Wood straightnesses


Hi again.
Does the straightness/stability ranking go like this?
1) Plywood 2) Particle board 3) MDF
I'm building a workbench with a torsion box top. I'm using 2x4's and particle board and have everything laid out and ready to glue/screw, but I saw some hardwood plywood on sale at HD. Will I still be okay with the particle board? This is going to be an all-around workbench for my garage, with a tempered hardboard top. I'll be doing some woodworking, but not a lot.
I've seen torsion boxes built with MDF and it seems to me that particle board would have better stability because of the strands in it. I'm just trying to justify me not spending more money (and time in cutting).
Mike
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On 1/2/2006 12:43 PM Mike mumbled something about the following:

MDF is stronger than particle board. OSB (oriented strand board) is what has the strands, not particle board.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=Build/OSBMDFPart&print=true
--
Odinn
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Mike wrote:

MDF is quite flat. can't say that for plywoods, Mike, except by luck. Particle board? I don't use it.
dave
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You have it all backwards. MDF is extremely flat and stable IF it is supported properly. MDF will not span a distance without sagging.
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wrote:

MDF is very stable and probably the most flat, but it is not strong especially if it gets wet. I'd use ply for a foundation.

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from your post it is not clear -- are you going to use the 2x4's in the construction of the torsion box ? if so then your choice of surface material won't matter.
If you are going for a torsion box and you desire flat, and you are going to have this essentialy "outside" (in the garage) you may want to seal the MDF before you close up the box. before the moisture swlls the MDF...
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Yes, I'm making the frame out of 2x4's (glue is drying as I write this). The skin will be particle board. I think this will work for my needs. If I get into woodworking more I can build a new top since this one is only costing me $20.
Thanks.
Mike
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On Mon, 2 Jan 2006 17:34:48 -0500, "Sam The Cat"

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/shows_wwk/episode/0,2046,DIY_14350_26946,00.html
Not personal experience, but I remembered David Marks doing an episode on building a torsion box...
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http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/shows_wwk/episode/0,2046,DIY_14350_26946,00.html

Thanks, George. I did see that. It's what made me doubt my choice of particleboard. I'm sticking with it for now, though. I'll seal it and see if it holds its straightness. And if not, then I might be able to use it on another wall in my garage and build an new MDF top.
Mike
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    Greetings and Salutations...
wrote:

    One other concern I would have with using particle board for a torsion box is that it is not all that great at dealing with tension. It stands up to compression well enough, but, not so well with tension. I prefer "real" plywood for this sort of thing. One really nice thing about torsion boxes, too, is that one can often use 1/4" or 1/2" plywood in places where one would usually use 3/4" or 1" stock. The internal structure adds a LOT of strenght and stiffness to the construction. I made some torsion box stage sections some years ago, and, instead of using 2 sheets of 3/4" ply, I used 1x stock for the ribs, and 1/2" stock for the skin. Works great, is very stiff, and, quite light and easy to move.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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