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I am making plans to build my Router Table. I am seriously thinking about using an inleted T Section Aluminium track for a slide for my Fence. I was also thinking of getting the top level, and pouring a surface coat of Epoxy, to give me a level and durable work surface, on the table top. If, I do this, and then rout the top for the T Section, does any one know if the thin coating of Epoxy will chip, or rout cleanly?:smile:
 

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I believe the routing won't be an issue after the epoxy is thoroughly cured but why not go one better and use phenolic coated Baltic Birch or HPL...
 

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Or, drill and screw some scrap 1/8" x 1 1/2" angle iron to the underside. Old bedframe metal is perfect, and free from a mattress store.
go w/ a torsion frame instead...
good woodworking experience to be had too...
 

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Bring a straight edge with you when you find a source of baltic birch with a laminate. These are not necessarily flat to begin with. If it passes your straight edge test, it will make a good top. Angle iron takes some attention and a little lube to drill, so consider using extruded aluminum, which will be easier to work. At least the 1/8th thick, countersunk for short screws. CAREFULLY predrill the holes and keep the screws from going to far in or it will create a dimple on the surface.

Applying laminate on a two layer top would be my personal preference. Bottom layer of MDF (which is very flat), top layer of Baltic Birch. Contact cement sprayed evenly on the ply top and bottom surface of the laminate. Place thick dowels on top of the dried adhesive, then position the oversized piece of laminate on top of the dowels. Align the laminate, then remove the center dowel. Roll it using a J roller from the center, out. Gradually remove one dowel after the other, rolling center out to eliminate trapped air. If you have a bubble, you can use a pin to deflate it, or carefull drill from underneath without going through the laminate. But if you roll center, out, you won't trap air.

I think pouring a surface and allowing it to level sounds good, but I can imagine any number of things that could mess it up.

Here's a video that might help. I'd use spray rather than brushing. Make sure you let the adhesive dry completely before you join the parts.

 

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One more vote for mdf or particle board covered with countertop laminate (formica, arborite, Wilsonart, and probably many other names). Some of our hardware stores sell cuttings off hpl sheets for about $10 for a 2 x 4 sheet which is big enough for a nice table top.
 
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I’d laminate. I’ve had an opportunity to use epoxy and it wasn’t what I thought it be. Mdf has the potential to swell depending where you are. If you’re in a humid area, the mdf needs completely sealed. Mdf is heavy. I’d laminate some type of plywood, preferably BB. Laminating is really simple.

I laminate countertops a little differently than Desert Tom. For $5 you can buy a Venetian blind from Walmart. Cut the strings off and use the pieces. I roll my contact cement on both the laminate and ply. Wait until completely dry. Put the pieces of the blind on the ply maybe 1” apart. Set your laminate on top and shift like you need it. Then begin pulling the blind pieces out. The blind pieces are light weight, cheap and store very easy. There are times I have numbered my blind pieces near the end so I make sure I don’t leave one in when doing a large laminate. Use the roller to press it. Route off the edges. I also use a 5 degree offset bit to take off the sharp edge of the laminate. If you have bubbles, use a heat gun over it. Be sure not to get it too hot and use the roller on the bubble. If need, you can use some type of needle to poke a small, unseen hole.
 

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Hello and welcome to the router forum, Iain

The answer to the question is yes you Can router cured epoxy With good results
But do not think using it for this application would end Up with good long term results
 

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Thats the way I do it too only use thin wood strips like lath.
Herb
I've always used waxed paper. The glue doesn't stick to wax paper. You lay them across (as in multiple sheets) and pull out a sheet at time and stick the laminate down before you pull out the next sheet. Just don't stick it down too close to the next sheet or it will be hard to pull out. It's really easy to line the laminate up to the substrate when there is only wax paper between so you don't need much extra for trim. Once I have it lined up I usually have my wife hold it in place until I get a sheet out and part of it stuck down. That makes her feel important. :laugh2:
 

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Baltic Birch Flatness

Bring a straight edge with you when you find a source of baltic birch with a laminate. These are not necessarily flat to begin with.

I agree with these flatness comments. I started building a 10" x 36" taper jig out of nominal 3/4" Baltic Birch that was reasonably flat when I started. After cutting dovetail slots for MicroJig's dovetail clamp, the edge looked like a banana.

MDF is going to be more dimensionally stable than the best plywood. Do some online shopping for the more expensive (non cast iron) router table tops and see what material and thickness they use. Try to replicate what they offer. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time to save a few nickels and end up with a finished product that you are unhappy with.
 
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