Reply by brtech

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Posted on Sealing and flattening your MDF bench

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1029 posts in 2923 days

#1 posted 04-29-2013 04:32 PM

There is flat, and then there is flat.

You don’t want a smooth surface, you want a “dead flat” surface. That’s a few thousands of an inch if you can get it, but I think those who hand plane their top probably are happy with 1/32”, which is a few hundredths.

The MDF is flat, period, if it’s supported. It may gouge, but it will stay flat if it doesn’t warp, but it won’t warp if you keep it dry and support it well. Any coating on the top isn’t going to affect the flatness, and short of a poly build up like a bar top, it won’t stop any tool from gouging. Sometimes, you put a piece of hardboard on top of the MDF, which you can replace when you need to.

How thick is the MDF, and what is underneath it?

Don’t second guess yourself too much – plenty of beginning jocks have MDF bench tops to start. It’s an inexpensive way to get a flat surface.

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