Router table top advice needed

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Forum topic by thor2015 posted 10-08-2016 06:18 PM 643 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 1725 days

10-08-2016 06:18 PM

Please excuse the mess in the garage. We are bouncing back from a tornado that hit the house 4 months ago and we have a lot of kitchen stuff still to sort through in there.

Anyways, I am wanting to build a router table. I purchased a JessEm lift and was going to build my top from scratch but I was at my local Habitat Re-Store and found this for 10 bucks:

This piece measures slightly over 36” x 24” and the core of it is 3/4” plywood and is laminated on top. Three of the edges have a strip of 3/4” plywood attached underneath but where the router plate will sit is only 3/4” thick (before routing for the insert).

My question is, would you guys reinforce the top with another piece of 3/4” ply with glue and screws or should I leave the top as is and use it that way? Any advice would be appreciated.

6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5694 posts in 2976 days

#1 posted 10-08-2016 08:34 PM

It will need something to strengthen it, but that doesn’t have to be another piece f ply laminated to it. The 3/4” is strong enough to hold the router, but the top may loose some flatness over time due to sag. The way to prevent that if to build a frame into you table carcase that gives the top support in an eggcrate fashion. At least that’s the way i would do it. Also, the top doesn’t need to be fastened to the cabinet. Some cleats on the underside in the corners to keep it from slipping around, and the weight of the top and router will hold it down.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View thor2015's profile


46 posts in 1725 days

#2 posted 10-08-2016 11:22 PM

Thank you, Fred. I’ve been watching videos on router tables and am collecting ideas from each one to use in mine. This will help out a lot. Cheap is good, but even better when I can make it last. Thank you again.

View Pogo930's profile


18 posts in 1126 days

#3 posted 10-08-2016 11:42 PM

FYI if you ever want to use the Kreg beaded face frame jig you need a T-slot track 6 to 6 1/2 inches from the center of the router. Experience speaking LOL

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2929 days

#4 posted 10-08-2016 11:59 PM

I copied Steve Ramsey’s router table using the same Kreg router plate, the only difference in mine is the fence, I didn’t drill 4 holes from the front like he did, instead I used 4 bolt inserts to anchors from the back. it is a solid table for sure:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Robert's profile


3516 posts in 1963 days

#5 posted 10-09-2016 12:03 AM

It would probably work but I think the following is works very well:

2 pieces of 3/4 MDF laminated together, edge band with hardwood then formica on BOTH sides.

Route a groove for a combo t track/miter slot.

Can’t beat it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View thor2015's profile


46 posts in 1725 days

#6 posted 10-09-2016 01:15 AM

Thank you all for the replies. This is all very useful information.

I contemplated having a 1.5” MDF top because it sounded like it would be very rigid. If I went that route, the suggestion to laminate on both sides is an excellent idea. I would also want to seal the exposed edges where the mounting plate sits as well because I read a post on here of someone accidentally spilling something on the top and having that area swell up.

Ken, I LOVE Steve Ramsey’s channel. I try to visit every Friday to see what he’s posted. I’ve been viewing him, Colin Knecht, Matthias Wandel, April Wilkerson and Norm Abram mostly for woodworking tips and tricks.

Pogo, thank you for the heads up on the Kreg jig. I’ve been finding myself using more and more of their stuff so it wouldn’t surprise me to wind up with the beaded face frame jig and I’d be a bit frustrated to have to build another table just for that.

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