material for replacement top for workmate

My "Workmate" (at least that's what I _think_ they call those foldable work tables with the surface consisting of two mating surfaces attached to a horizontal vice) has a damaged surface, and I would like to replace it.
What would be a reasonable thing to replace the top with? Would MDF be acceptable ? Something harder? Or with a surface?
I'm afraid it's a bit of a newb question, but I haven't worked a lot of these materials much, and am unsure what it apropriate.
The major immediate use of this will be the holder for my new Katie Jig.
Thanks Jim Helfer Pittsburgh PA Go Stillers!
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wrote:

Just the Black & Decker original. The original, and still by far the best.

They're made with either plywood, MDF or chipboard tops. The plywood ones are by far the best (less sagging, less trouble with damp) so that's what I'd use to replace them.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 01:06:13 +0100, Andy Dingley

The newest models are made with a bamboo top, similar to flooring. It's great stuff.
Barry
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I plane on using the top of my Workmate as a template (before it gets too beat up) to make a top made out of maple. Maple makes great tops for WWing benches so why not for the Workmate?
Layne
On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 01:06:13 +0100, Andy Dingley

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Baltic Birch would be a good choice. I have a B&D work table that is about 3' square and the top is Baltic Birch. The top is about 23 years old.

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After my MDF top went south on my BD Workmate (one of the nicer models, but I can't remember the number. It has a 3-part top), I replaced it with three sections of 2x SYP, ripped to the proper widths (using the originals as templates), then crosscut to make the table slightly wider. Bored holes for dogs wherever I felt like (don't care for the BD original locations). Used the same mounting gear on the bottom from the originals, then belt-sanded the top until level, splashed on some shellac followed by a coat of paste wax. The new top is sturdy, a bit heavier (good), and has taken all my abuse so far quite well.
H.

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"I replaced it with three sections of 2x SYP"
Pardon my ignorance, but what is 2x SYP?
Jay in NH
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Hi Jay,
"2x" just means any dimensional lumber that is two inches (one side) by whatever (other side), as in 2" x 4", or 2" x 6", 2" x 8", 2" x 10", and 2" x 12". Those are the common (dimensional) lumber sizes you'll find used for most construction jobs and available at any lumber supply source.
SYP= Southern Yellow Pine, a fairly sturdy type of pine used for dimensional lumber.
I used that for my workmate because it was cheap, fairly sturdy, but most importantly, it's what I had on hand. You can usually find large enough scraps of this stuff for free at any construction site.
Vale, H.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (S S Law NH) wrote in message (Hylourgos)

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wrote:

Mine is bamboo, and very tough. Depending on the age of yours, it may be something different.

I'd use 3/4" oak or bamboo flooring, edge glued, and while I'm making parts. If you use MDF, you'll need to protect the edges. This could be a PITA with smaller pieces like the Workmate parts. Also, you can't get the MDF wet. MDF works great for larger workbench tops, with hardwood edging applied.
Since you need so little, look for an open or orphaned box at a flooring store. Prefinished bamboo or oak flooring is only about $5-6 a square foot retail. If they only have a few square feet left, you may even get it for free. Heck, the strips don't even have to be the same color.
Barry
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