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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

This is my first post so I hope it's in the right place.

I am designing a router table to have an mdf top approx 1.5 inches thick.

I want the router table to double as a spare bench at times so I want to add an additonal removeable protective top (much like you would add a sacrifical plywood top to a work bench). This removeable top might be 1/2 inch ply.

The question is how to fasten this protective table top to the main mdf table top in a quick-release fashion and in a way that does not mar the surface of the main mdf top.

I have thought about adding hardwood edging to both table tops and fastening the two together via the edge banding; but what's the best method?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Hope this all makes sense otherwise I could try to add a pic or google sketch up file if possible.

Cheers

Errol
 

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Hi

This is my first post so I hope it's in the right place.

I am designing a router table to have an mdf top approx 1.5 inches thick.

I want the router table to double as a spare bench at times so I want to add an additonal removeable protective top (much like you would add a sacrifical plywood top to a work bench). This removeable top might be 1/2 inch ply.

The question is how to fasten this protective table top to the main mdf table top in a quick-release fashion and in a way that does not mar the surface of the main mdf top.

I have thought about adding hardwood edging to both table tops and fastening the two together via the edge banding; but what's the best method?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Hope this all makes sense otherwise I could try to add a pic or google sketch up file if possible.

Cheers

Errol
Make the edge banding 16mm (5/8") deeper on the protective top than the router top so it sits over the whole router top, fit flush bolts to under side of router top and drill holes into edge banding of protective top. all out of sight and nothing to get damaged or make edge banding flush with bottom of router top banding and fit plywood butterfly cleats.

Their just 2 simple methods that come to mind:)
 

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Hi Errol

Why not an oversize top with an apron of 2 x 1 softwood applied all round (so it drops onto the router table and won't move about) and a couple of wooden turn buckles to stop it from being lifted?

Regards

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers Oziray, some nice ideas.

Do you think that I might need some downward fixing force though to keep the protective top flat though? The top will be about 4'6" by 2'4" and my workshop can get a bit damp.

I want it to be quick release so I think bolts are out but I like the cleat idea.

A, 'plywood butterfly cleat'? Do you mean like a home made cleat you turn that would prevent lifting of the protective top?

I suppose if there was a thickness difference between the different edge bands and an angle on the turning cleat it wood give me some sandwiching force to pull the two tops together. If you see what I mean?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Errol

Why not an oversize top with an apron of 2 x 1 softwood applied all round (so it drops onto the router table and won't move about) and a couple of wooden turn buckles to stop it from being lifted?

Regards

Phil
Hi Phil

Cheers.

I should have said I only have access to 3 sides of the table as the other side will attach to my main bench to form letter 'T'.

I also wonder if I need a fastening systems that keeps the surfaces mated and flat to each other.

What do you reckon?

Ez
 

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I should have said I only have access to 3 sides of the table as the other side will attach to my main bench to form letter 'T'.

I also wonder if I need a fastening systems that keeps the surfaces mated and flat to each other.
Ok, then, what about a turnbuckle each side and a single screw through the top (into the router table top) to keep it all in place? Alternatively make-up the router table with a rebate along the joining edge. When assembled you would in effect have a housing and the protective top could then be given a fourth side, made shallower to sit in the housing and locate the top in place. Either way you may want to stick some felt onto the underside of the protective top

Regards

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, then, what about a turnbuckle each side and a single screw through the top (into the router table top) to keep it all in place? Alternatively make-up the router table with a rebate along the joining edge. When assembled you would in effect have a housing and the protective top could then be given a fourth side, made shallower to sit in the housing and locate the top in place. Either way you may want to stick some felt onto the underside of the protective top

Regards

Phil
Interesting but I am not sure I am envisaging what you mean. When you say turnbuckle what do you have in mind? I think of a turnbuckle as those things you use to tension cables.

Errol
 

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How about adding edging around 3 sides of the protective top? The edging would have a groove (slot? dado?) on the face that is against the router top with the top of the groove flush with the bottom of the router top. Flat turn buttons attached to the underside of the router top can be used to lock the protective top in place or unlocked to remove it. I think having the locks on 3 sides should be enough to hold the top in place.

