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I’m in the process of considering a router table / cabinet rebuild. My current set up works fairly well, but does not have any cabinet storage. The 10-year-old table is a 24 x 48 melamine and MDF glue up on sawhorses. A cast-iron table would be nice but unfortunately, it is out of my budget, and it would be at least a foot shorter.

Since the melamine is showing a little wear through (particleboard exposed in several damaged areas), I thought I would upgrade to kitchen counter laminate on either two layers of Baltic Birch or MDF. My question is regarding how to perform the cut out for the router lift. (The melamine cutout not seem to give me any issues) I am concerned about chipping since I have not worked with this material before. What I need to be careful of, bit considerations etc.?

Do I want to just glue this to the substrate (MDF) and continue to cut the opening like I would if was just plain MDF? Or do I try to get the router lift opening close on the laminate first, manufacture the rest of the table with required hole for the lift (less the thickness of the laminate), glue them together and trim it up later?
I would have the same concern about cutting the access for mounting any T track. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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First off, I would look for a used office furniture store. Give them a call and ask if they have any used workstation tops. These make the ideal top and can often be had for cheap price if not free, As for cutting the hole I have always used a jig saw with a fine blade. You will be recessing the plate so it doesn't matter if the initial hole has chips around it.
 
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