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Workbench tops what material HDF?? MDF Ply

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tradesman

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Morning all,

great site - continuing my journey into semi retirement I really like the look of this chaps workbench and how he constructed it.

Now I go to you lot and see what you think.

Design looks great and I like the way its assembled with ply - should be super stable

the top looks perfect what my projects ( i think the front apron might be a step to far )

In your opinion he recommends HDF - which I cant seem to find a supplier of.

1 - would you use HDF -

2 - or perhaps buy a predrilled top ( a festool clone for example is available for about 50quid )

3- or would another material do such as MDF - would you treat it? or birch ply - would the 20mm dogs hold up?

Cheers a always

he is here building his bench

 

Droogs

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Dennis has made a great bench based around his way of working wood. It is ideally suited to machine and modern tooling use. you can get HDF here in UK


hth
 

DBT85

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18mm MDF or hardwood/birch ply will be absolutely fine and the dogs will be fine too.

You could buy a pre drilled MFT replacement (I did) or you can contact one of them and they'll make you one to whatever size and hole pattern you want. They just load it into the CNC and let it get in with it. Personally I don;t think I would bother doing it myself as you only need to make one mistake and the whole lot could be out of square which is the whole point.

I love that coloured stuff he uses but I assumed it was Valchromat MDF or simlar, not HDF.

He has a great channel in general I have to say.
 

Droogs

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as DBT85 says he probably used this stuff

 

Paul Narramore

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Is it me but that work bench looks way way too over complicated. When we moved to our new house two years ago I built my work bench from a large offcut of kitchen worktop and the legs of square timber. To this I’ve bolted a heavy engineers vice, a woodworking vice, and an industrial pillar drill. It’s tough as old boots and very stable, and will see me out. Why over complicate life?
 

tradesman

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It is over complicated but really pretty !!!

most things Scandinavian are !!!

I think Ill buy the predrilled birch ply top and apply the supports like dennis _ I wont bother with the front section for now - I guess its easier enough to add later

thanks guys
 

Droogs

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Remember Dennis built and uses this bench for modern machine tool working. It is made specifically to fit the various tools he has such as the incra systems and router lift he uses. He has a separate bench he uses for any planing he does.
 

Paul Narramore

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My benches have also exclusively been built as I have an interest in motorcycles and cars so clearly have different needs to those who want 'prettiness' in their workshop. I have neither the interest nor the space for lots of elaborate workworking machinery, and if I did, where would my three motorcycles and engineering lathe go?
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
if u build a bench, one way or another you'll need /want to store stuff under it....
better doing it first off....
to cut cost and to make life easier why not buy a kitch/bedroom drawer unit and build the bench around that...
easy enough to stiffen the drawer bottoms......even find a used one.....??
personally I think Trademans bench is pretty simple and no where big enough but he made it for his personal situation.....
 

DBT85

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My benches have also exclusively been built as I have an interest in motorcycles and cars so clearly have different needs to those who want 'prettiness' in their workshop. I have neither the interest nor the space for lots of elaborate workworking machinery, and if I did, where would my three motorcycles and engineering lathe go?
The dude that made the "pretty" bench would probably say that your 3 motorcycles are unesssasary. Or maybe he wouldn't judge what others put in their own space for their own needs quite as harshly as you seem to have done.
 

mikej460

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Horses for courses. I think there are people who get considerable enjoyment designing, building and improving their workshop; it is a part of their woodworking hobby, just like those who use mostly hand tools or like Dennis use machines, or better still, both. I spent a damp afternoon today watching his videos for the first time and really enjoyed them and appreciated his design skills just as much as his machining skills.
I am planning to build his bench to replace the tatty but solid as a rock school woodworking bench I bought at an auction 15 years ago, and I will convert the old bench to hold my engineer vice and bench grinder and put it in my toolshed. I see Dennis's bench as a modern version of a traditional Roubo Bench (way beyond my budget) with the dog holes in the centre sliding side. Benchcrafted.
But before I start to set my heart on it I asked for a quote from Lawcris for a 2440mm x 1220mm x 19mm sheet of black throughout MDF and they quoted £35.37 per sheet + VAT but I'll have to collect from Leeds as their minimum order for delivery is £250. I'm going to reply and ask if they can CNC the holes as DBT85 has had done.
 

DBT85

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Horses for courses. I think there are people who get considerable enjoyment designing, building and improving their workshop; it is a part of their woodworking hobby, just like those who use mostly hand tools or like Dennis use machines, or better still, both. I spent a damp afternoon today watching his videos for the first time and really enjoyed them and appreciated his design skills just as much as his machining skills.
I am planning to build his bench to replace the tatty but solid as a rock school woodworking bench I bought at an auction 15 years ago, and I will convert the old bench to hold my engineer vice and bench grinder and put it in my toolshed. I see Dennis's bench as a modern version of a traditional Roubo Bench (way beyond my budget) with the dog holes in the centre sliding side. Benchcrafted.
But before I start to set my heart on it I asked for a quote from Lawcris for a 2440mm x 1220mm x 19mm sheet of black throughout MDF and they quoted £35.37 per sheet + VAT but I'll have to collect from Leeds as their minimum order for delivery is £250. I'm going to reply and ask if they can CNC the holes as DBT85 has had done.
Mine was just a MFT replacement top to the standard sizes, about £40? Nothing custom about it, but there are plenty of places that will do custom orders to the sizes you want and don't have those kind of minimum orders.
 

mikej460

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Thanks for the tip, I'm just passing far too many wet days looking on the internet, researching and saving useful ideas but I need to come back to reality as I have the workshop to build first!
 

Jameshow

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Hi

I'm supprised no one has mentioned MDO or buffalo board a resin paper lined board usually ply which is used for signs, and trailer decks.
Very tough and hard wearing.

I had a table saw made out of it for a number of years.

Cheers James
 
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robgul

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I bought an MDF MFT top from one of the CNC suppliers .... wish I'd paid the extra £10 for the plywood version - the holes in the MDF are susceptible to cold and get slightly smaller as the material expands (my workshop isn't damp, just a bit cold) - I've sorted the dog fit by some very gentle reaming of the top edges of the dog-holes.

The coming week's tasks involve insulation and plasterboard for the ceiling of the workshop!
 

Ollie78

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Birch ply is what I use on my mft top, its cheaper than the "official " tops and lighter.
I personally think the price of Valchromat to be ridiculous for what it is. If you are paying vachromat money what about HDPE or that plastic laminated ply for kids playgrounds?

Ollie
 

pe2dave

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Learning from other threads /sites:
If hand tool use (hammer and chisel etc), I would be suspicious of an MFT thickness top, more so if a decent vice was in use?
If machine use majority, then MFT class of top seems appropriate, though I'd address winter damp -what happens to MDF
after a winter of damp?

If an old fashioned heavy bench for general use, 4x2 on edge seems most appropriate. Ask youtube about Paul Sellers workbench.
He even has one in ply! They are solid and will take a lifetimes use (and ...)
 

Roseland 2

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I think MDF and HDF are quite suceptible to moisture, and moisture cycling causes the worktop to sag. I used to have to turn my standard MFT top over every year.

Ply won't sag, but I think the surface is relatively soft. I believe the best solution is a moisture-resistant MDF, like Valchromat. I bought one of the Axminster Valchromat tops a few years back and it is still absolutely flat.

Andrew
 
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