The drawings hopefully make it easier to visualize than my description.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How about adding edging around 3 sides of the protective top? The edging would have a groove (slot? dado?) on the face that is against the router top with the top of the groove flush with the bottom of the router top. Flat turn buttons attached to the underside of the router top can be used to lock the protective top in place or unlocked to remove it. I think having the locks on 3 sides should be enough to hold the top in place.

The drawings hopefully make it easier to visualize than my description.
Aw! thanks dude, did you do those drawings just for me! you're too kind :yes4:

Yea, had been sitting down watching some TV instead and my mind came up with the same idea (except I had the moving part going right through the edge piece); think your design is better and easier to make.

Nice one man. I'll give you a hand with the bigger dragons! ;)
 

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Make the edge banding 16mm (5/8") deeper on the protective top than the router top so it sits over the whole router top, fit flush bolts to under side of router top and drill holes into edge banding of protective top. all out of sight and nothing to get damaged or make edge banding flush with bottom of router top banding and fit plywood butterfly cleats.

Their just 2 simple methods that come to mind:)
Sort of the same... For the jobsite, I have 1/2" cdx plywood with 3/4" edges/cleats made up for my portable router table and one for my jobsite table saw (when on it's work-n-haul folding stand). The tops double both as work space and protection from the elements. My compound sliding miter saw on it's kickstand- I take the saw off it's stand, put it's nylon cover over it (was a tire cover), plywood table with cleats on two sides so it goes over the stand's rails.

They are just placed over/on. I need to use the equipment underneath. (Although that slot idea above / sliding on the top... is giving me ideas) I haven't found a "need" to secure it to make it earthquake proof yet. If I did, I just put a clamp on a corner. (Buckets of clamps there anyways!) I put the cleats on so it doesn't get taken by the wind or knocked off by me while scurrying around with a tool belt.

For my multi-purpose jobsite table, the router module lifts out and a blank table insert slides back in. For home, I have work tables, so I don't have covers there.

Edit-- Reread. Last paragraph, last sentence- Not "completely" accurate. If a ever do need more working space than I have, 2 sawhorses and a piece of plywood go a long way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sort of the same... For the jobsite, I have 1/2" cdx plywood with 3/4" edges/cleats made up for my portable router table and one for my jobsite table saw (when on it's work-n-haul folding stand). The tops double both as work space and protection from the elements. My compound sliding miter saw on it's kickstand- I take the saw off it's stand, put it's nylon cover over it (was a tire cover), plywood table with cleats on two sides so it goes over the stand's rails.

They are just placed over/on. I need to use the equipment underneath. (Although that slot idea above / sliding on the top... is giving me ideas) I haven't found a "need" to secure it to make it earthquake proof yet. If I did, I just put a clamp on a corner. (Buckets of clamps there anyways!) I put the cleats on so it doesn't get taken by the wind or knocked off by me while scurrying around with a tool belt.

For my multi-purpose jobsite table, the router module lifts out and a blank table insert slides back in. For home, I have work tables, so I don't have covers there.

Edit-- Reread. Last paragraph, last sentence- Not "completely" accurate. If a ever do need more working space than I have, 2 sawhorses and a piece of plywood go a long way.
Hey Mike

sounds like you have an interesting and versatile set up. Like so many others my workshop doubles as a garage so I am always seeking ways to double up on on the functionality of power tools and their stations. if you got any pics please post.

infact be interesting to see anybody else's doubling up solutions.

3/4" cleats to secure table tops seems the way to go!

Errol
 

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Hey Mike

sounds like you have an interesting and versatile set up. Like so many others my workshop doubles as a garage so I am always seeking ways to double up on on the functionality of power tools and their stations. if you got any pics please post.

infact be interesting to see anybody else's doubling up solutions.

3/4" cleats to secure table tops seems the way to go!

Errol
Yes, I have similar space constraints as you.

