LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

Outfeed table out of MDF or Plywood?

15959 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  MT_Stringer
I just pruchased a Grizzly 1023SL table saw and I am going to build a outfeed table for it. I like the simplicity and the design of the one featured by the Wood Whisperer.

He used 3/4" plywood but I was wondering if 3/4" MDF would be just as good. The reason I am considering MDF is that it is a bit cheaper than the nice cabinet grade plywood which is what I would build my outfeed table out of.

I'm just not sure if MDF is as strong as plywood….. Is it just as strong or maybe even strong in this application?

While we are at it, what are some of the pro's and cons of MDF vs. Plywood?
-pockethole joinery in both?
-strength as a table top?
-span abilities?
-some more?????

Thanks guys for your help!
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
A plus I could see for MDF is it is very slick…easy to slide stuff across as a catch table….a minus is it is VERY heavy…and does not hold screws well…so if you ever plan on adding things to your catch table and using it as a work table also….you would have to back it up. Also once you put a bad scratch in it…it does not have the same "Slick feel" it had before once it is sanded.

Mine is a simple design…just 4×4's and plywood on casters (See shop pics)....but I have a 1/4" piece of hard board screwed to the top to make it slick as a catch table. The hard board also serves to protect the table as a sacrificial top that is easy to replace when it gets to worn out.
I have always used MDF, sprayed with a few coats of Lacquer, then rubbed with furniture polish. You'd be suprised at how well this works, besides saving you a load of cash. The only thing is you need to build a good sturdy frame for it. Have fun with your new toy.

I have a folded ping pong table. If I get bored with woodworking I can drop the blade move the fence and play.
I actually think that in this case, MDF might be a better fit - as it's slicker ( esp. if you finish it with 2-3 coats of poly - it's super smooth and resistant), and is more uniformed than cabinet grade plywood. MDF is strong enough for that purpose at that size.
Charlie just posted one thats great
I used mdf for mine, no finish and it works great, very slick and i made mine so I can flip the top when it gets damaged. So far no marks from running the stock over from the saw.
I built mine using 1×4 framework with 3/4×15 3/4×36 white melamine from HD. Each piece sits on a 3/4 inch runner inside the frame work and since its fairly heavy you would not have to worry about it moving around. Mine is 3 pieces wide gives you a total width of 50 in x 37.5 in depth behind the talbe top. If it gets
marked up you can just flip that section over, and its water resistance.
MDF would work well. The corners are a bit fragile, I like to trim the edges w/ at least pine. It is very heavy so support it well.
MDF is less subject to twisting, bowing (if supported right) then plywood but its heavy to the point of just so &%$#$ heavy.

Plywood is light, easy on the back, less calories burned moving it so if you move your equipment often its certainly worth it at my age : ) and would follow the same procedure below

If you dont move your tools around a lot, MDF would win my vote for the simple reason that its much more stable, stays flat, which is critical in fine woodworking but I would laminate plastic laminate to both sides which reduces drag/friction which in turn negates the concept of saving money : ((
Mine is just like bamaboy's. Melamine is great for this as it is super slick.
no matter which you pick, if you build as per wood whisperers plans, both plywood and/or MDF will continue working well,……… long after you are dead.

I prefer to keep my money in the form of "profit" as the older I get the more I realize that what goes into an outfeed table, isnt even close to the value of what can come off it but some people are and will remain convinced that there is some one to blame for their yet unlearned skills at finding zero excuses to build anything yet have an opinion on whats right and whats wrong and that is the joy of

In the end its all about value, and we all measure value to our own agenda, thus the beauty of democracy and the hypocrisy of a majority
solutions pmayer are rare, and yet another good choice
Thanks for the replies everyone. Sorry to inform you but this thread was started about 3 or so years ago ;).

Here is my bench though!

I used Aruco ply and regretted it because I can't keep it flat. My outfeed doubles as any assembly table and, of course, I want it flat. I would use mdf or baltic birch ply. Either will stay flat. Balitic birch is nicer looking.
Here is mine- 1 3/4" solid core door with Formica top. Works great!
Guess I was a little too late. It's all bamaboy's fault! :)
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.