Author Topic: finishing an mft top  (Read 639 times)

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Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 75
finishing an mft top
« on: November 20, 2020, 08:14 AM »
I have seen threads on how people finished their MFT tops. My question is did it really make any difference in the operation or the longevity of the top? Was it just for aesthetics? Did you find any one product worked better than another? What are the pitfalls if any of a finished top? A lot of fo questions sorry for that but thanks to all who have any insight and reply, in advance!
I want to populate SD with trees becasue I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

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Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 350
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 08:24 AM »
I did a 4x8 top, over a Paulk style bench.  After drilling the ~ 300 holes, I thought I should try to protect the top a little bit.  I put on a couple coats of Varathane poly.  Looks fine and feels ok but.... Now everything I put on the table kind of slides around more than I would like.  I have a piece of 1" foam insulation I use when breaking down a lot of plywood and its slides even worse.  I guess it depends on how you use your table but in my case, I kinda wish I had not done it.

Offline Grev

  • Posts: 161
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Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 09:50 AM »
I use Howard's Feed and Wax for all my tops.  You can find it online or probably at your local ACE Hardware store.  This was a good find .. goes on easy and protects the MDF tops.  I found a new coat every now and then will easily remove pencil marks (like an eraser) I make from different layouts.  It's cheap and worth trying.

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 173
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 09:55 AM »
I have birch ply bench tops that are 'MFT' styled. These I finished with a couple of coats of matt hard wax oil (Fiddes). Looks nice and havent had any 'sliding' issues. I'm often dragging bench top machines into position and the HWO really helps keep the surface good. I did have to ream out the holes after applying the HWO.

I also have a conventional worktable (birch ply again) that gets used more like an MFT. I consider the top to be sacrificial (although I dont cut through to it) and havent treated that one. It marks easily although also looks 'work like'.

The coated tops do withstand spillages of stain, paint, varnish and glue with mostly just wiping off without a mark left behind. Not so for the untreated one!
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 75
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 10:21 AM »
Slipping is my big concern. I can live with some staining on the mdf. Thanks, everyone!
I want to populate SD with trees becasue I miss the forests of the river bottoms.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4063
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 11:03 AM »
I've used Osmo PolyX on mine.  As with other products, it's important to coat the entire top (top, bottom, sides, and the 20mm holes).  This keeps things like humidity from warping the top.  One caveat with PolyX is to wipe the product down into the holes, but know that this will diminish the hole dimensions somewhat, making dogs really tight going in and coming out.  I used a 20mm drill bit to ream out the holes in one of my tops, but found that this over-enlarged the roles.  Next time, I'll use a 20mm hand-held reamer to do the job.  I suspect that it will reduce the over-cut.  I've not experienced any new slipperiness.
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6867
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2020, 11:03 AM »
  After drilling the ~ 300 holes, I thought I should try to protect the top a little bit.  ....  I guess it depends on how you use your table but in my case, I kinda wish I had not done it.

Can't you sand it?

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 350
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2020, 12:21 PM »
Can't you sand it?
Of course.  I was just pointing there may be at least one pit fall, at least in my case.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2485
Re: finishing an mft top
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2020, 05:53 PM »
I also use Howards Feed and Wax on my tops