Router Forums banner

Question with making a router table

2610 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MichaelHaney
I am making a router table similar to the one in the Dec 2005 WoodWorker's Journal labeled 'The Ultimate Router Table'.
I changed a few things (all in the under cabinet storage area) to something I think will work better for me.
I drew it up in SolidWorks to see how it went together and so far it looks good.
Now what I'm wondering about is laminating the table itself.
It seems that even basic laminate where I live has to be ordered in and to me is quite pricey. But I came across a damaged piece a person had that looks like there is enough there for the fence and the top of the table, and possibly some but not all of the underneath.
I glued up 2 pieces of a brazilian hardwood 3/4" plywood panel that actual has a nice front and back coat to it and was wondering why do I have to laminate the underneath?
It's supported by the cabinet, it's a 1-1/2 thick, and made out of a decent looking hardwood/plywood.
Is there a reason I should try to get the underneath laminated?
In my mind I can't see it sagging or falling apart, and if I have enough laminate left over I could partially cover it and if that will work what areas would I concentrate on?
I just can't see spending about $80 plus dollars to order another sheet just to laminate it for looks.
Am I missing something?
Thanks for any input anybody can give, so I can at least make an informed decsion........Eric
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Hi there,
All wood will react to varying temperatures/moisture content and by laminating both surfaces you will balance the reaction. If only one surface is laminated, the other surface will have a different expansion/contraction rate.
Admittedly, with hard wood the movement is less and in a stable workshop probably minimal. My router fence is made from oak and not laminated and shows no signs of movement at all and the table is veneered MDf simply sealed and edged with oak and it is still true.
If you're using 2 pieces of plywood, I think you'll probably be in pretty good shape. The alternating direction of the layers in the plywood will tend to make the top more stable, and help keep you flat. You can seal the bottom face with poly, and that should slow the rate of moisture absorbtion the way laminating would. The biggest concern to have is making sure your top stays flat when you glue the two sheets together.
Hi: Eric, I assume you have received the magazine, and plan for the router table.
The reason the bottom of the table top is laminated is to prevent moisture from warping the top over time. If you have a cabinet shop around your area or a place that makes counter tops, you may be able to buy just enough additional laminate to do the bottom portion of the table. Most shops will throw laminate in those small sizes out, so you may get it for nothing. I have thrown out plenty of it after a large job.
I'm a little confused about whether you're using hardwood or plywood - I believe that expansion is less of an issue with ply - but if you can manage to laminate it that would seem like the best shot either way. That's a pretty elaborate table so why risk problems. Side note: I was also a little thrown with those plans when they went through the trouble of laminating both sides and then hardwood edged it - why not laminate the edges as well and seal it up. My thoughts
Thanks Guys,
We came back yesterday from the city and I saw a small shop I hadn't known was there before so I'm going to stop in and check with them about extra laminate pieces.
Yes, I received the plans and that is what I am going by.
The wood I am using is a ply-wood style laminate but the guy at the lumberstore said it was made out of a Brazillian hardwood (thats how I understood it), the side view is definately a ply-wood style and the exterior sides sure look like a birch-style ply-wood panel except its coloration is quite simiular to what red oak looks like (just not the grain pattern.
Wednesday is our 3rd year anniversary and I will try to remember to stop at the store where I picked up the wood and double check with the salesman just to see if I can get a better description/name for you guys sometime tomorrow.
Thanks So Far...Eric
See less See more
I often stop by the local habitat for humanity store, and almost every time I look, I see odds and ends, as well as larger pieces of laminate. If there is a local store, check it out. It's also been a good supply of smaller plywood pieces that serve well as pattern pieces. Just a thought.
Are they listed in the yellow pages under a certain heading?
I am in a rural area, and not sure where to look for something like that....Eric
Look in the White Pages under Habitat For Humanity. Their office will be able to tell you if they have a resell store in your area. A few areas of the country have building material salvage yards that may have what your looking for. After reading your first contribution to this string I went out to our local Lowes and found a full size panel of Formica with a sizeable crack for half price. Good luck with the table.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.