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Thread: Router table insert

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Birmingham, Al
    Posts
    1

    Router table insert

    Hey guys! I've just found this site, and you guys seem like a great group with lots to share, so I hope I can hang around here and pick your brains from time to time... and maybe actually contribute something myself

    That said, I did have a question, probably a simple one really. I'm building a router table right now, and I need to make a decision about the insert. The plans I'm using call for a phenolic resin insert, which does seem like a great material for the purpose. However, I have a big sheet of 1" thick UHMWPE sitting around collecting dust, and I'd have to order a pricey sheet of phenolic...

    So the question is, what do you guys think about using UHMWPE for this purpose? I figure if it's strong enough to make your hip out of it, it's strong enough for this, but I've never worked with it in the shop before. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,470
    first of all welcome ,, now to the meat and tators,, are you wanting to make your top out of some of that white plastic? or the insert? in my opinion either one wouldnt be agood choice.. that plastic will sage and you want something stable for your top and have it stay flat.. the insert in my opinion is better to be alum.. stays flat and and is strong.. rockler has a sale on some right now
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Jefferson,Ohio (soon to be Florida)
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    29
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dimon View Post
    Hey guys! I've just found this site, and you guys seem like a great group with lots to share, so I hope I can hang around here and pick your brains from time to time... and maybe actually contribute something myself

    That said, I did have a question, probably a simple one really. I'm building a router table right now, and I need to make a decision about the insert. The plans I'm using call for a phenolic resin insert, which does seem like a great material for the purpose. However, I have a big sheet of 1" thick UHMWPE sitting around collecting dust, and I'd have to order a pricey sheet of phenolic...

    So the question is, what do you guys think about using UHMWPE for this purpose? I figure if it's strong enough to make your hip out of it, it's strong enough for this, but I've never worked with it in the shop before. What do you guys think?
    I think you will find that this material has a tendency to sag(or bow) when you hang the weight of a router on it. Spend a few bucks and you will be more satisfied. Phenolic is good, aluminum is better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Manistique, Michigan
    Posts
    297
    Matt,

    Welcome to the site. I have a MLCS router table with a phenolic plate. I am going to replace it with aluminum. It takes a sag and makes raised panel doors much more challenging than they should be.

    Just my $0.02.
    Rich (the Yooper)

    "To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

    "Common sense is not so common."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    First off, Welcome. Secondly, (and I mean this in a good way) an aluminum plate is not near as expensive as replacing the cheaper one you already paid for plus the cherry that just got botched due to plate-sag.

    A lot of folks run phenolic without problems but a lot of people do have problems with it. I had an aluminum plate and my MDF table sagged The table was cured by adding support ribs underneath but you cannot do this with a plate.

    If they have one to fit your router, Rockler is blowing some old style aliminum plates out:http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...outer%20plates
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Rio Rancho, NM
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    1,417
    Matt, I don't have an opinion or a recommendation, but I want to welcome you to the Family!
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,427
    Welcome aboard Matt!
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    37° 5'16.25"N 76°25'28.11"W
    Posts
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    I don't know for sure, but I'd suspect the UHMWPE will sag over time. I made two out of corian 9" X 13" that have stayed flat for 4+ years now though. I have two different routers with the plates attached. One stays setup with a 1/4" round over. It's nice to be able to just drop in a router with ought having to change bits.

    Whatever route you go, make sure your table is up to the task. Mine is doubled up 3/4" ply with a couple of stiffeners and 3/4" hardwood edge banding which has also stayed flat.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    I made one out of some 1/4" Cold rolled steel plate. The large diameter hole can be roughed out with a jig saw and filed to a line. The other holes are drilled & chamfered on the drill press. Added a coat of rustoleum. Doesn't sage.

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