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CDX vs. Birch ply for router table

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  • CDX vs. Birch ply for router table

    I'm building a router table extension wing for my TS2412. My plan is to use 2 layers of 3/4" ply with Formica top and bottom edged w/ 1x2 oak.

    For the plywood substrate, I can get a full sheet of CDX for the same price as a 2x4 sheet of cabinet grade plywood. Since I'll be laminating the surface anyway, does it matter? Or will the small surface irregularities in the CDX telegraph through the lamination?

    Thanks
    Dan

  • #2
    Dan---yes, you might have surface imperfections come through the laminet. Also, if you're using an insert, when routing out the opening, you might run into a void!
    Dave

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    • #3
      Thanks Dave.

      That's what I thought, but I figured I'd pose the question anyway. Hadn't really thought about voids under the insert. Definately BAD!

      Dan

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      • #4
        I bought a 2' x 4' shet of mdf covered on both sides from HD for $7+. Made a router table it works great.

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        • #5
          Another idea would be to use 1/2" mdf on the top with the ply on the bottom. The table surface really only needs to be 1" as you'll be putting support rails underneath.

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          • #6
            Dan,

            A 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" MDF ('orrible stuff to work), runs at around $20 from HD. Ideal, absolutely flat and stable for router table. Laminate two pieces for your 1 1/2" then formica/plastic laminate top & bottom. 1 7/8" table to be machined in whatever way you think fit.

            David

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            • #7
              Just thought of something. If you are using a Bies, jet, Delta, or similar fence, then mounting the 1 1/2" think slab of a router table would be no problem. However, the rails on the Ridgid saws are mounted from the inside of the rails, which means you need to tighten the nuts from the inside/under the table. If you make the router table 1 1/2" think, then there will be no way to mount it.

              Was thinking that a single 3/4" sheet with bracing underneath would work just as well and would enable the rails to attach. (access to bolt holes)

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              • #8
                Congratulations Mike. You brought something up that I've spent the better part of two months figuring out how to do. In fact, I've got more than a couple of threads on this very board asking about this problem.

                Bottom line: don't worry. Yes, I am using the stock fence, but I've got a plan. (One that I thing is fairly slick). I'll post details and photos when I'm done.

                Dan

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                • #9
                  I have also been thinking of a way to make a sturdy table that can be connected to the rails. Here is a general overview. Since the bolts need to be tightened from the inside, I was thinking of building a frame from either angle iron or 2x4. The 2x4 (or something similar) would need to have a rabbet as deep as the thickness of the top being used (ex. 3/4"). The frame would get bolted to the rails and the top dropped into the rabbet. The top can then be secured by an angle bracket, block of wood, screws, etc. depending on what is used as a frame.

                  I like what this guy did. The same idea could be applied to a router table.

                  http://home1.gte.net/rritch/page5.htm

                  Any comments are appreciated.

                  Rob

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                  • #10
                    Rob, pure genious. (hope I spelled that right!! )

                    a piece of angle bolted first to the rails will make a shelf for the table to sit on. Then you could fasten the table from the bottom as opposed to trying to drill holes in the side. One could even have a few tables that way. (router, standard outfeed, or an assembly table would just drop into place.)

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                    • #11
                      Mike,

                      Thanks. My plan was to extend my rails and insert a table like the one on the link in my previous post. From his pictures, it looked like he had to squeeze in the bolts. The distance from the top of the rail to the slot is about 1/4" or so. That would not allow for a very thick table. By building a frame or some sort of support system, you could put in as thick of a table as you want. I had not planed on using this for a router table but the concept would still apply.

                      I did not think about swapping the tables out. I like that idea. It would also be easier to replace the table if it got damaged or you decided you wanted to use a different material.

                      Rob

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                      • #12
                        Mike,

                        Bingo!!! I'm going to attach a piece of 48" angle with the vertical leg between the fence rails and the table. These angles will have the horizontal legs turned inwards to make a "shelf", and will cantilever out from the cast iron table on each end. On the left side, I will re-attach the existing steel table. On the right side, I will install my new table by shimming/spacing and screwing up thru the bottom.

                        The angles will increase the distance between the front and rear rails by about 3/32" to 1/8", but there appears to be more than enough adjustment in the fence locking mechanism to accomodate this.

                        Again, I'll post details and pics once I'm done. Hopefully tomorrow evening.

                        Dan

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