Holdfast in MDF bench top

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Forum topic by Christian Holihan posted 10-30-2013 05:11 PM 2580 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Christian Holihan

85 posts in 1734 days

10-30-2013 05:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workbench holdfast

I have a laminate bench top of 3 1” MDF boards. Is it beyond foolish to drill a hole for a hold fast? Is there enough strength and thickness for the holdfast to work properly?

Here is a good shot of the bench when is was new and clean.

Any advice would be welcome.

-- Nobody deserves particle board |

11 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4640 posts in 2287 days

#1 posted 10-30-2013 05:30 PM

You could give it try, I can’t say if it would work or not. I would recommend that you chamfer the hole to avoid tear out.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Deltarich's profile


23 posts in 3424 days

#2 posted 10-30-2013 05:35 PM

I would consider one of these vs a traditional hold-fast for mdf to help reduce tear out from pounding.,41637

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1817 posts in 1905 days

#3 posted 10-30-2013 05:35 PM

How about a T-track with hold downs. I use them in my work bench and they are indispensable. All you would have to do is rout a groove for the t-track and screw them in. The hold downs can be taken out when not needed

Something like this

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Don W's profile

Don W

18672 posts in 2503 days

#4 posted 10-30-2013 06:15 PM

I’d look for something along these lines.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2568 days

#5 posted 10-30-2013 06:35 PM

I have one of these. They take a minute to install and remove after each use, but nothing too tedious.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4909 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 10-30-2013 06:45 PM

Just a guess, but I’d bet it would work. But maybe only for a while, I’d think the holes would get misshapen and worn out form continual use.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2208 days

#7 posted 10-31-2013 12:25 PM

Try it in the MDF, if that fails you could enlarge the hole to 2” to 3” and fill it with a hardwood dowel turned on a lathe, a short section of hardwood hand rail, an ash or hickory baseball bat, and then rebore a 3/4” hole.
Could also be replaced with square stock.

...just a thought FWIW.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View 489tad's profile


3328 posts in 2947 days

#8 posted 10-31-2013 01:05 PM

I have a laminated plywood with a hard board top. I put an oak board on the underside where the hols are. So far so good.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2169 days

#9 posted 10-31-2013 01:33 PM

I would coat the inside of the holes with some finish to harden and waterproof the MDF. I bet a small foam brush would do the trick.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Christian Holihan's profile

Christian Holihan

85 posts in 1734 days

#10 posted 10-31-2013 10:47 PM

Tons of solid advice from everyone. Thanks!

-- Nobody deserves particle board |

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1324 posts in 1884 days

#11 posted 10-31-2013 11:54 PM

i believe it would work for a while. I think the problem would be the long run. the whole would wollar out pretty fast from repeated use.

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