Best Material for Router Base Plate?
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  1. #1
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    Default Best Material for Router Base Plate?

    I need to make some special base plates for routers. I need opinions on the best material to do so. In the past I have used every thing from PVC sheet to even in some rushed cases plywood and an old polypropylene cutting board. I wish to replace these quick and dirty custom plates with more carefully made ones after finding the best material.

    The stock base plates seem to be 1/4" molded phenolic.

    What do you guys use?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    I need to make some special base plates for routers. I need opinions on the best material to do so. In the past I have used every thing from PVC sheet to even in some rushed cases plywood and an old polypropylene cutting board. I wish to replace these quick and dirty custom plates with more carefully made ones after finding the best material.

    The stock base plates seem to be 1/4" molded phenolic.

    What do you guys use?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Cost is no object, last a long time, not rust or stain fine woods?
    = Nickel Aluminium Bronze, heat-treated.


    More practical, replace now and then, needs change, routers wear-out anyway:
    = NEW Polypropylene cutting boards.



    They go on "big sale" at the Local "Big Lots" remainderman store, I stash a few more for "projects". Same again LPE. And laminated Bamboo.

    Time was, I lived near the DC Metro area's primo plastics distributor, I'd scavenge their "drops" box, put by cut-offs of everything from Teflon to Delrin to "wotever", to Old Skew; linen bakelite.

    Small goods, cutting boards are just handier these days.

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    I've come to like clear acrylic base plates.

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    The last router base plates I made were from clear 1/4" polycarbonate.
    Rick W

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    Phenolic sheet is not to hard to find. Just drop a chunk on your CNC router and have at it. OK, may not have a CNC router. Get thinner phenolic sheet and do it. I need to make a small router table very soon. But will prob use the laser to get me 99% done with a piece of stainless. CNC router will take a bit longer, and that space is colder than the space where the laser is.

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    I've used phenolic, acrylic & polycarbonate. All have worked just fine, but I like being able to see thru the clear stuff

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    Some really great ideas here.

    Thanks to all.

    I'll probably use the clear material for smaller bases and phenolic when I need more rigidity such as a special "D" base for my plunge router base. I've got the Porter Cable micro-adjustable fence but on the plunge base the small diameter mounting rods flex too much under load so I'm going to make a "D" shaped base with an aluminum block that bolts directly to the micro-adjustable fence. For that I'll use at least 1/4" phenolic.

    My most rigid homemade base plate is a long "straddle" base of 1/2" 6061 aluminum that I made years ago. It is used with spacer blocks for in-place flush planing to adjacent surfaces or surfacing odd-shaped work mounted to a bench top. The aluminum is too heavy for most base plates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    Some really great ideas here.

    Thanks to all.

    I'll probably use the clear material for smaller bases and phenolic when I need more rigidity such as a special "D" base for my plunge router base. I've got the Porter Cable micro-adjustable fence but on the plunge base the small diameter mounting rods flex too much under load so I'm going to make a "D" shaped base with an aluminum block that bolts directly to the micro-adjustable fence. For that I'll use at least 1/4" phenolic.

    My most rigid homemade base plate is a long "straddle" base of 1/2" 6061 aluminum that I made years ago. It is used with spacer blocks for in-place flush planing to adjacent surfaces or surfacing odd-shaped work mounted to a bench top. The aluminum is too heavy for most base plates.
    Thinnest Linen-Bakelite I still have left must be 3/8". Used to use a LOT of it for making fixtures. My recollection it may be heavier than shiney-wood, though. Also has a nasty stench when cut too fast.

    Carbon fiber give you the lower weight?

    How about hardened TS, Aluminium Bronze, or SS, thin, only as a wear-plate, Then sumthin' light and/or cellular bonded to it as stiffener?


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