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Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

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Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

Old 06-20-2010, 09:35 PM
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fheppenheimer
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Default Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

I just put together a work table using a slab of medium density fiber board (MDF). I'd like to fuel proof the surface, any ideas?
Old 06-20-2010, 09:44 PM
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Dsegal
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

Why would you need to fuelproof a workbench? I would never allow fuel anywhere near it.
Old 06-20-2010, 10:46 PM
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Tarasdad
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

The best way would be to use a fuelproof paint, such as those made for model airplanes, or epoxy paints made for sealing garage floors and driveways.
Old 06-21-2010, 06:49 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

Polyurethane.
Old 06-21-2010, 07:36 AM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

put a coat of west systems epoxy on it
Old 06-21-2010, 12:14 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

When I'm working on engines I use paper towels, my building board is just pine. If I was to try to use something to fuel proof it then it would be harder to push in pins.
Old 06-21-2010, 12:30 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

For what it's worth, if anyone is building a new table and looking for a good top, I use Melamine from Home Depot. This is particle board with a white, eggshell type finish.

The white top has a nice, clean look to it and it is impervious to any chemicals I have used on it so far (But it doesn't resist razor blades and you can't stick pins into it).

A 4x8 sheet will run about $35, but the coating is on top and bottom, so even after a few years of wear and tear, you can just flip it over and have a new top.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:39 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

I really like the Minwax wipe-on polyurethane. I've used it on MDF and even regular particle board benches with great results.

http://www.minwax.com/products/oil_b...e_on_poly.html

I use an old, soft t-shirt to apply it, rubbing in circles sort of like waxing a car. Once it is dry, hit it lightly with some 400 wet/dry sandpaper, wipe with a tack cloth and apply another coat. I do this for at least 4 coats, sometimes as many as 10. It takes a while but the finish builds slowly and is very smooth. The stuff is extremely durable too. I used it on our dining table and it should have been chipped or scratched a number of times but the poly holds up.
Old 06-27-2010, 12:08 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

A coat of polyurethene varnish can be quickly applied with a rag to fuelproof and allow wiping clean. Destroy rag afterwards to avoid spontaneous combustion. Otherwise use water based varnish brushed on for a quick finish. A wood colour looks nice too. Use on jigs etc to make them look different to raw timber and save them for future use.

Several pieces of plasterboard ( I think its called Sheetrock in USA ) of various sizes for wings , tailplane/ small wings etc make good building boards. You could also cover the whole table with it too. It's very cheap and takes pins easily, also takes small screws to hold down spars etc. You could cover the plasterboard with lining paper ( just like wallpapering ) and draw direct onto this if you want.
Old 06-27-2010, 09:04 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)


ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

For what it's worth, if anyone is building a new table and looking for a good top, I use Melamine from Home Depot. This is particle board with a white, eggshell type finish.

The white top has a nice, clean look to it and it is impervious to any chemicals I have used on it so far (But it doesn't resist razor blades and you can't stick pins into it).

A 4x8 sheet will run about $35, but the coating is on top and bottom, so even after a few years of wear and tear, you can just flip it over and have a new top.
Melamine X2! Its the shiznic..

Old 12-15-2010, 11:25 AM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

I'm glad to find this thread without starting a new one. I have been wanting to tell what I discovered for some time.
I built a work table using a MDF top. Initially I used regular grey paint to cover the table.
We just moved into a new house, my shop is in part of the basement, and one of the first things we did was paint the floor with epoxy paint. I noticed after it set up that the paint is super hard. I tried scraping up a large drop that had dripped while painting, and it was as hard a concrete, I could not chip it off. Which started me thinking

Later We painted our garage floor and used an even higher quality garage paint. (if higher cost mean higher quality) After finishing the garage I had some paint left over and it hadn't set, so I took it down and painted my work table. (I painted over the regular paint, by the way) It turned out to be the exact same color as the paint I had used, so there is no break from the top and the legs.

After it had well cured I began working on my Ultra Sport. I have spilled CA and epoxy on the table at different times. I noticed after the glue hardened, and I actually took my exacto knife and scraped the glue off leaving no marks on the table. I have scraped hard metal objects across the table, and a wipe from a cloth and there are no scratches on the paint.

Of course, I can't advocate spending $60 to $70 for a gallon of paint for your shop table, but if you are painting a floor, it is a great place to use the leftover.
Someone should sell it in pint sizes.

Believe me, the two part Garage epoy paint is HARD. I'm sure I will find a way to mess it up eventually, but had I not used it my table would be a mess already.
And, No you can't push pins through it, but I use a balsa building board anyway. Another good building board I have used before is a large sheet of glass. Put your plans under the glass, tack the pieces on the glass with CA, and you can easily pop it back off when finished.

If anyone does use this, one more thing. The working life of the Epoxy paint is an hour. I was on about minute 45 when I painted my table top so it may have been a bit thick. It's not super smooth, like the garage, but left an "orange peel" type finish. That's really not a problem, and even kind of adds character to the table.

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Old 12-15-2010, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proof surface for work table (MDF)

I know this is an old thread, but I have a 24X72 table with fold out legs that I take to the field. I left it out side one night and it got rained on. The next day in the sun, most of the wood grain looking stuff on the top started pealing up. I had a 4x8 piece of 1/8" Melamine in the shop, so I glued it on the top, trimmed and sanded the edges. Looks great, totally fuel proof and cleans up great with carb cleaner.

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