Author Topic: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?  (Read 2679 times)

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Offline OXCanada

  • Posts: 33
KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« on: January 29, 2017, 09:27 PM »
Hi everyone, looking for some advice. I recently purchased a kreg workbench frame and I need to build a top for it. The top will be used for assembly and general woodworking assembly. I have a full workbench that does all of the heavy lifting so this will be a secondary bench.

I was going to use two sheets of MDF lamented together with hard maple trimming out the edges. But I have heard that adding a piece of hard board on top of that, held down with turners tape is a good addition. That way you can replace it if it gets beat up. But my fear is that the edges would peel up and wouldn't stay completely flat. I also am going to add the festool plate clamp routed into the top so not sure. How that would be affected.

Any suggestions? Looking to keep it fairly inexpensive but built well.

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Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 436
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 09:47 PM »
Why not mount an MFT top to it? Should be roughly the correct size, but you can verify.

The holey tops are awesome to have :)

Offline OXCanada

  • Posts: 33
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 10:14 PM »
 [big grin]

I wish I could! Table is 44X28"

MFT is on my wish list

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 436
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 01:11 PM »
[big grin]

I wish I could! Table is 44X28"

MFT is on my wish list
You probably could, but things would need to be measured out carefully. A band could be added and widths could be cut down as needed. Someone with CAD and a CNC machine can build you what ever you want. The alternative is to use a jig and make your own holey top. Peter Parfit designed one that works great, and there are other systems too, that use peg board for hole referencing. If not using it for a cutting surface, only an assembly table, perfection is not as important. Once you use a holey table for clamping and other stuff you will realize just how nice it is.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1948
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 05:07 PM »
PM sent.  I vote for MDO since it's exterior rated usually.  You can add holes to it easily for clamping if needed.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline hawkeyestoob

  • Posts: 28
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 01:10 PM »
@OXCanada
What did you end up going with for your top? Any pictures?

I have a 64X44" Kreg table that I am getting ready to assemble but I am still considering options for the top. I am considering making mine in 2 sections approximately 24X80" each and leaving about a 3-4" gap between them in the center to allow for clamping.

Offline OXCanada

  • Posts: 33
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 06:16 PM »
Hi -

I did end up going with an double thick MDF top and wrapped it in hard maple. I haven't put it through any hard projects yet but I'm very happy with how smooth and durable the top is. I think it looks good and works well.

FWIW, I did a lot of research into best ways to glue laminate the two MDF pieces together and I ended up going with screwing from the bottom into the top sheet instead of using clamps and calls.  I won't ever see the screws (removed them after the glue set)  and also I cut one of the MDF pieces to my desired size and then one oversized. That way I could use a flush trim bit to get them to exactly the same size and aligned. Pretty happy with that process.

I'm in a similar boat as you are with clamping although you have a bigger bench than I do. I bought the 44x28. I think I will try out doing the parf hole system that Peter P did.  Or looking at the kreg clamping track. I'm almost done with a cabinet to put under the top and to add a lot of storage options as well but I'm fighting the weather. My shop isn't heated so it's a 50/50 chance of getting into the shop.  [laughing] Only need one more day to finish it up.

Best of luck and let me know if you find a good clamping solution. Send a picture of your final project if you have one.

@OXCanada
What did you end up going with for your top? Any pictures?

I have a 64X44" Kreg table that I am getting ready to assemble but I am still considering options for the top. I am considering making mine in 2 sections approximately 24X80" each and leaving about a 3-4" gap between them in the center to allow for clamping.

Offline Rhino1789

  • Posts: 27
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 07:01 PM »
Oxcanada,
That's a very good looking bench. I think I may follow your lead, if you don't mind. I was thinking of doing the 44"x44" Kreg set up to use as a general assembly/outfeed table and build some drawer carcuses underneath for storage.

What did you finish the MDF with, it has a very slick look to it (almost looks like hardboard)? Also, how did you fasten your maple trim to the MDF? Did you put any cross bracing under the MDF so it doesn't sag over time? How are the Kreg frame and wheels holding up to the weight you've put on it thus far? I've built a similar general purpose table and use 2x4s, but I really like the idea of using the Kreg framing system because I can dissassemble it if I ever wanted to in the future (I think I'd need a bulldozer to disassemble the one I built as it's built like a tank). Also, I read that Kreg's framing system is much sturdier than say Rocklers.

Thanks!

Offline OXCanada

  • Posts: 33
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 09:24 PM »
Hi Rhino1789

Absolutely and thank you. I am finishing up my drawers and doors this week and will post pictures of mine. I did a dry fit and it worked well.

I finished the MDF with a semigloss poly. I don't know if that's the best finish but it's worked great so far. I haven't seen any issues with sagging but I'm with you, it's on my mind to keep an eye on. One option would be to build a torsion box but I didn't want the top to be too high and like I said,so far it's not an issue.

To attach the maple I used biscuits and glue. The biscuits helped significantly with the glue up which was a challenge. I didn't use any nails and relied on glue, biscuits and clamps. I recommend a band clamp around first to suck the corners in followed by bar clamps. But there's of course multiple ways to get to the same place.

All in all, it's rock solid. I think you will enjoy it and it gives you a ton of flexibility.

Offline Rhino1789

  • Posts: 27
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2017, 09:37 PM »
Thank you and I look forward to seeing your drawers and doors. I thought of a torsion box, but was also wondering if you could align some bracing (3" plywood strips or however wide those metal framing pieces are) with the top metal bracing and fasten it with screws through the metal framing (after drilling holes through the metal first), kind of similarly to how you fastened your side pieces.

Offline hawkeyestoob

  • Posts: 28
Re: KREG Workbench Top - MDF?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 11:48 AM »
@OXCanada Thanks for the pictures and the follow up. It looks great! I need to get going on mine soon.