I've made a workbench with an MDF top that is three layers thick
(2 1/4"). How well will MDF hold up for some bench dogs?
Will it tear up after a few uses or would it be best to
forget about putting in bench dogs in an MDF table top?
My guess is that mdf does not have much strength at corners, i.e., the
top and bottom edges of the dog holes. You might put a layer of good
plywood on the bench top, or maybe a sacrificial layer of masonite or
something a bit tougher than the mdf.
A recent thread on woodnet covering this very question. I am considering
three layers of mdf and one hardboard as well.
I used a bench at our local Woodcraft store and it is holding up well with
dogs in MDF. I used plywood on my bench.
The main factors is what kind of work you will be doing. If it is hand
tool, then the top needs to be a bit more robust. But if you are mainly
using power tools they do not need the same kind of brute force and then
MDF is easily strong enough.
FWIW 3/4 MDF is strong enough for any bench dog. But not good enough for
old style (wack-em in, wack-em out) Hold-Down Clamps
-- >replace spamblock with my family name to e-mail me >Pics at http://www.meekings.net/diving/index.shtml
I built my workbench when money was tight so I used what was handy. Three
layers of particle board for the top, finished with Watco.
I figured the holes would crumble after awhile, and then I'd drill it out
larger, plug it with hardwood and redrill it, but it's been about five or
six years now and they're all fine.
I haven't tried them with an "old style (wack-em in, wack-em out) Hold-Down
Clamp" yet but sooner or later I probably will. I agree with Jerome that
those will be a much tougher test. :-)
Top's still flat, too. That sort of surprises me. I guess three layers
edged with oak 2x4s makes a pretty stable surface. But I'm sure glad I put
casters on it.
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