sealing mdf workbench

I am just getting into wood working and building a work bench with some MDF, can it be sealed, and what would you use john. Steps to Follow When Sealing MDF Boards · Step 1: Prepare yourself. · Step 2: Scuff sand the workbench top · Step 3: Seal the edges · Step 4: Seal. Many people use a traditional workbench finish: a couple of coats of oil (usually BLO or tung oil), but you'll be better off if you use varnish. ULTRAVNC CHANGE CURSOR

Hi, Guest Login Register. Pages: [ 1 ] Go Down. Read times. I apologize for all the questions, but this is the only way I'm going to figure this stuff out, so What's the best finish for an MDF workbench where I'll be doing glue-ups, assembly and sanding little to no cutting? Just wax it? Or is it better to throw some more durable finish like a polyurethane, or even shellac?

And if poly, does it make a difference whether it's water or oil based? Thanks much. Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies.

Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material.

Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Gwerner Posts: They call me George Took 12 coats, but each coat dries quickly. I finished up with a coat of wax and buffed it out. It really toughened up the surface and water beads up on it like a freshly waxed car.

And then paste wax from time to time. I Spray mine with Deft Semi-gloss Lacquer. A couple of coats and glue scrapes off easy. Sparktrician Posts: I use Butchers Bowling Alley Wax. Peter Parfitt recommends Osmo PolyX.

The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass. Bert Vanderveen Posts: Linseed oil with some natural turpentine and a bit of accellerant hardener mixed in. Even smells nice :. You've already done the hole boring, so I'd stay away from polyurethane or heavier coatings that could drip into and affect usability of the holes.

Tinker Posts: I use 2 or more coats of wipe on poly and then paste wax. Periodic applications of the wax, especially before an extensive glue project. I did get some glue into a couple of holes that had to be carefully chiseled out and sanded smooth. I then added several applications of the paste wax to all of the holes and the problem has not reoccurred since. Any glue that does find its way onto the surface is very easily remove with even a fingernail. Anything that is stiff would work for removal and no damage to the table top.

Did you use oil or water based poly -- and does it make a difference given MDFs high absorption and tendency to warp when wet? Quote from: Tinker on July 11, , AM. Just truth! That wasn't a dig on any bench, just my feeling about a workbench!

I have been using my tops for a good 10 years professionally and they still are going strong. I have not found it to be a problem at all. There is a very light texture on basic white laminate. It is extremely durable. I also used laminate on my miter saw table for use working on job sites. I can make notes on it and mark lines for repetitive cuts.

It provides a lot of protection if there is mild rain or snow. Over the years I have sealed MDF with water base, oil base, and pre-cat lacquer, they all work. Actually, if you frame out MDF with maple and seal it, the maple frame not only protects the edges but the contrast of the light maple against the darker MDF looks great. Staying on original topic is rare around here. It's fine though, good conversation to be had. MDF is so cheap it really doesn't matter if you seal it right now or not.

Make the bench and use it for a bit. I'd leave the top bare, and just wrap the edges as Pug has done Be sure to leave some small access holes, so you can push the old top off when it needs replacing. I think the question was answered. You can use pretty much anything to seal MDF. Shellac, lacquer, water borne poly, oil based poly. I'd probably use shellac or General Finishes High Performance waterborne poly. I treated it with BLO followed by paste wax.

I would have to refresh the wax every few years. Glue popped right toff and it took a load of use without problems. If I did get a serious ding I would just fill it with leftover epoxy the next time I was using some and then pare it flush with a chisel prior to full cure. I did make the mistake of trying to save a bit of cash by using BORG kiln-dried fir for the frame. Despite being stickered in my shop for a couple of months the material continued to shrink and distort.

I was able to work around it but, after accounting for the waste due to poor product, I could have used some poplar or other inexpensive wood from a reputable lumber yard and spent no more money; lesson learned. I thought of this bench as an intermediate step in my journey and it was just that. The surface worked so well, I stayed with it for my next bench.

I used poplar for the base this time and maple for the balance of the vise jaws and trim. I used the same BLO followed by paste wax method that worked so well for so many years. It has been in use for under a year but, I am already very pleased with the shorter length I kept the 30" depth.

