Bench Dog Question

I've made a workbench with an MDF top that is three layers thick (2 1/4"). How well will MDF hold up for some bench dogs? Will it tear up after a few uses or would it be best to forget about putting in bench dogs in an MDF table top?
Otoe
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As long as you use only _sufficient_ pressure on your work, it should hold up reasonably well, with very little deformity. Tom
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My guess is that mdf does not have much strength at corners, i.e., the top and bottom edges of the dog holes. You might put a layer of good plywood on the bench top, or maybe a sacrificial layer of masonite or something a bit tougher than the mdf.
Otoe wrote:

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You can always rout a groove about a 1/4" deep along the line of the dog holes to inlay some hardwood.
-Kevin
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Otoe wrote:

http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&NumberA44961&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&vc=1
A recent thread on woodnet covering this very question. I am considering three layers of mdf and one hardboard as well.
Greg M
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http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&NumberA44961&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&vc=1
I used a bench at our local Woodcraft store and it is holding up well with dogs in MDF. I used plywood on my bench.
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A finish, such as Watco, will help harden inside the holes. Give it a week or two to cure before putting any force on it.
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The main factors is what kind of work you will be doing. If it is hand tool, then the top needs to be a bit more robust. But if you are mainly using power tools they do not need the same kind of brute force and then MDF is easily strong enough.
FWIW 3/4 MDF is strong enough for any bench dog. But not good enough for old style (wack-em in, wack-em out) Hold-Down Clamps
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I built my workbench when money was tight so I used what was handy. Three layers of particle board for the top, finished with Watco.
I figured the holes would crumble after awhile, and then I'd drill it out larger, plug it with hardwood and redrill it, but it's been about five or six years now and they're all fine.
I haven't tried them with an "old style (wack-em in, wack-em out) Hold-Down Clamp" yet but sooner or later I probably will. I agree with Jerome that those will be a much tougher test. :-)
Top's still flat, too. That sort of surprises me. I guess three layers edged with oak 2x4s makes a pretty stable surface. But I'm sure glad I put casters on it.
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