Advice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

CNC artistic applications including but not limited to sculptures, engrave, 3d puzzle, cardboard furniture, planes, models
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HolyMoses
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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:46 pm

Advice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

Postby HolyMoses » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:14 am

What's the advantage of using MDF over plywood? I have noticed that most people use MDF though i think that due to inherent moisture problems with MDF using plywood (which is stronger) would be the better option.
I would like to know which material should i use to build my router table. I could construct in aluminum, without a mill, though i don't know whether i should start by a metal build.
The machine will be for engraving, supporting electric guitars, tube amp parts, and need the ability to machine small aluminum/metal parts.
Please help me by listing down the pro's and cons using metal vs mdf/plywood?
I will greatly appreciate your help.

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AlmightyJackal9735
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:33 pm

Re: Adice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

Postby AlmightyJackal9735 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:28 am

Obviously metal will be much more expensive and will give you a more rigid table at the end.
However the disadvantage that comes with using this approach is that metal will require different tools to work many of which are not likely to be available to most people.
Some people will prefer working with wood coz of the budget and experience the have working on it. As for me, with all factors equal, i would build from metal.

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Noob
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Re: Adice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

Postby Noob » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:57 am

My take here is that both mdf and plywood will react to their atmosphere (humidity). For this reason, inorder to be stable both of them must be sealed. Plywood bows/warps while mdf flares it edges.
Plywood is much stronger ( compressible and tensile) than mdf and this reason why no boats are made of mdf despite it being waterproof and more rigid.
One common plywood sealing method is low viscosity epoxies. With mdf one has to be very careful not to overapply and therefore saturate the material. Plywood is less porous than mdf.
Mdf is effectively flat on it's surfaces but even the very best of plywood is not.
Though plywood may weigh around 25% less than an equivalant quantity of mdf, heavier doesn't mean stronger in this particular case.
In conclusion plywood is a great product which outperforms most other materials on a pound-for-pound basis.

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Looker
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Re: Advice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

Postby Looker » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:25 pm

I completely agree with Noob. And by the way your explanation up there is awesome..

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Looker
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Re: Advice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

Postby Looker » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:39 pm

Here is plywood
ply.PNG
ply.PNG (45.68 KiB) Viewed 1130 times

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Looker
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Re: Advice me on MDF vs Plywood and metal vs wood Router table

Postby Looker » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:43 pm

Here is mdf
mdf.PNG
mdf.PNG (105.07 KiB) Viewed 1130 times


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