Alrighty! Here's the melamine top still attached to the jig, but the opening has been routed out. Perfectly, I might add. It was absolutely dead solid perfect, exactly on the lines where I laid out the job a few days earlier.
There is one mistake on this piece, but it was caused by my crappy jigsaw. near one corner of the opening in the top you can see a small nick in the white surface. The saw just had a mind of it's own, turned right and got about 1/32" outside the line. And yes, I yelled.
This is just the top removed from the jig. The mistake is just visible on the upper left of the opening.
The next task was to lay out the rest of the attachment points on the top and the substrate. The good news is that I already had the two points you can see here transferred to the substrate, so all I had to do was screw the top down, lay out the pattern, countersink the points, and sink the screws.
I prefer to use coated decking screws for almost all the work I do that requires screws. Those zinc coated screws you can buy at the big box stores are soft and very prone to cam-outs and/or breakage. I stopped using them a while ago and have had far fewer temper tantrums in my shop since.
Here's the top attached to the substrate. The sides have been squared up and the whole thing is now at it's finished dimensions.
The pattern for attaching the screws is designed to hold the top flat and to ensure that it can only be attached one way. And this isn't all the attachment points. There will be a photo of all of them in the next installment.
The top of the table and the router plate weren't exactly the same. The plate stood just a hair proud of the surface of the top. I had some packaging in the house, some of those boxes they over-package DVDs in, the ones that look exactly like the plastic DVD case. I was going to throw them away until I noticed they were just about the right thickness for this job. I cut them into pieces, distributed them evenly around the underside of the melamine top and screwed everything into place. Perfect fit. Seriously. On the first attempt, too.
Here's the whole thing turned upside down. Three of the four red oak edging pieces have been applied, and you can see the fourth one. I was going to attach these with glue and screws, but I decided not to use the glue in case I want to take it apart sometime in the future for some as yet unknown reason. You never know.
Next Time: The edging is chamfered, a finish is applied, and work begins on the underside of the router table.