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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the process of building my own router table - so far going pretty good but ran into an issue with the insert plate last night. I made a template out of mdf for the router plate that was pretty close to snug - barely any movement in it. Due to a lack of tools and scrap I had to sort of jerry rig a clamping system to get the template secured to my table top which already had the laminate on it. Since the only top bearing flush trim bit I have is 1" tall I had to put some small 5mm scraps under the template (found out the hard way that my eyeball measurement wasn't accurate and now have a small extra cutoff in the top - not big enough to care really but the perfectionist part of me is a little irked). So with this setup the issue i have is that 1 - while routing the edge either along the back or front of the plate in relation to the table the clamp setup i had somehow slipped roughly 1/16th of an inch so now with the plate in there it can shift back and forth about that amount. I'm not sure if that is an issue or not. The 2nd problem I didn't notice due to the mdf dust is when routing along the right bottom corner area (approx 3 inches from front towards face and about a few inches along the front face from right to left) the 5mm spacer board must have been pushed away allowing the router to plunge down slightly further - guessing about 1mm-ish.

I was planning on not using the leveling system as the plate is 1/4" in height with a slight dip 3/8" in (Rosseau plate), however, now the bottom right corner is slightly recessed. I'm not sure if this will be an issue as sliding wood across different areas of the plate is smooth everywhere except there for around 2 inches and based on where the fence is there shouldn't be any wood sliding across that part. Since this is my first experience I was wondering what the pros thought related to the approx 1/16th inch sliding ability front to back and the slight dip in the bottom right corner.

I could install a single leveler in the bottom right corner i suppose or put some sort of bondo/wood filler and sand it down or re-flush trim it, I just don't know if that's necessary. Looking for opinions and potential problems here that I might be unaware of.

Thanks!
 

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Very important that the plate be level with the table, especially that there not be a lip to catch your workpiece. I suggest you do levelers in all round. Amazon has a set of levelers I like pretty well. https://www.amazon.com/Kreg-PRS3040...6939921&sr=8-1&keywords=router+plate+levelers. These are an add on item so you have to buy other stuff to get it. About $7.

Here are some other levelers which I like even better, https://www.amazon.com/Woodhaven-13...6939921&sr=8-2&keywords=router+plate+levelers These are about $17, and have rubber feet that won't dig into your plate over time, and may be more stable. See picture.

Flat is important but few sheet good surfaces are perfectly flat. I keep reading that getting within 15 thousandths is pretty darn flat. If you have a GOOD straight edge, check to see if there is any warping on you table top. You could use a feeler gauge too, but it will be useless if your straight edge isn't right on. If your router table top is ply, consider adding an additional layer of flat MDG below it. Or use a jig to cut a flat edge on some good 1x2 hardwood and use it to make a truss below the table to keep it flat as possible over time.

I think you need to shim the plate. 1mm of play sounds like nothing, until you try to glue the piece with that error to another piece. Then 1mm becomes a chasm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Tom - the router plate came with some levelers so my thought was that since 3 of the 4 corners are perfectly flush with the top of the table that i could get away with installing 1 or 2 of the levelers in the corner that's slightly lower to raise that portion up slightly. Conversely I could just route a bit deeper channel and put the levelers in all corners, just didn't see the point if it's already flush.

As far as the 1mm gap with glue up - I'd already assembled the top with 2 sheets of 3/4" mdf and a 1/16th laminate top applied with contact cement so I'm not sure what you mean with the glueing of 2 pieces causing an issue - guessing I wasn't clear on the top already being assembled completely (except the edge moulding).

With 3 corners flush to the top, nothing else to glue up - do you see an issue with installing a single leveler in the bottom right corner? If not would 1 suffice or should I use 2? If you still think I should route out the entire channel and use one of those levelers you linked me to, could you explain the benefit of that compared to just adding the single leveler?

Thanks!
 

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Theo
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I agree with Doug, bondo should do it. Me, I'd more likely go with a mix of glue and sawdust, partly because I don't have any bondo.

When I made my last router table I made my own inserts. No issues after probably close to 15 years, or more.

And, instead of trying to rout the sides of the insert, I would probably have sanded them to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't have any bondo either but i do have wood filler - not sure if that would be strong enough after setting as I've never used it - just picked some up to have on hand. I don't mind getting some bondo - but i've got glue and dust - might look into that to save a store trip and some $$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another option I have that I wasn't planning on taking the time to do is I can turn the table top over and re-apply laminate to that side then essentially start over. I was told that adding laminate to both sides would further help keep the top flat but was figuring 2 sheets of mdf would suffice. Not sure if that or the bondo would be better - any opinions?
 

