laminating MDF and Beech butcher block for bench top

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Forum topic by naterajj posted 11-20-2009 12:10 AM 2752 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 2530 days

11-20-2009 12:10 AM

I am building a small workbench with a 24”x48” top.

I glued two pieces of 3/4” thick MDF with contact cement, this gives me a 1 1/2” thick top, now I want to glue a 1 1/8” thick beech butcher block on top of that to give me a nice looking, 2 5/8” thick top

What would be the best glue for this use?

Does this sound like a good idea in general?

8 replies so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2946 days

#1 posted 11-20-2009 12:34 AM

I would have used titebond 2 to glue the two pieces of mdf together, as well as the butcher block top.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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1047 posts in 2551 days

#2 posted 11-20-2009 01:22 AM

You might just want to screw it down from the bottom. Use oversize holes and washers to allow any movement that might occur. Gluing it might lead to warping.

-- Gerry,

View griph0n's profile


68 posts in 2763 days

#3 posted 11-20-2009 01:58 AM

I put my ikea birch top on a piece of fir plywood with oversized holes and lag bollts. The top moved at least an 1/8 maybe a 1/4. Had to redrill the dog holes in the plywwod. Hate to think what would have happened if I had glued it.

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22 posts in 2530 days

#4 posted 11-20-2009 02:22 AM

Thanks for your suggestions.

Could you elaborate a bit on the over-sized holes and washers idea? how big should the holes be in relation to the bolts?

I can see how if would be a problem with the dog holes in the MDF getting unaligned with the top’s, maybe those should be over-sized as well?

I am getting my top from Ikea as well, $39 is a steal

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22 posts in 2530 days

#5 posted 11-20-2009 02:31 AM

And by “those” I mean the dog holes in the MDF only.

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3302 days

#6 posted 11-20-2009 03:24 PM

Wood will move with humidity changes, MDF will not (it might swell in thickness). Think of wood as a bunch of straws bound together, because this is what the original tree used it for. These straws will fill with moisture and expand/contract. They will not grow in length. A rough distance is 1/8 inch per foot to be safe. This will only occur in width, not length.

So screw the top to the MDF with slightly oversized holes. You will need washers to keep the screws from digging into to MDF.

You very well might have to eventually re-drill the dog holes through the MDF. I would wait until it became a problem. Check the holes in the summer and the winter. If they don’t line up, just spin a drill bit using the top as a guide. They should not be a problem after that.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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68 posts in 2763 days

#7 posted 11-22-2009 12:00 AM

Check out the ikea top bench here:

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22 posts in 2530 days

#8 posted 11-23-2009 07:10 PM

Thanks everybody for their insight, I will definitely use the bolts in oversized holes route.

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