surface for outfeed table

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Forum topic by mzimmers posted 02-01-2015 05:19 PM 2493 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mzimmers's profile


218 posts in 5198 days

02-01-2015 05:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table surface melamine microdot

Hi, all -

I’m going to build an outfeed table for my table saw. I’ll be following the general steps of the Wood Whisperer’s project.

Can anyone see anything wrong with using Melamine-covered fiberboard for the surface?

I’m kicking around getting some Formica Microdot, but that’ll add about $60 to the project…

-- M. Zimmers

13 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile


1829 posts in 4132 days

#1 posted 02-01-2015 05:23 PM

Check out the box store for the laminate they have on the shelves, I can usually get lucky and find a damaged piece the manager will give me 50% or so off on, gets a 4’x8’ sheet of HPL to about $20, and it’s pretty easy to use it for tables wings extensions jigs etc.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7176 posts in 4477 days

#2 posted 02-01-2015 06:39 PM

Personally…. I would got with the laminate over Melamine…I don’t like that stuff, cause it will chip pretty easy, and mainly cause it’s underlament is MDF, or fiberboard….My outfeed table for my saws, router table, and anything that requires a slick, smooth finish on top, is laminated…..To me, a laminated top looks nicer (personal preference), and is easy to apply…..But that is just personal preference…...

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View lndfilwiz's profile


118 posts in 2883 days

#3 posted 02-01-2015 06:39 PM

Thanks ChefHDAN! I was think about that and have some left over from an earlier project.

-- Smile, it makes people wander what you are up to.

View mzimmers's profile


218 posts in 5198 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 11:31 PM

Thanks for the input, all. Today I left work a little early to get to a commercial lumber supplier. They said that melamine would probably be OK, and sold me a 5/8” cover sheet for $5. Got a 1/4” one for the workbench for another $5. I figured, even if I go wrong, I can’t go too far wrong.

-- M. Zimmers

View RockyTopScott's profile


1186 posts in 4761 days

#5 posted 02-03-2015 12:24 AM

Mine is currently melamine. I will do laminate the next time.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2769 days

#6 posted 02-03-2015 12:33 AM

I think that work fine. Might need a little a little extra support for the 5/8”. Aside from that it sounds like a deal.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View runswithscissors's profile


3134 posts in 3308 days

#7 posted 02-03-2015 07:35 AM

I notice the chipped melamine every time I walk by them in HD. Have to wonder, if they chip that easily just in being transported and stocked on the shelves, how well are they going to hold up in anything you use them for?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


134 posts in 2500 days

#8 posted 02-03-2015 01:01 PM

Go laminate, melamine won’t last. Go look for some damaged P-lam at one of the big box stores. Or, check with some solid surface shops and get the old laminate tops that they replace in various kitchens

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7292 posts in 3776 days

#9 posted 02-03-2015 01:11 PM

If you happen to have a Habitat restore nearby, you can usually pick up pieces of damaged laminate for pretty much nothing. I bought a 4’x4’ piece in a very acceptable color for $5. The damage was just a broken corner.

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

View MaxContent's profile


10 posts in 2505 days

#10 posted 02-03-2015 01:14 PM

I use veneer plywood for a couple of reasons. First, I use the outfeed table as a workbench and it is handy to nail and screw into. Second, I find plastic far too slippery for workbench use. Third, I hate plastic. Wood is a renewable resource.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12436 posts in 4711 days

#11 posted 02-03-2015 01:24 PM

I have 3 melamine wear surfaces. When I get around to replacing them, They’ll definitely be laminate!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1173 posts in 4348 days

#12 posted 02-03-2015 02:30 PM

I went with melamine as a “temporary solution” until I could figure out a permanent plan. That was 12 years ago and it has held up extremely well, much to my surprise. I don’t use it for anything other than a saw outfeed table, so it hasn’t had a problem with chipping (I’ve probably run 3000 – 4000 board feet across the table by now). I doubt that I will ever move on to a permanent solution at this point, although I agree that laminate would be much better, particularly if you perform other tasks on the surface.

-- Paul Mayer,

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3907 days

#13 posted 02-03-2015 02:51 PM

I too have had melamine as my out feed for a few years. It has held up very well. I used it cause it was free.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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