Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been playing with ideas for a table top made to be transportable. It will hold my DIY router lift.
I have a steel frame with 3/4" plywood screwed onto it. The steel frame is 1x2 box tubing. Late in the game, decided it best to add some tracks to lock things in place. To get the tracks installed I need some additional thickness. The track is 3/8 thick.
I need to make the table thicker, so the question is, could I laminate some 1/4 inch tempered hardboard onto the plywood using Contact cement? I have some heavy Formica for a finished surface. By doing adding the hardboard, I would route less than 1/8 inch into the 3/4" plywood to mount the tracks.
I'm trying to not make this much thicker and heavier. It's 24 by 30
The framework is plenty stout, so no need for a second layer of 3/4. This will be stored in my carport so whatever I do, I want to keep it stable.... that's why the tubular welded steel base.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Given the fact that you already have a metal frame underneath, I would think you could get by with only the 3/4” you already have. But your idea of routing only 1/8” deep and then laminating the top with HB sounds like an excellent idea. Contact cement would be perfect IMO. The HB would add some thickness and gives you a smoother top.

Also, one other option, because again of your metal frame already, is you could still route your 3/4 top to accept the track, but add thickness below the existing 3/4” layer, but below the track. Perhaps gluing a strip of 1/2” or 3/4” plywood 3-4” wide along the entire length of track. That would give the track screws something more to bit into and hold on.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Given the fact that you already have a metal frame underneath, I would think you could get by with only the 3/4” you already have. But your idea of routing only 1/8” deep and then laminating the top with HB sounds like an excellent idea. Contact cement would be perfect IMO. The HB would add some thickness and gives you a smoother top.

Also, one other option, because again of your metal frame already, is you could still route your 3/4 top to accept the track, but add thickness below the existing 3/4” layer, but below the track. Perhaps gluing a strip of 1/2” or 3/4” plywood 3-4” wide along the entire length of track. That would give the track screws something more to bit into and hold on.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
My original thought was to not add the hardboard and do like you mentioned.
I can also weld in one more bar to give it even more support and do just that.
I could also weld in the extra support then use 1/8" Masonite.
The table has a fairly consistent belly or concave shape about the thickness of a recipe card. That's an error in the metal. It's easily corrected by loosening the center screws and sliding in some brass shim stock or something eqivilent.
Most tables I see have two short slots routed on either side of the lift to clamp down the fence. I was thinking to run a Kraig track all the way down each side for clamping the fence and for additional uses. They are $20 each and I already have one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll add some edited images if it helps to better describe the support for the plywood and whether I can get away with just this single layer of 3/4" plywood. I'm thinking I can. Blue is the additional support that I can add. Red is obvious. Green of all colors is the Krag track. 😄
Number
The white shows where the metal supports are on the underside. The lift is fully supported by the metal tubing
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Probably best now to add more confusion to the mix since I may end up with a single layer of 3/4"plywood on this metal frame.
If I add a combo miter track to the equasion, they all seem to be 1/2" thick. That would leave me just 1/4 inch thickness of plywood over the width of the track.
If my metal base is strong and solid, will routing this deep really be a issue?
The miter track would of course lay the short 24" direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
I would add the extra wood to the bottom to make sure that the top doesn't buckle should the glue come loose. I would also go with something thicker to keep it really solid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
I would add the extra wood to the bottom to make sure that the top doesn't buckle should the glue come loose. I would also go with something thicker to keep it really solid.
at least ½'' ply construction adhesived to the bottom/underside of the top...
use PL400 or PL Premium...
make sure you screw the ply down till the adhesive cures...
mica the top...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The steel frame was used instead of using two layers of thick material like is the standard in a home workshop. I could fill in the larger center section with what I have left of the 3/4". That area is where the combination track would be should I decide to add it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I would of course need more thickness on the long sides where the track will be installed for screws. There's a 3/4" overhang on all 4 sides beyond the steel frame. I can weld brackets on the metal base to install removable legs. That was my initial thinking when deciding for a metal structure...... That, and metal doesn't warp. 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Right or wrong....
Well, my table will remain one layer of 3/4" plywood. I got the slight dish in the center leveled out using strips of 50 grit adhesive sandpaper as my shim material. Snugged up all the screws and it worked out great. The Formica is on so I am commited. Maybe tomorrow I can lay out and maybe set in the router lift and decide on the miter gauge/feather board clamp positions.
I brought back to life an old miter guage that I constructed for a bench top belt sander. This was in the late 80's or early 90s.
The radius of the miter gauge was too wide so I shrunk it on the sander. That part was from an old Craftsman router table. I went to a local machine shop and bought some heavy brass stock, then shaped it to a perfect 5/8" width and silver soldered on a pointer. Made the marker notch with my utility knife.
New black paint and some brass polish and I got that part paid in full. 🙂
It's kinda short but I think it will work.
 

