MDF Workbench

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Build a workbench for a hobby room or workshop.

Step 1: MDF

Cut 2ft width pieces of MDF.

Step 2: Top Frame

Build a frame for the tabletop.

Step 3: Shelf Frame

Build a second frame to support a lower shelf.

Step 4: Legs

Attach legs to the top frame. The legs in the back extend higher for storage.

Step 5: Support Shelf

Attach support shelf frame.

Step 6: Cross Beam

Attach another beam to support the MDF top.

Step 7: Foot Pads

Staple faux leather to the feet to prevent scratching the floor with movement.

Step 8: Shelf

Attach the OSB lower shelf.

Step 9: Shelves

Build shelves into the frame.

Step 10: Peg Board

Attach peg board.

Step 11: More Shelf

Build more shelves using the same principles.

Step 12: Sizing MDF

Mix 50/50 solution of wood glue and water. Brush on the edges of the MDF to seal. You can apply multiple coats sanding with 220 grit between if desired.

Step 13: Shellac

Put a coat of shellac on the MDF top. It evaporates quickly helping to pre-seal the top, readying it for Polyurethane.

Step 14: Polyurethane

Coat with polyurethane. The first coat will be partially soaked up by the MDF. Sand and apply a second coat.

Step 15: Glossy Sealed Tops

Tops are sealed.

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    31 Discussions

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    suenteus

    5 months ago

    Nice use of MDF! I especially like the finishing work.

    One question: how did you attach the tabletop to the frame? And do you do any finishing on the frame? Normally when I find lumber for legs and such it tends to warp a bit..

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    djpolymathsuenteus

    Reply 5 months ago

    I actually didn't attach the tabletop to the frame. It sits snugly between the posts. I also didn't apply any finish to the frame. The workbench is in my apartment, so it is a quick rig until I get a larger space.

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    Eh Lie Us!RMikeS

    Reply 2 years ago

    No stupidity in asking. MDF is a good material for many purposes including carving. It's like a compressed cardboard. Head to your hardware shop to check it out. HomeDepot has it in full 4x8 sheets and smaller pieces too. two draw backs: its heavy as fugdebars and when you cut it, it creates a superfine dust that just suspends in the air and gets into everything. ive breathed in so much of that stuff i cough up miniature coffee tables.

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    RichardeMEh Lie Us!

    Reply 2 years ago

    Then you should wear a mask!!!

    Not the best example to set. :-(

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    Eh Lie Us!RichardeM

    Reply 2 years ago

    Indeed. I used to work more with MDF and just took the dust as part of the job. Very different now. I work more like a safety nerd. Ears, eyes and nose!

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    RMikeSEh Lie Us!

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you much. I'll make sure to have my son give me a hand with handling. I think if I cut it outdoors that should help with the dust problem. I just need a simple bench with out extensions or corner pieces, so I won't have to worry about coughing up mini furniture. ;)

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    MarkP800Eh Lie Us!

    Reply 2 years ago

    That dust really does get everywhere! It can be nasty stuff though, so I'd recommend anyone working with it to consider wearing a dust mask :)

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    RMikeSMarkP800

    Reply 2 years ago

    I'll keep that in mind when making my own. I'll probably do my cutting outside.

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    cbowlin99RMikeS

    Reply 2 years ago

    Medium density fiberboard. A better grade of particle board really. When you look at it, the particles are smaller than regular particle board. You can also buy it precovered with a laminate product, usually white or wood grain.

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    RMikeScbowlin99

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you. I can see why it was used. I am in need of a work bench myself. :)

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    rblubaugh

    1 year ago

    I liked the simplicity of the design and especially the finish on the MDF. I'm wanting to make a hobby workbench for building radio control model boats and aircraft, the stability of MDF is ideal for such projects and sealing it to keep possible glue off of it is even better. Thanks for the idaes.

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    47miky

    2 years ago

    This items' instruction is incomplete. You have no sizes and tool information on here. What size MDF is used - 1/2" or 5/8" or what? What size boards for the legs and frames? What tools did you use to make the cuts and what did you use to sand with or did you? What about the size of the workbench other than 2' wide? What about the height? I'd love to make this for my craftroom but you have it soooo simple that there's no way to know what to use to make this. And as one of the others stated if you don't know MDF stands for 'medium density fiberboard'. And yes it's heavy no matter how thick it is. Home Depot sells it in different sizes besides different thicknesses. Also what size is the pegboard? And what tools do you need and things like screws or nails?

    1 reply
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    djpolymath47miky

    Reply 2 years ago

    This instructable gives you the freedom to make a bench to whatever size is most ergonomically efficient to you. You can also use whatever tools you have on hand. If you want to cut your 2x4s with a steak knife, go ahead, but I'm sure you can think of more efficient methods. If you are having trouble with terminology, here or anywhere else on the web, I suggest using the following: www.google.com

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    Johnyv33

    2 years ago

    Thank you

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    JohnE12

    2 years ago

    Great project, and so simple. Thank you.

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    permutation-jim

    2 years ago

    Really like the simple/super effective use of the materials!

    One tip, using real leather instead of faux leather has a huge advantage... faux leather (and other synthetics) can bond with the sealant in many floors, leaving a permanent mark when moved/removed. You can usually find an old leather coat or vest at a charity shop for just a few bucks as a donor (using strips from one to fix three pairs of hiking boots right now!).