It has remained dead-flat which provides a nice reference surface for many tasks. The twin screw is a joy after dealing so long with vises that rack. Once I decide on the end vise designed for another twin screw but the jury is still out I will add more dog holes for that function. You can see the original bench in the lower right corner of the pic. I gifted this to a woodworking acquaintance who was in need.

Great looking bench, that was very kind of you to pass along your old bench. I retired my old bench to finishing duty. Spill some varnish, who cares. You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account. Paste as plain text instead. Only 75 emoji are allowed. Display as a link instead. Clear editor. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sealing MDF can it be done? Share More sharing options Followers 0. Reply to this topic Start new topic. Prev 1 2 Next Page 1 of 2. Recommended Posts. Skjohn98 Posted March 4, Posted March 4, I am just getting into wood working and building a work bench with some MDF, can it be sealed, and what would you use john.

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Short Cuts: Best Method for Sealing MDF Edges - The Garage Engineer sealing mdf workbench


So, we recommend taking all the necessary safety precautions before you begin. Ideally, work from a well-ventilated area. This location can be your garage, workshop, or some sheltered place outside your house. Also, wear a pair of gloves and long-sleeved clothing or overall. Whichever place you choose for the exercise, ensure you cover the floor and any nearby object with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting.

The cover protects these objects and the floor from sanding dust, sealing agents, and paint spills. You may also need to wear eye protection and a safety mask, depending on the sealers you will use. You need a workbench that is neither too rough nor too smooth to get the best sealing results before painting. Sanding ensures you achieve that kind of surface. Consider using medium grit sandpaper for the best results. You could use grit sandpaper or sanding block for more control.

For this part, consider wearing eye protection and a safety mask. Always start with the edges when working with a medium-density fiberboard. The edges are generally more porous and rougher than either side. As a result, they can take in an incredible amount of water or paint, causing irreparable damage if unsealed.

You will need to use a sealing agent to solidify and form an impenetrable coat on these edges before working on the two sides. Let us look at five of the available sealing options below. The edging tape, also called edge banding, is a thin strip of adhesive veneer that comes pre-glued on one side.

It is available in various sizes and types across different price ranges. All you have to do when sealing the edges of your MDF project with this material is cut the sheets into strips matching the width and length of your MDF edges. Ensure you leave a little bit of it going over the edge of the composite board. Place the matching MDF edging tape strip over the edge and apply heat. The easiest way to heat it and stimulate adhesion is to iron it onto the MDF. Ensure the household iron is on a medium heat setting and move it slowly over the sheet, applying gentle, even pressure.

Once done, carefully trim off the edges to eliminate the excess sheeting and overhang on each end. The sealed MDF panel can be sanded when dry. It is straightforward to seal the edges with PVA glue. You can apply the product with a synthetic brush or glue spreader. You can also spray it over the edge you want to seal with a sprayer. The latter method is best if you have the wood glue in a spray bottle. After applying, wait for the coat to dry, then lightly sand it down with medium-grit sandpaper.

So, watch out not to remove the layer you have applied with the sander. One of the best ways to seal the edges or flat surfaces of your MDF board is using thinned wood filler or putty. Use a putty knife to apply an even coat of filler on the edges to achieve a thin layer over the surface. Let the wood filler thoroughly for the amount of time the manufacturer has recommended, then sand it down to smooth the surface. Consider using a wood filler that is the same color as your MDF for the best results.

You can also decide to make your own wood filler. Sealing the edges with oil-based filling primers is another easy method. You can apply the product the same way as PVA glue—apply it using a synthetic fiber brush, or spray it on the edges with a sprayer. Leave the oil-based filling primer on the board to dry completely, then sand it down. You want to watch out not to sand the entire layer off, as that would beat the purpose of applying it in the first place.

The final method in our list involves using a combination of drywall compound and lacquer primer. As you may notice, this is a two-step process, so it is slightly longer than the first four. Start by rubbing the drywall compound evenly on the edges of your MDF workbench top and let it dry. Then, while applying the compound, wipe off the excess as you go to achieve an even coat. Once the surface has dried, scuff sand it just as you would with the previous methods discussed, then apply a lacquer primer.