I have a 12'x16' full height utility shed... but that is welders & welding supplies, my blacksmithing tools and forge, camping equipment, furniture stored for restoration this winter, the saddles and tack for my horses, other stuff we aren't using, etc. (all storage knds of stuff). My garage is 13'x22', but half of it this the pantry I built, the hot water heater, washer, dryer and the backup range (stove/oven)... then there's a commercial sized Wolfe Tanning bed. Then my in gas welder and industrial sized MIG welder and a shop sized air compressor, which all of those is too heavy for me to move into the utility shed.

So yes, similar to you. When doing stuff at home, I either made room in the garage or expand out to the driveway. (Been really thinking about building a carport.) But all has to be secured back in the garage when I'm through.

Pictures:

Posted some on this thread:
Jobsite router table "plus..."
That setup doubles as a router table, table saw rip table, table saw crosscut table, jointer table, jigsaw table (for scroll saw kinds of things), work table... then I have a thin knock down table that fits on top with guides/jigs for "above type" cutting, routing, drilling etc. And it all breaks down into pieces that can go on selves or hang on a wall.

Then other pic's attached.

One tip I learned long ago- I mount all my portable equipment to 3/4" plywood (Notice the table saw and portable router.) Helps me with two things- (a) mounts easily to my stands and saw horses. (b) Drilled a hole in them to hang (out of the way) on a wall.
 

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Errol, out of the many methods I have heard of the easiest is still the Router Workshop version. Pop your mounting plate out of the table. Set your sacrificial table top in place and screw two blocks up from the bottom in opposing corners of the opening. This prevents the top from moving and since you will most likely be clamping your work to the table it can not lift. "Simple is better."
 

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Make the edge banding 16mm (5/8") deeper on the protective top than the router top so it sits over the whole router top, fit flush bolts to under side of router top and drill holes into edge banding of protective top. all out of sight and nothing to get damaged or make edge banding flush with bottom of router top banding and fit plywood butterfly cleats.

Their just 2 simple methods that come to mind:)
If you make the edge banding deep as suggested the framing might be all you need. Fastening might be built in and used as necessary. For light duty applications you might be able to skip the fastening most of the time.
 

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K.I.S.S. works for me.

My router table top is laminated and is 24x48 inches. When the table is used for other work (not as a router table), I just lay a 2x4' sheet of 1/8 inch hardboard on it. No fancy fastening technique. When it needs to be fixed in place, a couple of clamps do the trick.

Cassandra
 

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Cheers Oziray, some nice ideas.

Do you think that I might need some downward fixing force though to keep the protective top flat though? The top will be about 4'6" by 2'4" and my workshop can get a bit damp.

I want it to be quick release so I think bolts are out but I like the cleat idea.

A, 'plywood butterfly cleat'? Do you mean like a home made cleat you turn that would prevent lifting of the protective top?

I suppose if there was a thickness difference between the different edge bands and an angle on the turning cleat it wood give me some sandwiching force to pull the two tops together. If you see what I mean?
You got in 1 !!! Thats it exactly, cheers :yes4:
 

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Simpler is better. I made a protective cover out of cheap, thin plywood with edging that is just barely larger than the surface I wanted to protect. In my case, I wanted to protect my TS. The thing just fits over the top and is held down by whatever is placed on it. The edging is thick enough that the lip prevents the plywood from shifting. Miter saw, sander, whatever works without my worrying about 'denting' the underlying surface. Took about an hour to make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Simpler is better. I made a protective cover out of cheap, thin plywood with edging that is just barely larger than the surface I wanted to protect. In my case, I wanted to protect my TS. The thing just fits over the top and is held down by whatever is placed on it. The edging is thick enough that the lip prevents the plywood from shifting. Miter saw, sander, whatever works without my worrying about 'denting' the underlying surface. Took about an hour to make.
yo!

yea i think that there's a lot of wisdom in 'Keep in Simple' in general; no fixing, clamps etc. and it's not quite gonna do it on this project though.

to keep my initial query simple i didn't put in the whole background to this project.

this table has to un-attach from the main bench, fold at the legs and lean up somewhere in my small garage; and remain protected. hence the need to have that protective top stay in place and be unobtrusive.

cheers for all the input.

Errol
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
also i might say making something a bit more complex and have it work can be a whole lotta fun in itself; and educational if it don't !!
 
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