Author Topic: Ply or MDF?  (Read 4561 times)

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Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Ply or MDF?
« on: May 22, 2018, 02:01 PM »
Evening folks, just a quickie

Got the rest of the week off, so I'm going to spend it racking my new Transit out. I had all intentions of using 18mm MDF but after looking at other peoples projects on here it seems that ply is the way? Any particular reasons? Cheers
" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3671
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2018, 02:20 PM »
The first reason that comes to my feeble mind is  the MDF just won't stand up to the vibrations of over the road bouncing. Screws don't hold as well. Bolts close edges will tear lose from wear and tare.

The second reason is the extra weight of MDF over ply wood.

The third reason is I hate the dust from workingwithMDF

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 02:34 PM »
Thanks Tinker, the flexibility makes sense...the weight wouldn't have been a problem, but yes I'll use ply  :)
" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 725
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 03:06 PM »
Is this a work van for construction?

Humidity...MDF just won't hold up. Spill liquids on it...expect it to swell and possibly fall apart.

Personally I would use ABS, although you really don't want to breathe the dust. ABS is super strong, flexes, and won't break, without being very heavy.

Most folks building out work vehicles use plywood. There are tons of threads around the internet I highly recommend you spend hours investigating them for ideas. If it is a work van I would also recommend looking into Milwaukee Packout's or the like for hauling the majority of your tools.

Most glue up the plywood and use pocket screws for a mechanical hold. L brackets bolted into Nutserts, which do take a special tool for installation, will secure the cabinet into the van. Do not use self tappers into the van body to hold that much weight. Also paint all holes drilled if you want to avoid rust long term. Oh and use a drill stop if you don't want dents on the outside!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Columbia-Forest-Products-1-2-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-PureBond-Birch-Plywood-833185/100020218


Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1084
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 03:21 AM »
You can also use OSB for a cheaper (in material costs, compared to plywood) approach.

Offline martindk

  • Posts: 1
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 06:11 AM »
Ply is, as long as you want to stick with anything wood, far superior for the purpose to anything else. Nothing else will match its flexibility, durability and fastening properties. Of course you do need to beware of the downsides to it as well, and not just leave screws or nails to keep it together in on the edges. Chances are it will not hold up in the back of a van. Some kind of frame, kleets, brackets, dados or what you may prefer in conjunction with both glue and mechanical fasteners should give you the desired result.

Of course you can always edgeband and so forth to your liking with something else. In my former van i put on softwood strips on the uprights, as not to damage fastened goods on the cargo floor from rubbing against the shelves, as well as having a tiepoint. Endless possibilities really.

Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 06:46 AM »
Thanks Guys

I live in the UK and fit kitchens for Wickes (builders merchants) so I get a discount on sheet material anyway.
I've planned my racking now, so I'll be getting on with it. I've had steel racking in my vans up to now, but I'm sorting it out bespoke to all of my Festool gear. I know now what I'll be using and how, thanks again.
" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5293
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Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2018, 01:13 AM »

Offline Womble

  • Posts: 30
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2018, 04:37 AM »
You guys/girls may want to take a look at:

https://www.customsolutionsuk.co.uk/products/concept-1200-deal-1

The guy is UK based & super friendly & helpful on his Twitter account, he will also customise things to any specific requirements.

Personally i prefer Plywood its less noisy & more lightweight than MDF by a significant amount especially if using proper lightweight Ply, but failing that standard internal grade ply is lightweight, personally don't see the need for WBP or External grade plywood for van racking unless you going to be constantly putting wet/damp stuff onto your racking in which case an alternative material would probably be better suited. Just remember not all plywoods are created equally & better quality branded products are definitely superior on both the finished surfaces & especially on the internal cores with no voids on higher quality boards. But if you want a really top end job then Birch Ply is the way to go :)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 04:53 AM by Womble »

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 838
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2018, 07:05 AM »
I would say watch Ron Paulk's series of videos on YouTube about building out work trailers and van trucks. You can learn much from his 20+ years of fitting out a number of vehicles.

He uses 1/2" ply for most of it to save weight and has some great ideas on drawers and storage for various tools.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5293
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Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2018, 11:07 AM »
Thanks Guys

I live in the UK and fit kitchens for Wickes (builders merchants) so I get a discount on sheet material anyway.
I've planned my racking now, so I'll be getting on with it. I've had steel racking in my vans up to now, but I'm sorting it out bespoke to all of my Festool gear. I know now what I'll be using and how, thanks again.

Steve,

I sued to go to the Patrick Bros out by Wisbech in Norfolk ( i know I know) but they are a salvage yard and sell salve timber pretty cheap. I was killing it on the Piranha Pine for a while and their Green oak. I would buy some old green oak beans from a post and beam house and have them rough cut it to 35mm then Id have to finish the timber to make it useable. Well woroth it.

Anyway the do get 19mm ply. Its not the best looking or has the best veneer. But for your use it would work quite well. Id pay 16 quid a sheet  4ft X 8 ft) for it.

They ply didnt have and gaps in it simular to Baltic Birch. but not as many plys as BB. Heres a photo of a students desk I made out of it to give you a idea of the quality of the ply.


Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2018, 11:24 AM »
Thanks Jobsworth and everybody for the hints and tips. I've got some 18mm ply from my local Wickes (good discount) looks decent quality, I'm going to be painting it in the Festool grey anyway. Hoping to make a start tomorrow, been a bit frustrated by non stop rain! I've made an MDF jig up for the systainer feet so I'm ready to go!

" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 725
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2018, 01:21 PM »
18mm ply is heavy. Consider using 12mm ply for shelving and other none main load bearing parts. Weight is an issue. First the weight will be up higher. Being top heavy means more likely to tip over. More weight means more fuel is consumed. Less load carrying capacity and a lower tow capacity. The heaviest tools, like your largest hammer drill, belong at floor level where racking has zero load.

Transit Festool (Image Search)

Offline England

  • Posts: 11
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2018, 07:07 PM »
Reduce the wait of the racking by removing a 3rd of the material

Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 12:15 PM »
So I've made a good start, got a few bits of trim to cut. Having it all back out on Monday, hoover, clean floor and then paint it all festool grey!!
" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1084
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2018, 07:28 AM »
Nice!

Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 11:22 AM »
Nice!

Thanks Gregor...I'll post some pics when it's done
" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline England

  • Posts: 11
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2018, 05:56 PM »
Loving the parking bays for the trolleys  [cool]

Offline Chelt Steve

  • Posts: 32
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 06:32 PM »
Loving the parking bays for the trolleys  [cool]

One's for essentials.....the other's just for shopping at will lol :)
" I am not young enough to know everything"

Offline England

  • Posts: 11
Re: Ply or MDF?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2018, 05:38 PM »
Love using the trolley, but would have been a cherry on the cake if Festool had built in a guide rail holder..