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I'm new to this area of woodworking (routers) but am getting ready to jump in with both feet!
I've been building a mobile base for my TS (RyobiBT3100-1) and have been preparing the extended table for a router. The top is 2 pieces 3/4" mdf laminated for 1 1/2" thickness probably because I tend to overkill construction. I've inlet a Rockler plate, 2 T-Tracks for a fence, and a miter slot. The top is 36" long and 22 7/16" deep.
Now, what is the best finish for this top? I was just going to use a poly finish either over paint or directly on the mdf. Any ideas?
Thank you in advance for any info given.
 

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Hi Roger

I used Johnson and Johnson floor wax (paste type) 3 coats .
The 1st. coat will seal it and the others will make it slick.

This what I did because I like the look of the MDF and because I new it would get scratched up when I used it and it did but all I need to do from time to time is put on a new coat of wax and it's just like new, plus when I get a scratch the new coat will fill in with the new coat of wax.

http://www.routerforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2281

I should NOTE*** I make alot of jigs out of MDF and I do the same to many of them,,, :) keeps the nasty hand prints off them, and it's a quick and easy way.

Bj :)
 

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Plastic laminate is often used as it helps control warping, and I also saw a post where an oil based finish was suggested to seal it from humidity.. I like the way MDF looks and have never used laminates, so like you, I'm waiting for the experts here to answer..
 

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One of the better surfaces for a router table is plastic laminate like Formica. This product is very easy to cut and apply with contact cement. It does not seem to make any diference between the smooth and rough surface versions. Another plus is the fact you can make pencil marks directly on the Formica and then wipe them off when done. When applying follow a couple simple rules for success: cut with a saw blade designed for finish work or laminates, an 80 tooth blade is good for 10" saws. Cut your piece slightly oversize, apply contact cement to both the MDF and the Formica and wait till it gets tacky. Get help laying the Formica on your wood. Once it touches it is there for keeps. There is no adjustment! Roll over the surface with a rolling pin or laminate roller to remove trapped air. A quick trim with a bearing guided bit to remove the excess and you have a professional result.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
bobj3 said:
Hi Roger

I used Johnson and Johnson floor wax (paste type) 3 coats .
The 1st. coat will seal it and the others will make it slick.

This what I did because I like the look of the MDF
Bj :)
Sounds good to me,,,and looks great in your pic,,,,,,,,,,but,,,,,,,,do you think I could get the same results over a stain or paint?
The formica idea is out just because I've got everything measured and fitted "perfectly" and can't change the overall height of the table without a LOT of changes to keep it at the table saw height.
 

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Hi Roger

"stain or paint?" I don't know that one for sure, but maybe ,give it a try on just a small corner of the table.

The J & J wax it great stuff,the 1st coat will fill in all the defects and go on like hot butter, then wait just a bit and buff it out then the next coat, the 3rd coat is the baby butt coat,flip your rag on it and it should just slide off.... :)
I do use it on my table saw also,it's a OLD 8" Atlas cast iron and with 2" thick wood side supports,it will cut up to 26" wide stock. made in the 1940's great old saw.

I did try auto wax ONE time and it not the same,just can't fill in the defects,and it will turn a bit white and it's hard to get the white out.

Bj :)
 

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Hi: I would put Formica on both sides of that top. That will seal the top from dampness. When working with plastic laminate I use dowal sticks between the substrate and the laminate. That allows you to position it without it sticking where you don't want it to. Once youget it on use a roller or a rolling pin to get any trapped air out and to make a good bond. Then you trim off the excess laminate with a router,
and a flush trim bit. Hope this helps.. Woodnut65
 
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