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Material for flip top tool stand

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Forum topic by MAAD17 posted 06-04-2021 08:04 PM 566 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MAAD17

8 posts in 1546 days


06-04-2021 08:04 PM

I’m looking to make 1 or 2 flip-top tool stands for my small garage workshop this weekend. But with the current prices of lumber and plywood, I’ve been looking at alternative materials.

I have a few sheets of 1/2 & 3/4 MDF and melamine and a sheet each of 1/2 & 3/4 Baltic birch (not enough to make even one stand with the plans I’ll be using). Right now, the prices of MDF and melamine sheets have remained reasonable so I can replenish these sheets easily.

Would the melamine be a bad idea? The first stand would be for my oscillating belt/spindle sander (around 27lbs, I believe) and an MDF 27×17 downdraft box that I’m currently building. The second, if I decide to make a second one, would be for a portable 13” planer and portable jointer.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.


15 replies so far

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therealSteveN

8267 posts in 1739 days


#1 posted 06-04-2021 10:47 PM

I bought a Ridgid flip top stand years ago, it has served under a LOT of really adverse conditions, including more falls, and collisions with hard objects than I could count.

I don’t think it would still be the same with an MDF top. IIRC it’s a Phenolic material, but I haven’t been able to break or destroy it.

If you go with MDF, just prepare to replace it, possibly often.

-- Think safe, be safe

View metolius's profile

metolius

430 posts in 1895 days


#2 posted 06-05-2021 12:25 AM

Heh, I think the OP has a flipping cart in mind.

I see too much risk where the mechanics will fight with the material where MDF or partical melamine would lose.
My vote would be 2-sided MDO.

-- derek / oregon

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1954 posts in 892 days


#3 posted 06-05-2021 12:55 AM

I would use some 3/4” cabinet grade plywood.
(Shop grade birch or maple.)

The extra cost for a superior product is worth way more than building something inferior.

That said any material you use is OK, if you build it right for the material you’re using.

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therealSteveN

8267 posts in 1739 days


#4 posted 06-05-2021 07:12 AM

Yeah, my bad. No to MDF for sure on a weight bearing bench type apparatus you plan to flip, with heavy tools strapped to it. I’m not sure I think primo plywood is needed, I’d probably use CDX for cost efficiency. Plenty sound, just not as slick looking. Paint fixes a lot of that.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3324 posts in 1768 days


#5 posted 06-05-2021 07:31 AM

I just made 2 of them a few weeks ago. 3/4 melamine and even 3/4 mdf should be ok depending on how you screw the panels together but plywood would be best. Even cheap plywood. I think melamine is more like particle board on the inside.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Lazyman

7446 posts in 2552 days


#6 posted 06-05-2021 12:10 PM

I made a drill press stand a few years ago from an old particle board and laminate desk a few years ago. You can sometimes find them for free and is a pretty durable material for shop funiture.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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LeeRoyMan

1954 posts in 892 days


#7 posted 06-05-2021 03:31 PM

I d probably use CDX for cost efficiency.

- therealSteveN

How much do you think you would be saving?

I just got quoted 3/4” Shop birch 58.00 a sheet (albeit import material.)

Domestic was 101.00 but, import would be fine for a filp cart IMO, and much cleaner to work with that the splintered up crappy warped CDX.

What does 3/4” CDX go for?

Each their own though.

View MAAD17's profile

MAAD17

8 posts in 1546 days


#8 posted 06-05-2021 04:30 PM

Yes, I was talking about a flipping cart. Sorry, I should have been more clear.

Yeah, I figured the mdf wouldn’t be a great choice, especially since I wouldn’t want to seal the entire thing. And my melamine does have a particle board core but I was hoping someone had a good experience using it for a similar situation.

Right now, where I am, 3/4 melamine sheets run about $32, mdf about $35, and the cheapest, most standard plywood from the big box stores goes for about $60+. Even OSB is $87. I couldn’t find any CDX locally but I think it might be around this price range too. I’m going to my local lumber yard later today and see what they have.

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. It’s very appreciated.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3324 posts in 1768 days


#9 posted 06-05-2021 07:38 PM

Like I said, I made 2 in the last month. The first one I used big box plywood. For the second one I stopped by our local Seattle “reclaimed” construction supplier and bought 2 sheets of laminated 3/4” plywood for $10.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

3324 posts in 1768 days


#10 posted 06-05-2021 07:46 PM

Like I said, I made 2 in the last month. The first one I used big box plywood. For the second one I stopped by our local Seattle reclaimed construction material supplier.
There may be a similar place like that near you.

They didn’t have it when I built mine but I’m sure the laminated particle board would work just fine and look might slick dressed all in black. :-)

I’m thinking that the 3/4” melamine would probably work just fine. I’d use 2 1/2 or 3” screws making sure you are driving them straight and into the middle of the meat on the board with maybe a washer on the outside to help with stability and adding glue won’t hurt especially if you have a tool like a router that would allow you to just skim off the melamine outer layer.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

3324 posts in 1768 days


#11 posted 06-06-2021 08:52 PM

One last note…Just realized that my laminated plywood is actually laminated particle board so it’s just brown melamine so you should be fine.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1361 posts in 1076 days


#12 posted 06-06-2021 09:10 PM

A friend of mine just made a just made a flip-top cart for his two bench grinders. He used a combination of MDF, melamine and pine 1×3 boards with casters. turned out rather nice and sturdy. He doubled the sides for strength, to use a 1/2” bolt as a pivot point, and a 5/16” bolt for a lock after flipping the bench from one side to another. Similar to this one https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pc77_6oCUww/hqdefault.jpg. If you need ideas, check out ‘bing images’.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

6092 posts in 4408 days


#13 posted 06-08-2021 05:46 PM

There is no reason for not using MDF as long as it is kept away from moisture by sealing the edges. There is so much MDF used in everyday products that we use without problems. Furniture is probably 90% MDF these days, even expensive furniture. It’s just a matter of knowing the limitations of the materials you are working with and take precautions as needed. Sure plywood is the better material, but the reason MDF, particle board and chip board was developed was to replace plywood as a more affordable product with limitations. As Metolius (post #2) said, 2-sided MDO would be my go to material for that and many other projects, but it is expensive. I have used it in the past with very good results. It is my #1 choice for shop furniture.

View MAAD17's profile

MAAD17

8 posts in 1546 days


#14 posted 06-23-2021 04:27 AM

I want the thank everyone for the input. I’ve decided to save the melamine for other projects. Ended up finding Birch plywood for roughly the price LeeRoyMan mentioned he had been quoted. Needed just over a sheet to build one but ended up just buying 3 sheets to build the pair.

The melamine sheet will likely go toward making a cabinet/stand for my benchtop drill press.

The MDF will be going to my table saw sleds, downdraft box, and drill press table.

Again, thank you all for the suggestions and different views.

View yamato72's profile

yamato72

16 posts in 120 days


#15 posted 06-23-2021 02:45 PM

I use 3/4” MDF for the carcasses of all my shop carts (up to 5 now) and find that it works great for that purpose. Seal it with poly if you are worried about moisture. I put plastic laminate on any top surfaces that will be worked on.

I make the face frames from hardwood and on this cart, needed to offset the “flip” part so I used laminated BB on the sides.

A good DC system really helps with MDF though….

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