What's the best way to seal MDF? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default What's the best way to seal MDF?

Besides laminating with Formica, what is the best way to seal MDF with the purpose of using it as a router tabletop? I'm in North Carolina where it gets quite humid in summer, and I only have easy access to 'normal' MDF, not any particularly moisture-resistant version.

Thanks so much! MM
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 03:01 PM
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Besides laminating with Formica, what is the best way to seal MDF with the purpose of using it as a router tabletop? I'm in North Carolina where it gets quite humid in summer, and I only have easy access to 'normal' MDF, not any particularly moisture-resistant version.

Thanks so much! MM
A couple coats of paint on the open ends or polyurethane. I prefer the latter.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 05:39 PM
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Any wipe on oil will work. I have used shellac, poly and tung oil. MDF will drink up quite a bit.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:44 AM
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Sealing is one thing. Surface hardness is another matter. I guess I wonder why you would not wish to use Formica for your router table surface. I used a router table for 25 years with a formica top with little wear. I suspect a top of MDF only would not last as long.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 11:19 AM
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Formica protects against severe dings from impacts too.
I don't baby my tools, I'm wicked careful with heavy and or sharp objects, yet I know, (from past events) due to a small/crowded shop I'd have a number of divits in the table top without the formica.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, so far.

I realize that Formica has some protective features. However, I have to get out of my way to obtain some of it. At this point, I want to get a working router table in an uncomplicated fashion and use it while I think about the next version. In addition, I was interested in that question in general, because I'd like to seal some jigs made with MDF.

Thanks again. MM
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 03:04 PM
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Hi Mischa,

I have found Poly to work well for my needs in that area. Usually I have some sitting on the shelf that is getting old so it is a good excuse to use it up before buying a fresh can
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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I have had good luck with "Watco" oil. Any shade will do.

Admittedly, it is not as resistant to "dings" as laminate, but is a heckuvalot cheaper. A couple coats left to properly dry, followed by an application of paste (Johnson's) wax gives a slick surface.

This method also works well for workbench tops. Any dribbles of glue or finish is easy to scrape off.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xvimbi View Post
Besides laminating with Formica, what is the best way to seal MDF with the purpose of using it as a router tabletop? I'm in North Carolina where it gets quite humid in summer, and I only have easy access to 'normal' MDF, not any particularly moisture-resistant version.

Thanks so much! MM
You've just asked a "What company makes the best car" kind of question.

In essence you want to control the rate of moisture absorbtion from the air. As in wood finishing where some prefer wax, some oil, some poly, here some prefer laminate, some hardwood, some wax, some poly, some shellac and others. Any will work. Some are less $$, some require more or less maintenance, and (a big) part is what looks best to you. It's *your*table.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 08:02 PM
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Try boiled linseed oil it works great.. thats what I use,,

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