Press wood removal

I have a table that I am trying to redo. The center of it is press wood. I would like to remove it so I can tile that part and keep the tile flush with the outer part. I do not want to damage the wood under the press wood. Any suggestions?
q press wood removal, painted furniture, woodworking projects
  11 answers
  • Ric King Ric King on Feb 24, 2015
    I have a couple of suggestions. First if possible disassemble the top. Take the trim apart; marking the parts as you go. It may be easier to remove the press board without the trim. Another suggestion is to cut out the center and replace it with new wood. The last suggestion I have is to use a router to remove the press board. Unless you are familiar with routers it could be the most frustrating. I hope this helps. Good luck and take your time it will be worth it.

  • Julie Julie on Feb 24, 2015
    A friend of mine used a belt sander to remove the laminate center of a table because she was unable to remove it any other way. She just carefully went over it a few times and it sanded right through it.

    • Julie Julie on Feb 28, 2015
      @Julie One thing to note is that a belt sander can leap forward if you don't hang on to it. I just tried to sand a window sill and it nearly flew out of my hands. I practiced on a few scrap pieces of wood and now I know how to handle it.

  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Feb 24, 2015
    I need to do the same thing with a table I have.

  • Kim Gearin Kim Gearin on Feb 25, 2015
    I have been using a chisel and a hammer. I don't want to try to take it apart because there is a drawer and I am afraid I will ruin it. I have never used a router. I have tried a sander but may try to get my hands on a belt sander. Thank you all for the suggestions.

  • Jacki Nino Jacki Nino on Feb 26, 2015
    Use a hair dryer to heat & scrap with a flat metal knife (spackle knife) the heat will loosen the adhesive so it is easier to scrap

  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Feb 27, 2015
    Be careful when using a belt sander, they are pretty powerful, and they will jump on you. I would practice on something first!

  • Darla Darla on Feb 27, 2015
    If you are tiling it, why not just sand the press wood flat, prime it with a couple of coats, and tile right on top of it?

  • Kim Gearin Kim Gearin on Feb 27, 2015
    Jacki, that's a great idea! Wonder if an iron would work. Either way, I am going to try it. Darla, I thought about doing it that way, but the tile would be higher than the rest of the table. I want it flush with the edge. What I have been doing, is using a chisel thingy that you use when putting hardware on a door, and a hammer. Not fun.

  • Phillip Williams Phillip Williams on Mar 02, 2015
    I'm not sure that you are going to be able to find tile that is as thin as the laminate that you are removing. Perhaps you could apply some Formica laminate with contact cement...

  • Kim Gearin Kim Gearin on Mar 03, 2015
    I have the perfect tile and the press wood is a lot thicker than laminate.

  • Roger S Roger S on Mar 05, 2015
    Here is the way we do this type of work. First you need a router with a ½” flat cut bit. Measure the distance from the edge of the router bit to the edge of the router plate then set up a guide made from a piece of wood to the top of the table to prevent the router from getting into the trim. This will protect the trim and allow you to cut up flush to the trim to remove the press wood. Then set the depth of the router bit to match the thickness of your tile. This will give you the depth of the cut to make the tile lay flat in the space. Start at one end and cut across the table top taking ½” cut all the way across the press wood and remove the wood. You need to make sure you do not leave any high spots but if you go slowly you should be able to make it without any problems. Just make sure you go in the direction of the rotation of the bit so your bit is always leading away from the cut and do not clime cut or the router will run on you and make it harder to control. The frame will need to completely surround the top of the table much as if it was a picture frame and it will need to be at least ¼”higher than the trim to provide a positive guide for the router base to run against. Have fun and go slow there will be a lot of dust and a good shop vacuum should help keep this down. If you have problems keeping the cut ½” width at a time just use another board to clamp across the table for a guide to run the router along and just move it over after every pass. This should give you a perfect flat surface with smooth edges for your tile to fit against. Also you will need to use a wood chisel to cut the corners square where the bit will leave a round cut. Good Luck.

    • See 1 previous
    • Roger S Roger S on Mar 27, 2015
      @Kim Gearin you're welcome. Just take your time and just take a half width of your bit cut each time and you will be OK 👌.