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Plywood tops and dog holes

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  • Plywood tops and dog holes

    For the those of you with 2 layers of ply for work tops; if you have dog holes...
    - how do they hold up?
    - how do they grip holdfasts?
    - are you using vc or pc ply?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

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  • #2

    Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

    I used 3 layers of MDF with a 1/4" hardboard sacrificial top, I drilled dogholes through all 4 layers and they have stood up very well for I believe 15 years since I built the bench, although they don't get very heavy use. I replaced the 1/4" top once in that time.
    I made my dogs from 3/4" wood rod and put a "ring" of tubing I had around the top of the dogs so they would not slip through the top of the bench.
    Good luck with your Bench.
    Cheers,

    Tim
    Makes for a heavy bench that doesn't move around when being used.
    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by big tim; 09-22-2021, 09:34 PM.

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    • #3

      Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

      Thanks for that pic, Big Tim.

      You've restored my faith in the idea of (possibly using) MDF for a bench's top.

      But I have a few questions -
      - how well are the dog holes holding up
      (even with 3 layers)
      - how did you attach the top to the base
      (what's holding everything in place)
      - did you glue and screw the 3 layers of MDF
      - how did you attach the hardboard sacrificial top for it to be removable

      Thanks!

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      • #4

        Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

        Like Big Tim above I had a workbench with a top made of 3 layers of 3/4 inch MDF glued together, but no hardboard top. The resultant top was held in place by the maple skirting, and a few (4 I believe) screws driven through from the base below. The 3/4 ´´ holes drilled for the use of dogs had their perimeter rounded over using a small router bit, these holes showed no sign of degradation after 18 years of use with some LV bench dogs and some home made from 3/4 dowels, never used holdfasts so cannot comment on them. Roy
        Are you solving the problem, or becoming part of it?

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        • #5

          Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

          Originally posted by Howard In Toronto View Post
          Thanks for that pic, Big Tim.

          You've restored my faith in the idea of (possibly using) MDF for a bench's top.

          But I have a few questions -
          - how well are the dog holes holding up
          (even with 3 layers)
          - how did you attach the top to the base
          (what's holding everything in place)
          - did you glue and screw the 3 layers of MDF
          - how did you attach the hardboard sacrificial top for it to be removable

          Thanks!
          I'll go and look for some pictures of building the bench. I do know that it is at least 15 years old.
          I will get back once I've found the pictures.
          Thanks,

          Tim

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          • #6

            Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

            Thanks Big Tim. I'd really appreciate that.

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            • #7

              Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

              Thanks for your info Roy in Thunder Bay.

              Another question for you - does the maple skirt surround the MDF top? And where/how did you screw into the MDF?

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              • #8

                Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

                Howard… the maple skirting was cut from some 2x4 material I had available, cut and used ´on-edge ´. Mitered the corners, rounded the top outer edge, then fastened to the 60x30 inch MDF top with long wood screws (3 or 4 inch as I recall). I also cut some biscuit slots in the maple and MDF to get a decent alignment, as the maple was not as straight as the MDF! No glue was used, but I never saw any instance of material movement. The MDF top was made of 2 layers of 3/4 in. glued together, with a third (top) layer attached with screws from below, the skirting was attached with screws to the middle MDF layer. These screws were countersunk into the maple enough that I could fill the holes with some maple to help the visual appearance! Roy
                Are you solving the problem, or becoming part of it?

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Plywood tops and dog holes

                  Originally posted by Howard In Toronto View Post
                  Thanks for that pic, Big Tim.

                  You've restored my faith in the idea of (possibly using) MDF for a bench's top.

                  But I have a few questions -
                  - how well are the dog holes holding up
                  (even with 3 layers)
                  - how did you attach the top to the base
                  (what's holding everything in place)
                  - did you glue and screw the 3 layers of MDF
                  - how did you attach the hardboard sacrificial top for it to be removable

                  Thanks!
                  Sorry I took so long to get back to your questions. Something came up!
                  Anyway I can answer 3 of your questions:
                  I checked back and the bench is at least 20 years old, I have replaced the 1/4" top layer once and it is fastened with just some
                  squirts of glue going back and forth across the top while squeezing the bottle.
                  You will have to do some cleaning up on the layer below before putting the new top on and so far the dog holes are holding up fine.
                  The 3/4" layers are glued together, no screws.
                  The whole top is removable and is held to the base with wooden clips.
                  Difficult to explain but I will try to take some pictures. and post them later.
                  In the mean time, the following link might help to explain things. There are some more pictures as well.
                  Hopefully I am allowed to link to another forum. If not, moderators please remove the link.
                  https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...-the-benchlift.
                  I made my own "dogs" using 3/4" dowels, stored in the legs as you will see in the pictures.
                  To prevent them from falling through the dog holes, I put a sleeve, made from some tubing, around the top end.
                  By all means ask if you have anymore questions.
                  Cheers.

                  Tim

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