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  1. #1
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    Question newly dynasore, miter station bench what top material?

    hi all , theres that many slots here , so hope i'm in the right one? newby to wood working , now possessed! I'm building a mitersaw station done all the frame and used dowels only , pleased so far. I'm up to fitting the top, want to incorporate a track for a stop ! looking at ply or thick mdf? this is where i need some advise please . wich do you prefer theres so many ply's to a newby like me, its daunting! structural , non structural . also see you can get a water proof MDF as well?
    assistance needed please. I'm in Brisbane and ready to get the top!

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  3. #2
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    Welcome

  4. #3
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    Welcome to the forum.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by verawood View Post
    Welcome
    thanks for the welcome

  6. #5
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    I'd go for 25mm MDF, maybe with a white melamine coating. Dead flat and stuff slides over it nicely.

  7. #6
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    I find a thick sheet of MDF (or two glued and screwed together) with masonite over the top and edged with hardwood works well. Heavy, durable and quite cheap.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanjacobs View Post
    I'd go for 25mm MDF, maybe with a white melamine coating. Dead flat and stuff slides over it nicely.
    thanks mate didn't get alot of response so ive got some 30 mm ply , did think of what your suggesting , probably the best option too , bugger

  9. #8
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    thanks

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanjacobs View Post
    I'd go for 25mm MDF, maybe with a white melamine coating. Dead flat and stuff slides over it nicely.
    If you go thinner than 25mm you will create a weak spot, or flex point, where you rebate the T-Track into the bench top. You can easily laminate a stiffener underneath, like this.

    T-Track 1.jpg

    Another option is yellow tongue flooring - cheaper and tougher than MDF.

  11. #10
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    30 mm ply is fine. before rebating the track in, sand the top to about 240 grit, and then either 3 coats of danish oil, or 3 of a generic water-based varnish, followed by some wax: this gives me a surface on ply that you can slide a cloth across as though it's floating. Put at least one coat on the underside too, or you risk warping from differential moisture absorbtion.

    If it's one of those 30mm ply panels from Bunnings, they're excellent for work surfaces...

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdv View Post
    30 mm ply is fine. before rebating the track in, sand the top to about 240 grit, and then either 3 coats of danish oil, or 3 of a generic water-based varnish, followed by some wax: this gives me a surface on ply that you can slide a cloth across as though it's floating. Put at least one coat on the underside too, or you risk warping from differential moisture absorbtion.

    If it's one of those 30mm ply panels from Bunnings, they're excellent for work surfaces...
    thanks heaps these are the many things i dont know so thanks for the heads up what wax?
    pat

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by old1955 View Post
    Welcome to the forum.
    hot dogs and h cars that was a great year

  14. #13
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    wich is the best danish oil or varnish , take it the varnish is painted and sanded each time between , never used danish oil before will that interfere with the glue? take it thats why you said water based varnish> pat

  15. #14
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    In no particular order:

    1. Any good wax will do. I use Gilly's Carnauba wax, simply because it's available in tins in Bunnings... I also make my own from candle stubs and mineral oil, so it's not critical, and indeed, a work surface doesn't really need it - I just like the smell and the routine of applying it...

    2. Oils and varnishes will both interfere with glueing: it's always a compromise between ease of finishing and glueing up, but for a top surface, it should be ok to finish most of it. If there are areas that are important for a good glue joint, mask them with some tape.

    3. Varnish - I recommended water based simply because it's easier to clean up than oil based, has less VOCs (dangerous vapours), and is easy to apply. The potential downside is that it is pretty much a surface finish - it sits on top of your wood, so a lot of heavy activity may break through it. Oil soaks into the wood, giving (theoretically) greater protection.

    4. Danish oil - any brand will do for this purpose. It's stupidly easy to apply: pour it onto the wood, rub it around with a cloth until excess is gone. NB - the cloth 'may' self ignite if you leave it balled up (oil generates heat as it dries/cures - this is not a thing to risk...) The first coat will leave you a muddy, uninspiring finish that will disappoint you. Put another one on. I like to sand this one with 180 grit paper while it's wet - work up a 'slurry' of oil and sawdust, and spread it around. Rub out with a cloth. This gives a very smooth surface. Let it dry, give it one more coat and rub out. This should give you a nice satin finish.

    Don't over think it. I have plywood, MDF and pine surfaces finished with both oil and varnish - my choice depends on which half finished can is available, to be honest. Trying out both is a great way to practice finishing in the workshop - it's at least 50% of the art of woodworking, in my opinion, and a slab of plywood that is going to get battered in the shed is the perfect stuff to learn on...

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpdv View Post
    ...
    4. Danish oil - any brand will do for this purpose. It's stupidly easy to apply: pour it onto the wood, rub it around with a cloth until excess is gone. NB - the cloth 'may' self ignite if you leave it balled up (oil generates heat as it dries/cures - this is not a thing to risk...) The first coat will leave you a muddy, uninspiring finish that will disappoint you. Put another one on. I like to sand this one with 180 grit paper while it's wet - work up a 'slurry' of oil and sawdust, and spread it around. Rub out with a cloth. This gives a very smooth surface. Let it dry, give it one more coat and rub out. This should give you a nice satin finish.
    ...

    Good advice. Wet sanding really is one of the secrets of getting a superior finish, but I'd go one step further. Use 400 grit sandpaper on the third coat. If you go to a sixth coat go to 600 grit. I've gone up sequentially to 4,000 grit, and the finish is sensational - often described as sensual.

    Another trap with Danish oil is that if you leave too thick a coat then it dries extremely slowly - so slow you think its not drying. So keep coats thin. I actually wipe off the first two coats with a clean rag, and then apply the third and subsequent coats by dipping the sandpaper into the Danish oil.

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