MDF Question

I have been asked to built some slot machine bases for portables units. The bases will be 22" high X 27" wide X 17" deep. They have to be able to hold 250 - 500 LB in height.
I was thinking of using MDF. Would I use 3/4 or could 1/2 hold the weight?
Don D.
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Sure, depending on the design. MDF has a lot of flex, but built properly, the edge strength can support a lot of weight. I'd run a couple of support strips under the 27" span on the top.
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I was thinking about running a top strip (1 1/2" wide ) on the inside by glueing and nailing to give more straighth. and also down all the corners to give more to nail or screw into.
Again I was debating between 1/2 and 3/4" What is your thought?
Don D.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Slot machines full of coins or tokens are pretty heavy and people will lean on them. I'd go with 3/4".
pegleg wrote:

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The furring strip idea is good, especially since the weight is squarely on the top, not on the edges where the most strength is. I'd go with 3/4", but 1/2" can work as long as you have some interior bracing. You have some trade off of weight, material cost, versus more labor for assembly.
If I used 1/2" for the top, I'd had two braces going the 27" direction, probably 3 in the short direction. Plenty of strength that way, like a honeycomb. Since the machines are portable, they are also subject to some abuse in transit.
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An 1-1/2" on the flat still flexes quite a bit. 2" on edge would give you more strength, but makes it harder to attach as MDF end-grain is useless in terms of holding screws or nails. 3" wide would be better if let in to an 1/8" dado with lots of adhesive.

3/4". 1/2" is really sloppy stuff.Besides, 1/2" certainly won't handle screws worth a darn, unless loosely pre-drilled and soaked in glue before inserting.
FWIW YMMV
r

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Screws and nails don't hold very well in MDF. Use bisquits at 6" centres for strength and durability -- and you can glue the 'endgrain' of mdf onto the hardened surface just fine, b.t.w.
My 2 cent's worth -P.
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