Materials to use for shop cabinets, surfaces, and jigs?


I'm going to be making some things for my shop over the next few weekends, and wanted advice on using MDF or Birch/Apple Ply. I know MDF is cheaper, but I can afford the Ply if it makes sense. Also, I want some nice surfaces for the drill table, and router table. For that want to know should I use Hardboard or Laminate or Meliene (sp?) The projects I have lined up are: Planner Stand Drill Press Table Crosscut Sled Miter Saw Stand and Cabinets Router Table
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I just got done making the mobile saw/router center from the Wood Magazine Idea shop 5. I had previously made the Drill Press table and I'm quite happy. They are a lot more sturdy than anything you would make with MDF alone, and cost a lot less then anything you would make with Birch Ply.
http://www.woodmagazine.com/wood/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/wood/story/data/463.xml&catref=wd8
Save the bucks on the Birch Ply for something nice inside your house.
I laminate formica to MDF on all my tops and have been very happy with the results.
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If you've got the money, consider adding phenolic to your list of materials.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I use sandeply from home depot for my cabinets, and hardboard for my surfaces. The sandeply is cheap plywood with a relatively nice surface. The hardboard is slick and easily replaceable as necessary.
I use MDF when I need something perfectly flat and stable. I avoid if it there is any chance of it getting wet or banged up around the edges.
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For sacrificial (zero clearance) router table fences, I like the flatness of MDF. I coat them with 3-5 coats of shellac ( NOT the dewaxed type), sand them to 1,000 grit, followed by paste wax. They are VERY slippery after that.
Router table top is Melamine over 1.5" MDF.
Plain old plywood for my sled. Shellacked and waxed.
I like my laminated DP table; I bought that, so not sure if it's formica--it might be a good quality Melamine.
1/4" hardboard for my bench top--easily and cheaply replaced.
Dave
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I am using more and more melamine for shop furniture and fixtures. It is nearly as cheap as MDF and cheaper than baltic birch. You can see some of the stuff at my site.
-- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

sheet, semi-decent Maple/Birch 3/4" plywood.
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cabinets, but used some decent, leftover hardwood for face frame and doors.
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that someday.
You maybe missed the Table Saw Outfeed Table?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

I used melamine for my router table because it is flat and already has a slick finish. I used plywood for the crosscut sled because I was afraid MDF would just break since it gets moved around so much. I think just about anything would work for workshop table tops. It doesn't really matter what the planer is sitting on does it? I have been using canarywood in strategic places like the miter slot rails on my crosscut sled because it is dense, stable and doesn't need a finish.
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I made a planer stand out of plain old plywood and 2x4s. I used scrap pieces of 1/2" solid surface material (obtained free from a kitchen/bathroom cabinet fabricator) for zero clearance inserts. I was thinking of using MDF to construct a sled and some other jigs but thought that would be awfully heavy so I used MDO plywood instead. It was mighty expensive but I was pleased with the results and I have plenty left over for more jigs.
Lee
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To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"



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