Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Making tool table surfaces from MDF
I need a table saw and had plans to get one earlier in the year, but life happened and plans changed. I currently cannot afford the Craftsman 21833 I was eyeballing. Also been watching Craigslist for a deal but all I've seen is overpriced junk.
However, I need/want a saw so badly that I took the old jobsite saw I had and disassembled it completely, with plans to spend about $100 and build a new, larger table and cabinet, patterned after the appearance of contractor saws, using MDF for the sides and the surface and also make a clamp down fence from the same materials. I am/was going to mount the old motor and all the controls and adjustments to the new table. Since I was going this route I was also going to make a dust collecting area below the saw with a vacuum hose port. I even have a plan for how to make the splayed leg design of other new and modern contractor saws. I even thought I might add a wing for a router table and share the fence with it.
My question is, with just a purely MDF surface, how long will this last before beginning to show signs of surface wear? It won't help to do this unless the surface remains smooth and slick, and also flat.
Finally, let me say I know it's a wild idea, and I may be better off just skipping it, but I need a saw to work with now and the way mine was set up just wasn't working. I feel that with the plastic, light weight cabinet it was in, and the poor, rickety sheet metal leg stand it was mounted to, and also the crappy fence that would not stay tight or square on the table, I was getting poor quality cuts even for a jobsite saw.
My plan is to make this much heavier cabinet, get a Freud Diablo 10" rip blade, and have a much more stable saw with a lot less vibration, and have a larger work surface (32" x 32" so it fits out the door if needed, 32" x 48" if I add the router wing). If it doesn't work as well as I wanted, I can sell it for the little money invested. As the saw was though, I don't feel it was worth even $50 so at the risk of losing that resale value I'm willing to try this idea. It will be at least worth what I spend when finished. I've also thought of using a laminate top but the local Lowe's sells sheets of laminate for countertops at nearly $100 alone.
Last edited by Duane Bledsoe; 11-09-2013 at 08:14 AM.