QURSTION: Looking for tough surface for worktable


Hey, all.
I have a home-built worktable that I built out of 3/4" mdf and some 2x6s.
I use it for a variety of light duty tasks - painting/staining, gluing, cutting stuff with box cutters.
I haven't been all that worried about marring up the surface; if it gets really bad I'll just fill the scratches and repaint it. At this point, it's got the requisite number of glue splotches, paint smear and cuts on it.
But I'm wondering if there might be some kind of tougher surfacing I could use, that would be more cut/scratch/gouge - resistant than painted mdf.
I'm thinking of rolls of lino-type stuff that I'd glue on, or something like that roll-on pickup truck liner stuff - something that would give me a really tough surface. I'm not really concerned about aesthetics.
I'm in Western Canada, so stuff that would be tough to get here likely won't fly.
Any brilliant products out there that someone would care to plug?
Thanks!
BD
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BD, I've found that the best surface for bench tops are the engineered wood flooring, at Menards for approx. $28 a box (one should do you). This stuff is great, takes a beating, glue wipes right up and is very easy to install...chose the floating flooring that snaps together.... Hope that helps. JP
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triumph62 wrote:

Interesting. I don't think we have Menard's up here; but I'll see if I can track down specifically what they have, and ask at Home Depot or something, which we do have in my city.
I just went to Menard's web site, and I do see a "Boreal Laminate Flooring", for $1.29/sq.ft. Is that similar to what you have in mind?
Thanks!!
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I made my table top out of unfinished 3/4" t&g hardwood flooring -- in my case, Jatoba, because I had a lot of it lying around -- over a plywood underlayment. Regards --

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Get yourself a piece of tempered hardboard, put a few coats of poly on it and tack or spot glue it to the surface of the mdf.
Nearly indestructible and can easily be recoated or replaced when needed.

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Melamine is good for gluing, as the glue will just pop right off. It's not very good as far as cutting/gouging goes though. Hardboard/Masonite is another way to go. Whatever you do make it easily removable and when it gets too beat up either flip it over to the other side if possible or toss it and slap on a new one.
-Leuf
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BD wrote:

Almost anything. But anything is going to get bunged up. Which gives you two possibilities...
1. Something replaceable such as hardboard, melamine, laminate, etc. over a permanent sub-strate. The melamine and laminate are pretty good as far as getting off glue - especially if waxed - and hold up quite a while to casual cutting.
2. Something with a renewable surface such as solid wood...when it gets too messed up for your taste just scrape or sand.
Any surface will hold up better for gluing/painting if you first cover it with a cheap plastic tarp. I also cover mine with low loop commercial carpet when I am sanding...prevents surface dents from bits and pieces of stray wood.
--

dadiOH
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Yeah, the more I think about it the more I think that just painted MDF might be good enough for the long haul. I do have gouges and nicks and glue spots and all that other mess; but really - a quick sand/fill/paint, and I'm pretty much back to nominal in half a day. ;-)
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I did a full work table in HPL(high pressure laminate) and while it looked wonderful when I did it, it now looks pretty shabby with all that glue,stains,poly,shellac and WD-40 from cleaning saw blades. It's true that the glue pops right up but the finishing DOES NOT.
I think I'll rip that off and use tempered hardboard next time. It will come off much easier for the next resurfacing.
I also have started using rolls of brown construction paper on my work tables to cut down on the clean up process.
BD wrote:

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