You can save some money if you cement "backer" to the bottom side of the tabletop. Backer is laminate without the color layer, and it is designed specifically for sealing the bottoms of counters and other laminated surfaces. Though irt kraft-paper brown and only half the thickness of regular laminate, backer nonetheless has the same moisture-resistant qualities, works the same way. and is bonded with the same contact cement.

An advantage backer has over laminate is that It] isn't as slippery. Clamps can get a better purchase on it. Thus, a clamped-down fence is somewhat more likely to stay put if the tabletop's underside is backer rather than laminate.

When using a flush-trimming bit to trim wooden edge-banding, you need a steady hand. It's best if you can clamp the tabletop on edge so that gravity helps you hold the router on the narrow edge. Take very shallow cuts, feeding in the correct direction. Any jerk or wobble of the router will telegraph into the routed surface in the form of a gouge that you'll be hard-pressed to remove or conceal.

With a flush-trimming baseplate, edge-band trimming is less dicey but takes more time. The tabletop not only can, but must, rest flat on the workbench, as shown. With a mortising or bottom-cleaning bit in the router and the baseplate flat on the substrate, work back and forth along the banding, nibbling it flush.

trimming bit to do the job quickly, as shown in the photo at top left.You can clamp the tabletop flat,and hold the router horizontally to do this, but I think the likelihood of a wobble that'll gouge the edge increases dramatically.

The other obvious option is to use the flush-trimming baseplate and a mortising or bottom-cleaning bit. With this setup, you can, as shown in the photo at bottom left, do the job with the tablctop setting flat on the workbench. The size of the router you have is less of a factor, too. Plans for the Flush-Trimming Baseplate are shown on page 119.

6. (optional) Round the tabletop corners.

Rounding the corners of your router table top can save you some painful bruises. You don't need to do this, but if you choose to, this is the time to do it.

Spread contact cement on each of the pieces to be joined. A scrap of laminate makes a good trowel-like spreader for solvent-based cement, but you can use a bristle brush or roller for water-based cement. Thoroughly coat the surfaces and wait for the cement to dry. Do this in a well-ventilated area.

Bond the laminate by pulling the spacers one by one and pressing the laminate firmly onto the substrate. It's common to start in the middle, as shown here, and work out toward the ends. Always work from the bonded area out so you don't trap a pocket of air between the laminate and the substrate. When all the spacers are removed, set the bond by pressing the laminate firmly to the substrate with the heel of your hand or a J-roller.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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