duct collector. You’ll notice I didn’t cut in the aluminum plate yet , as that was the last step , but as I mentioned the top had a minor warp so it was discarded
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have viewed all of the wonderful comments regarding a router-table top. My original concern regarding strength has been answered quite well.

I am going steer away from the counter top approach. I live in Virginia and we have humidity that is awful in this part of the country. I have been told of unused counter tops swelling over a few years because of humidity in an unconditioned garage.

I am going to use two layers of middle grade plywood covered by a ½ inch sheet of MDF. Then I am going to cover the MDF with Formica or hardboard. I know that this may not be the flattest outcome, but I do word working for fun. Besides If what I make goes bad, I can learn from the first attempt.

I thank the following contributors because their comments gave me a lot to think about. I do not wish to step on any toes, so if I did not use your suggestion / approach and you feel like I am making an apparent bad move please let me know.

DaninVan --- Stick486 --- RainMan 2.0 --- sreilly --- mbrun --- Nickp --- roxanne562001 --- DesertRatTom --- kp91 --- ger21 --- Cherryville Chuck --- JOAT
 

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I’ve seen a number of posts by people who laminated plywood together and it warped on them. I personally believe it was the glue that did. Glue sets when the water dries. There’s no where for the water to go in the middle of a plywood sandwich but into the plies at the Center of it. That causes the warping I believe. I personally would never do it although some have and been successful. I’ve found no need to since if you attach one layer to a level frame you’ll be fine. Think of the floor under your feet and how it’s built.
 
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