Finishing MDF

I am starting a project to make a glue table for my small garage/workshop. My plan is to laminate three layers of 3/4 MDF for the top. I have a heavy duty urethane finish (MINWAX Helmsman) left over from another project. Will it work okay?
Joey
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Joseph Smith wrote:

That will give you a durable finish but I would add a wax final coat(s). The glue comes off so much easier.
Gary
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On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 00:46:39 GMT, "Joseph Smith"

Probably. MDF has the tendency to soak up finishes. Trying a small test piece is always a good idea.
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Why not just using laminate
wrote:

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That seems really thick. How large is it? If it is really large, it's going to weigh a ton!
I have heard that shellac is the best finish for mdf used for shop jigs (most resistant to changes in humidity).
Frank
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If all goes well it might end up large. If the glue table thing works well I'm think of building an extension to it to line one whole side of my garage similarly for a general purpose work surface and chucking out my old workbench. Then doing it again on the other side (but not as long or thick) making adjustments to set it up as a miter saw station (got the idea from the December 2003 issue of Wood Magazine).

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On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 00:46:39 GMT, "Joseph Smith"

Too thick and heavy. If you put three layers of 3/4" MDF together, then it'll sag under its own weight. Just two layers is adequate for a workbench top. For an assembly table I'd use 3/4" on the top, 1/2" on the bottom, with a 2" thick egg-crate torsion box (of 4mm or 6mm MDF) between them.
A layer of 4mm MDF lightly glued on the top makes a good replaceable surface that you can replace every few years, when damaged. Glue down with screenprinter's T-shirt spray glue, so you can prise it up easily.

Avoid water based finishes, unless you first seal with something non-watery. Any water will raise fibres.
PU is good. Put some wax over the top (and re-wax regularly) to stop the glue sticking.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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That's too thick...
Just use two layers and cover with laminate.
Glue will pop off with a finger nail.
Joseph Smith wrote:

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I don't know why it has to be so thick and heavy or complicated for a small shop. I would use ply underneath for stiffness and a melamine panel on top so the glue won't stick. Better yet would be a high pressure laminate surface aka formica, wilsonart etc. Why bother with wax or urethane?
However you build it take some time to make sure it is absolutely flat before glue up. Shim legs etc. Otherwise you will be continually fighting it.
Mike
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I just a built a work table for my shop using 2 layers of 1" MDF. The 2" gives me a very sturdy table top.
I will be interested in the suggested finishes....
Daniel
On Wed, 19 Nov 2003 00:46:39 GMT, "Joseph Smith"

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