Workbench top. Pylwood or MDF?

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wrote:

I'd go for 1/2" ply, with 1/4" MDF on top of that. Hardwood edging too.
Ply is much stronger, on a large scale. But MDF is pretty good at the small scale, such as impacts from corners and small tool impacts. Ply is also much stiffer, especially for long-term drooping and sagging. MDF is also quite strong on the face, but terrible around the edges, so fit that edging strip.
With a top layer of 1/4" MDF held down with no more than DS tape, you can also replace it after a few years. I use a sewing table that's maybe ten years old and has an MDF top that sees a lot of wear from roller cutters and knives used in pattern cutting. With deliberate mis-use (ie cutting into the tabletop, but not hard) it's still a long way from needing replacement. MDF is cheaper and comes in bigger sheets than a vinyl cut mat.
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Smert' spamionam

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I wonder if anyone has tried using laminate flooring for the top layer. It would provide a real hardwood top. It is a little expensive but one isn't using that many square feet.
Dick

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wrote:

I've seen this done with laminate. The surface is hard, sealed against oil, and wears well. It's also slippery and not too pleasant to work on for woodworking. As a motorbike fixing bench, it seems to be working though. The owner originally wanted Formica, but the price was frightening and the colours were horrid.

What sort of flooring are we talking about ? Laminate flooring is far from "real hardwood". For the 3/4" hardwood flooring, the price for maple is about the same as buying the sawn timber, but cheaper than buying surfaced maple (maple is expensive in the UK). I've made my solid timber tops from 2" or thicker material, but if I wanted a 3/4" top surface on an existing bench, I'd certainly think about it.

Laminate ? It's actually pretty cheap. If you're doing whole rooms and buying big bulk packs, you may even have enough in spare strips.
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The engineered wood floors are real hardwood plywood. I have it in my family room. While it makes a nice floor, I don't think i want it for my bench.

You can get laminate (the plastic stuff) for about a buck a square foot. Probably close to MDF prices and getting close to plywood. You still have seams too. Ed
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