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Workbench tops what material HDF?? MDF Ply

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Doug B

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My MFT top is made from Valchromat, it is far superior to MDF, I use printed buttons to keep the material being cut above the work surface, they work very well & prevent damage to the Valchromat.
 

petermillard

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Treating MFT tops?
Has anyone treated a top (MDF or ply) to address damp conditions?
Something to soak into the wood.
The holes (tight tolerances) bother me. Thinking of a roller, thin coats and 'something' to
clean out each row of holes as I pass?

Any experience doing this please?
Yes, I treat all mine as a matter of course; I show the process in the video I linked to earlier. Stain, hard wax oil, lacquer, use whatever you have - I've used them all without any problems, but - and I'm going to shout this out loud - YOU NEED TO USE DECENT MDF IN THE FIRST PLACE! Use MRMDF - it is a much better board for not much more money. Whatever finish you apply, clear the dog-holes with a spare dog while the finish is wet - or at least before it dries fully - as it's a much easier job. Don't ask me how I know that.

HTH P
 

Spectric

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Instead of extracting the speed controller perhaps you could use a rheostat type controller so you dont have to butcher the router.
Hi Ollie

Have looked at other speed options but unfortunately I cannot put another in series with the internal module. Luckily it sits under the end cap and removed with two screws so easy modification and could always be put back.

Peter, so Valchromat at £120 sheet is no better than MR MDF which is £24 a sheet, as long as we treat it. Better still Birch ply with a wipe of sanding sealer.
 

MikeK

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I'm in the process of building a 1x2 meter MFT-style workbench and will be using a 50mm wide HDPE sacrificial strip in my table top. I have 8mm and 5mm thick sheets, but haven't decided which one I will use yet. My original plan was to use 19mm MDF for the top, but the stores only stock 18mm thick MDF. I recently found a local source that advertises the 19mm Valchromat in stock, so I'll go there tomorrow to see what they have.

For the surface treatment, whether I use the 18mm MDF or the 19mm Valchromat, I'll apply 15-20 coats of wipe-on poly mixed 50/50 with thinner. If I allow an hour between coats this will take several days to finish.
 

Doug B

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Tricoya is generally used where a water proof panel is needed in external painted joinery usually in conjunction with Accoya timber.
 

petermillard

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Peter, so Valchromat at £120 sheet is no better than MR MDF which is £24 a sheet, as long as we treat it. Better still Birch ply with a wipe of sanding sealer.
Well, it’s prettier, I guess 🤷‍♂️ I’m sure Investwood, the company behind the Valchromat brand will tell you they are all kinds of differences vs MRMDF though they seem reluctant to actually specify those differences, preferring to compare themselves to regular MDF. Go figure.
 

Ollie78

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Tricoya is mental expensive and for anything short of wet all the time pretty much overkill, if you are going to that price range then you might as well go full thickness phenolic which will probably last forever but will be so nice you wont want to cut into it !
Remember it is supposed to be a replaceable sacrificial element.
There is some stuff called EKO ply which is some wood plastic recycled hybrid that might be good but probably expensive too.
I have some HDPE which I think is 12mm or maybe 15mm but it doesn`t stay flat on its own so would need to be supported with plywood or something anyway.

Ollie
 
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Droogs

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If I were to ever make and use an MFT type top for machine working, I think I would go for a final top layer of UHMWPE sheet. which would give me a great low friction surface for moving bits of wood on. Ultra hard wearing and would outlast my working career that i have left. You would just have to place a couple of sacrificial strips in areas you know will get damaged in use. Amazing stuff really as slippery as telflon and has a better wear resistance than phosphour bronze.
 

tradesman

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Wow - cant say any more than wow my mind is blown - so for someone whose just starting on there journey would you reccomend a router assembly for low cost router that could be removed say from the top- adjusted roughly -replaced and then fine adjusted from the top-yes faffing about but time is not an issue its a hobby. maybe keep the end of the workbench open so its easy to get to- ?? so to summarise - triton TRA001 - fitted into plate - remove springs etc so can be adjusted from the top - removable plate so the bit is easy to replace - remote on-off switch ???? make sense - then save up for a lift and a decent fence £300 ish and do it properly when youve got the hang of it and relaised you should have spent the money at the beginning but your wife would be found out!!
 

Droogs

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I have 3 Tritons. One of each size. the TRF is usually in my table, the MOF is used as my 1/2" move around machine as a lot light than it's big brother and a JOF as my big move around 1/4" along with several Katsu and Parkside dremel things in veritas bases. I don't think I will change the TRF out for any thing as very happy with it and the way it adjusts. The only thing I did to it was fit a NVR switch into the start up circuitry and mod the cutoff plastic guard plate (there is a thread on here showing how in a video) to stop my annoyance at it. The switch guard is great when using handheld but a pain in the butt in the table.
 

custard

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Treating MFT tops?
Has anyone treated a top (MDF or ply) to address damp conditions?
Something to soak into the wood.
Any experience doing this please?
I did this once on an MFT top. Not because the workshop was damp but because I put coffee mugs on it, I had the bright idea that some form of spillage protection might be sensible.

Bad idea.

I used a proprietary tin of something that claimed to waterproof MDF. Maybe it did, but it also made the MDF swell up and adopt a slightly rippled surface.
 

jackal

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Treating MFT tops?
Has anyone treated a top (MDF or ply) to address damp conditions?
Something to soak into the wood.
The holes (tight tolerances) bother me. Thinking of a roller, thin coats and 'something' to
clean out each row of holes as I pass?

Any experience doing this please?
My benches are treated with Cascamite wood glue mixed thin then sanded
 

Sideways

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For the surface treatment, whether I use the 18mm MDF or the 19mm Valchromat, I'll apply 15-20 coats of wipe-on poly mixed 50/50 with thinner. If I allow an hour between coats this will take several days to finish.
No need to seal valchromat.
It's far superior to MRMDF in that regard. There's a lot more resin in it. You can tell it's a harder material and I'd bet you won't get it to soak up more than 1 coat of wiping varnish at best.
 

MikeK

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No need to seal valchromat.
It's far superior to MRMDF in that regard. There's a lot more resin in it. You can tell it's a harder material and I'd bet you won't get it to soak up more than 1 coat of wiping varnish at best.
Thank you! I wasn't looking forward to the time consuming process of the wipe-on poly.
 

Ollie78

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Tradesman

Just to add another thought as you state you are a beginner with router tables, perhaps ebay and gumtree are the answer. You often see very cheap router tables pop up. ROUTER TABLE WITH HITACHI ROUTER, GOOD CONDITION WITH EXTRAS | eBay Record power used to do a great one with a sliding table, many powertool manufacturers have come out with small router tables.
Or for simplicity these ones come with a built in lift and router, like a mini spindle moulder. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lumberjack...6N04ABQJXZF&psc=1&refRID=HA64BF31E6N04ABQJXZF
I have considered getting one to keep in the van for quick adjustments and stuff, they come in many colours and brands. Never tried one so don`t know the quality but its a simple solution.

Ollie
 
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Paul Narramore

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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.
 

J-G

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Or for simplicity these ones come with a built in lift and router, like a mini spindle moulder.
I bought one of those last October and it has been a boon - for hobby use - it comes with ½" & ¼" collets and height adjustment, spindle speed and tool change are very easy.
 
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