Attachments

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
I made one router table out of a single layer of 5/8" meklamine coated particle board and added tracks for locking the fence down. That only left 1/4" under the tracks but I added a framework under and put frame pieces under those spots and never had an issue with it for the 5 or 6 years it saw service.

A few members have made tops that sit on Workmates. You open the Workmate all the way and at the end it tightens against cleats attached to the bottom of the top to keep it from sliding around when in use. The router fits in the opening. Doesn't take up much room and you have a Workmate for other jobs too when you aren't routing.

I made another table for my son that used a $30 set of folding table legs. You need a frame under the top to keep it rigid but it folds up and doesn't take up much room. I drilled through the locking mechanism so it could be pinned to make sure it couldn't fold up during use.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stick486

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If that worked Chuck, then mine will too. Got a lot done. I tried up the edges of the long sides of the table then routed them to accept the Kreg mini tracks. I'm setting up my 24 by 30 table to use it the short direction. I can always attach an extension table or use an off feed roller if that kind of support was ever necessary. This probably won't get used often. I needed a lift a year or so ago...... so I made one. Cost as much as buying one by the time I got it done, but I like making stuff. I actually enjoy the challenge of making tools as much as using them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I watched a video a month or so ago about routing the table opening for the lift plate. It starts with measuring the bit edge to the router edge then cutting strips of hardboard that exact width to frame the router lift...... Making a template.
Then you position that template on your table and build a second template around that template. I use small beads of hot glue as temporary fasteners instead of double faced tape.
Anyway, you remove the inside template and retain the second one to route against. I'm sure this is a common method. I'm even wondering if Herb might have shown this method and I have seen it here. Anyway it works.
First, I routed a groove in a scrap piece to get the exact width of the bit to the router plate edge. I used that scrap to set the fence on my table saw. Once set up, I cut some strips of hardboard to make the template. Fit like a glove.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I positioned the template so the routers weight rests directly on two of the steel frame rails. Then I hot glued a frame around the first template and removed the first one. My router lift plate sets close to the edge of the table, so I had to 'hokey up' a framework on that side using a couple of pieces of plywood and a pine board..... once more, it's hot glued to other parts of the template. I did that because the template overhung dead air on that end and I needed... something.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Anyway, the plate I made was square, but since the 3/4" router bit leaves round corners,. I rounded the lift plate edges to sexy it up.
The aluminum is soft of course, so I may add the same laminate to the router lift top plate. I routed deep enough for clearance to do that.
Anyway, it was approaching sundown, to I put the lift in and one side of the Kreg mini tracks. I need one more for the other side, but running low on funds. They are $21 locally. I'll need a third one if I add the miter gauge.
It will be easiest to remove the router body for changing bits. Just need to remove two knobs and it drops right out.
....so I'm finally making progress. A stable fence design is next. I'm thinking aluminum.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
well done...

.​
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I sealed the underside with polyurethane and I'll probably add at least one, maybe two more coats. The top is sealed, so the underside hast to be. Trying to think of some kind of edging... Maybe 3/8 wood of some kind. Something stable if I keep this in the storage area in the carport as planned. When not in use the router and lift will be taken out. They are a bit heavy and the table has to stand upright, leaning against a wall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
I sealed the underside with polyurethane and I'll probably add at least one, maybe two more coats. The top is sealed, so the underside hast to be. Trying to think of some kind of edging... Maybe 3/8 wood of some kind. Something stable if I keep this in the storage area in the carport as planned. When not in use the router and lift will be taken out. They are a bit heavy and the table has to stand upright, leaning against a wall.
the laminate you used for the top as edge banding would be perfect...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I still need to build up material under the track. Right now the plywood is 3/8 thick along the upper and lower sides where I routed it out for the track.
I was thinking the 3/8 thick by 1 1/2 inch tall wood as edging because it would protect the tracks from poltergeist, killer clowns... and bad karma. ie: having it fall on the edges.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top