How to build flat infeed outfeed tables?
OK, I'm getting close to starting the multifunction station wall units for the shop. For background, this will be 2 cabinets, each 121" long and 21" to 23" deep. The in/outfeed tables at the front of the cabinets will be 13" deep, then a 4" or so bump up for a built in fence with T-track embedded into it for stop blocks and tie downs, and 8" to 10" surface back to the wall. (I have a 6" DC pipe that comes down the wall and goes into the cabinet to port the many different tools that will reside in the 3 1/2' gap between the benches.)
Will a double layer of 3/4" MDF with a skirt on the outside edge, and a 3/4" MDF stiffner daddoed and glued to the middle stay flat enough? Or should I build a torsion box with 3/4" MDF on the skins, and 1/2" MDF as the internal structure? Can I get away with painting the underside and back edges to seal it, or will I need to use laminate surface on all edges to keep it from moving? I'm leaning toward the torsion box design as I think it will solve some of my design problems for how to brace and adjust the top to keep it flat. (Like virtually eliminate the need for it) My cabinet structure will be 3/4" plywood panels cut to the profile of the bench shape (front to back) with 2X4 material daddoed to form a frame around the plywood. Kind of like a wood I-beam is constructed, only enclosing the ends as well. (I've used this to build platforms in the van to raise dog crates up off the floor for storage with great success. Strong and lighter weight than anything else I could come up with.) I will use doubled 3/4" plywood to join these individual frames and give a relatively flat surface for the top to sit on. If I were to use the doubled thickness MDF, I'd want some sort of screw adjustable leveling method that starts to get real complicated, but can be done.
So, any ideas? What have you used that has stayed flat over the years?
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