You use a brush or roller to apply the primer or stick to what the manufacturer recommends. You may need to give the edge another extra sanding after applying the primer layer for the best results. Never use a water-based paint primer or a latex primer.

Now that you have finished sealing the edges of MDF using one of the methods discussed, it is time to seal both sides of the workbench top for a smooth finish. While MDF is available in varying sheens, it is still significantly porous on the surface and could absorb significant amounts of water and moisture. This porosity is the reason you need to seal it properly before painting.

Also, applying paint directly to an MDF board could cause adhesion problems due to the slick sheen of most MDF pieces. Your workbench top serves a lot of roles: it is your "flat" reference surface, it supports your work as you violently chop mortises, it acts as a big caul when gluing up case work, and it imparts most of the mass a workbench needs. Good hand tool workbench tops are traditionally glued up from numerous lengths of hard, dense wood.

This gives the bench the mass it needs, but guess what? Wood moves. A laminated top WILL go out of flat and you must periodically re-flatten it with a larger jointer plane and winding sticks. Typically, 2 or 3 times in the first half dozen years, until it settles down.

Can you say MDF? I cannot overstate the value of a workbench to a hand tool woodworker, nor can I overstate the effect it has on craftsmanship. I have worked on more types of benches and in more locations than I can remember. What I do remember are the absolute worst and the absolute best workbenches. The worst examples are the ones where you must chase the bench around as you plane because it has no mass; no weight.

Skinny wood tops sitting on what looks like the framework of a card table. I've tried to use a shooting board on a bench top so cupped the shooting board sags in the middle. Try chopping with a mallet and chisel on an out-of-flat benchtop where the bounce-back equals your malt strike! Now contrast that to a workbench with a dead flat top and that is too heavy to budge.

Your mallet strike feels like you are working on actual bedrock! Everything stays put. This is what my MDF and plywood workbench feels like. Now you are a new woodworker with limited skill, limited space, limited tools, limited clamps and worst of all, limited funds!

You long for a good work bench and here are your options: build, buy, or make-do. Option one, building your own custom traditional bench, is probably at the top of every woodworkers list. However, don't forget how we started this paragraph, you lack the skill to cut those massive dovetails, those through tenons and the rest of the multitude of processes that go into a dream bench. What you desperately need is a sturdy bench to start learning and improving those required skills.

Option two is to purchase and workbench. If you are lucky, you stumble across a gem of a used bench from an owner looking to find it a home. OK, time to wake up, the dream is over; you must go shopping for a bench. I have worked on too many commercial benches to ever steer underfunded folks in that direction. They look good from a distance but are lacking up close.

Please don't take one home, it "is" worse than nothing! Disappointment is waiting around the corner. Did I mention the terrible vices attached to these cardboard cutouts disguised as a workbench? Don't do it! I have one horror story to share here for your consideration. I use to buy 12 new Elite workbenches each summer to teach my Training the Hand workshops in southern Ontario.

At the end of the summer I would sell the benches and start the cycle again the following Spring. The last time I did this we only sold half the benches and ended up storing the other 6 for the winter in an unheated shop. By next Spring the benches had cracked, warped, and twisted like you might expect from a big hunk of glued up timber whose individual pieces had differing ideas on which way they wanted to expand. What a job fixing that mess, not for the faint of heart. Better make sure that shop garage stays toasty warm!

Option three is to "make-do". This involves using the end of your tablesaw, your fathers "workmate", the bedroom door spanning a few horses or the cobbled together collection of leftover 2 by 4's nailed to the garage wall. While great craftsman can work miracles with next to nothing, the rest of us need good shop implements to have a fighting chance. A handful of years ago just after the Sjoberg disaster I set out to build a better bench.

Could it be made with few tools, limited space, entry level skill and a small budget? Yes, it can! I have had several students of mine build one and the results have been stellar! These strips are cut to length, glued, and stapled in a Lego-like fashion to form the legs and stretchers.

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