Outfeed table finish

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So I've made an outfeed table for my tablesaw. The top is made from a recycled piece of 3/4" ply. I sanded it good and got a good flat surface. My plan is to have a router insert at one end. Typically, a work table like this would get no finish, or at most a few coats of wipe on poly. Since this is recycled ply which was previously painted (flat black), I am going to finish it, preferably white. I have 3 coats of Kilz on it now which has been sanded between coats to give a good flat even surface. My initial thought is to just slap 2 coats of semi-gloss latex (I have interior on hand) and recoat when necessary. But, it never hurts to ask. What would y'all topcoat it with? It there something that is (both cost effective) and super tough? FWIW, it is in a covered but unheated space.
Thanks in advance.
Ed
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Ed Edelenbos wrote:

Poly. Or most anything except latex.
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Ed Edelenbos wrote:

Laminate. I got some free scraps from a local custom counter shop. Works great.
If you insist on brushing something, I'd use poly and then wax it to make it slick.
Chris
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Ditto. I used iron on melamine laminate on mine. Didn't even screw up the iron.
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Chris Friesen wrote:

Ditto (not on an outfeed table, but a built in router table). Used a sheet of approximate size and contact cement to set it in place and then a router with a flush trim bit to cleanup the excess. That was version one. Version two ... I just used a piece of that prelaminated shelving material. Never did do anything to the outfeed table other than sand it smooth ... the sawdust seems to be an ample lubricant. Pix at:
http://www.tundraware.com/Woodworking/TableSaw /
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Any raw paint is likely gona rub off on the wood occasionally. You could poly over the paint or wax over the paint

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I use hardboard for just about everything from outfeed tables, to sacrificial table tops for the router or radial arm saw, to jigs and fences, to patterns and prototypes.
The smooth side is very smooth and the stuff is dirt cheap. It's the duct tape of sheet goods. :-)
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Thanks all. Some decisions for me to make.
Ed
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I was using scrap pieces of laminate but as Mike said - hardboard worked out great for me. I put the shiny side up, did about 3 coats of Minwax paste wax, and buffed the heck out of it. I actually bought an electric car buffer from Harbor Freight for $19.95 and used it only for my shop. No residue and I had that same piece of hardwood over my 3/4" plywood top for over 5 years until I closed down my shop. I attached the hardwood to the ply using Titebond II wood glue and treated it like a laminate so I never had a nail or screw hole in it. Can't go wrong and it is very inexpensive (dirt cheap is really the right words.)
Jimmy Mac aka Jummy
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I even think the wax is overkill. Have you even A/B'd pieces with and without the wax? (not ball-busting, I'm actually curious)
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-MIKE-

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Thanks Mike and Jimmy, hardboard, what a great idea.
I am just getting ready to build a new 4 x 8 shp table. I figured I'd put 3/4 MDF on top of a simple torsion box type frame. I thought maybe a second sheet of 1/2 mdf as the sacrificial surface but they don't last long the way I work. After scraping of glue a few times the flat surface starts to suffer. Hardboard is a great idea.
I'll be posting another thread looking for folks work table design ideas.

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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote:

a second sheet of 1/2 mdf as the sacrificial surface but they don't last long the way I work. After scraping of glue a few times the flat surface starts to suffer. Hardboard is a great idea.
Build your top as a torsion box /w/ 3/4 MDF top surface, (and as an option, 1/4 ply bottom surface), then hold the 1/4 hardboard in place with some double back tape at the corners and mid point on the 8 ft edge.
Makes replacement a lot easier.
Lew
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Oh sure Lew - make it easy! LOL! Hope all is good in your camp pardner . . . it's been a while!
Jummy
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"Jimmy Mac" wrote:
Oh sure Lew - make it easy! LOL! Hope all is good in your camp pardner . . . it's been a while!
You got that right.
It's "steady as she goes" around here.
Hope it is same on your end.
Lew
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See my follow-up about 4x8 sheets of Melamine.
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Mine is laminate. Never a problem, wipes off easily..
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Good suggestion! :)
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On Tue, 11 Nov 2008 16:52:15 -0500, "Ed Edelenbos"

I used plastic laminate on my large router table top and would consider using it again on an outfeed table.
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Something else that I use for everything are 1/2" sheets of 2-sided Melamine. They are probably cheaper than plastic laminate, itself.
Whenever I go to the specialty plywood suppliers to get nice Baltic or hardwood veneer sheets, I get a couple sheets of Melamine to sandwich the nice plywood for travel in the minivan.
I lay one of the Melamines down on the van floor, and the nice plywood slides on top very freely. Then another Melamine on top to protect the nice sheets from whatever other materials I have to haul.
I end up using the Melamine sheets for assembly tables or outfeeds or whatever, just like the hardboard, but with some structural strength.
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wrote:

...marginally...melamine is the same "plastic" material that composes most laminates...it's just way thinner. You'll still pay a bit for that sheet of melamine. You can pick up a sheet of vertical laminate at Lowes for 35 or 40 bux and enjoy an almost bulletproof surface. Still, the melamine would work well...

...you ever have to stop real quick? LOL...

...stuff *is* a good solution. Mine, however, is the laminate option.
cg
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