MDF for Childs Table Top

Hi all,
I am building a small table for a friends day care, will be used by children 2-4 years old. At the request of the owner, the size is 21" X 60". To keep cost down, I plan to use 3/4" MDF and paint it, possibly put a couple coats of poly on top of the paint to further protect it from things like spills, etc. I have three questions that I am hoping to get help on. 1.) Is MDF a good choice for the top, or will it be prone to sag or warp (basically will it be durable enough or this application)? 2.) Is there the same amount of movement in the MDF top to accout for in fastening the top to the aprons as with a wood top? Should I expect it to move more or less? I planned to cut a thin kerf in the apron and attach with metal fasteners which would keep the top free to move. Is this necessary or can I just screw and glue straight to the apron?
3.) Is poly on top of the paint needed, or would two to three coats of a good paint be sufficient?
Any and all advice is greatly appriciated
Thanks again, Scott
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I'd suggest MDF w/ Melamine surface. If you frame it w/ hardwood or edge-band it, you won't need any finish on the Melamine.
As I understand it, MDF is dimensionaly stable (little movement, if any).
-JBB

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Sure....MDF will work. It is really great material if you are going to paint it. It is very heavy so be careful...you would not want the table to be top heavy and land on a small child. As for stability....it won't move at all. It is very stable. Takes paint very well. I suggest you paint it and then determine if poly is really needed.
Bill

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the mdf will make a good substrate for formica type laminate, which the tykes can spill stuff on all they want. movement shouldn't be a problem.     Bridger
On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 02:25:04 GMT, "Scott Trahan"

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On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 02:25:04 GMT, "Scott Trahan"

Why not plastic laminate, like Formica?
MDF is born to be covered with this stuff, it's very durable, and quite easy to use.
Barry
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MDF will work fine for plastic laminate....but so would particle board and that would be cheaper yet. So if you want to go with plastic laminate, which I agree would be great for a child, then just use particle board.
MDF is great painted! I have it all over the house. I have crown molding, wainscoating, and other molding that is all made from MDF. It is very stable, never cracks or warps, and takes paint even better than pine.
Your choice.
Bill
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