View Full Version : 1010123 Support Board - material selection (MDF, plywood, other . .)

Sun 27 May 2007, 12:06
The base board for the mechmate, to which you bolt the cross member bars onto, how thick should I go, and Should I use something else than particalboard.??? Perhaps, plywood or MDF..???

I have on hand at low cost some 26mm partical board that I can get a hold of, but Would have gone for something called construction plates, the plates you put in the bottom af trailers, cause it's waterproof... And thus don't take on moist...

Gerald D
Sun 27 May 2007, 12:45
Hi Kim

The drawing mentions MDF or Plywood, and from the screw hole dimensions, it is about 30mm thick. My experience is only with 30mm MDF, but I know that most ShopBotters use plywood. There are a lot of discussions at the ShopBot forum about using stronger materials, plastic, aluminium, steel because of movement problems, but I believe they have the problems because their cross-supports (equiv. 1010302) were far too weak.

The MechMate has strong cross-supports (but you tipped yours flat?) and so we can use a fairly weak material. I suggest that you use the 26mm particle board as the support board, but that you glue about a 20mm spoil board to that. The spoil board needs replacing as it wears away, but it does assist in stiffening the support board when it is quite thick.

I don't think the moisture is a problem if you have strong cross-supports.

The top of the table needs to be cleaned easily, and I believe a worn particle board will be difficult to clean. Worn MDF is still fairly smooth. I mention this now because you are probably going to choose MDF as the spoil board, and might just decide to do your board shopping once only. :)

Sun 27 May 2007, 13:53
Thx for the description gerald... I have at hand som 26mm particle board as I said, then I can glue a 19mm MDF bord on the top of that...