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Thanks for the reply Tom - the router plate came with some levelers so my thought was that since 3 of the 4 corners are perfectly flush with the top of the table that i could get away with installing 1 or 2 of the levelers in the corner that's slightly lower to raise that portion up slightly. Conversely I could just route a bit deeper channel and put the levelers in all corners, just didn't see the point if it's already flush.

As far as the 1mm gap with glue up - I'd already assembled the top with 2 sheets of 3/4" mdf and a 1/16th laminate top applied with contact cement so I'm not sure what you mean with the glueing of 2 pieces causing an issue - guessing I wasn't clear on the top already being assembled completely (except the edge moulding).

With 3 corners flush to the top, nothing else to glue up - do you see an issue with installing a single leveler in the bottom right corner? If not would 1 suffice or should I use 2? If you still think I should route out the entire channel and use one of those levelers you linked me to, could you explain the benefit of that compared to just adding the single leveler?

Thanks!
I was thinking the 1mm gap allowed the plate to shift 1 mm. That means the when you press against it, your workpiece may have an irregularity, which you don't want on routed pieces. This would be especially true if the fence sayed put, but the plate and with it the router, moved. Anyway, you have gotten lots of fixes for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was thinking the 1mm gap allowed the plate to shift 1 mm. That means the when you press against it, your workpiece may have an irregularity, which you don't want on routed pieces. This would be especially true if the fence sayed put, but the plate and with it the router, moved. Anyway, you have gotten lots of fixes for that.
Wow, where's the forehead smack icon? I'm picturing the bit coming up through the table with a small amount of wiggle around the bit but completely spaced on the router (and thus bit) being attached - man I feel stupid right now.

At this point I'm not sure if I should start over on the other side or go the bondo route. also - elmers carpenters wood filler - would that suffice since I have it or is that not strong enough?

Thanks again everyone for chipping in!
 

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Wood or melamine edging veneer will also tighten the gap and might be good for levelling the corner. You can also cut some wood strips 1/4" thick and glue them all around the opening and re-route it to the right size.
 

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Theo
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Another option I have that I wasn't planning on taking the time to do is I can turn the table top over and re-apply laminate to that side then essentially start over. I was told that adding laminate to both sides would further help keep the top flat but was figuring 2 sheets of mdf would suffice. Not sure if that or the bondo would be better - any opinions?
Dunno. My top is 1/2" plywood, no laminate. However, it IS supported by a spiderweb of 2X4 chunks. I think the secret to keeping a top flat is adequate support underneath. Router plate is 1/2" plywood too. Absolutely no issues.
 

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This was my idea also,but MDF edges & glue is not real successful sometimes.
 

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Another option I have that I wasn't planning on taking the time to do is I can turn the table top over and re-apply laminate to that side then essentially start over. I was told that adding laminate to both sides would further help keep the top flat but was figuring 2 sheets of mdf would suffice. Not sure if that or the bondo would be better - any opinions?
If you are using MDF for the sub-straight then you need to laminate both sides to keep the top flat. If you only laminate the top then the bottom can swell and shrink with humidity changes and warp the table. The lip you have created for the plate may present the same problem with humidity so I would add the levelers to all 4 corners or even better the 4 corners and 1 or 2 intermediate levelers to the 4 sides so the plate can be adjusted and leveled to the top.

Bondo would work for closing the gap so the plate won't move around. It is great for repairing templates that had an oops moment. If you keep some in the shop you will find all kinds of uses.
 
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Don't laugh..... but you might want to consider Bondo. I use it to repair damaged templates. Fill in the are you made the mistake on and try again.

In industry we take this approach quite a bit Chockfast Orange | Chockfast
I agree Doug. I used Bondo to fix a low spot in a jointer I used to have. It worked really well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone - I was able to get the plate fixed and leveled with Bondo and will likely be adding laminate to the opposite side anyways. Humidity is not much of an issue where I live but you never know and I don't want to take all this time to have something warp in the future. I'm leaving the leveling screws off for right now but will potentially add them in the future if I notice any issues. Will also post some pics of the table once it's done but still a few weeks out on that w/ the limited time i have to work on it. Thanks again!
 

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I took a slightly different approach with levelling screws. My top is mdf with laminate on it and despite my best efforts to rabbet the opening to the right depth I got it a little too deep. I don't have much faith in screws sticking through my insert plate not digging into the mdf lip over time so I screwed into the mdf lip with wood screws and my plate sits on the screw heads instead. You have to keep removing the plate to make adjustments but I figure it will be years before I need to readjust it now that it's level.
 
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