MDF and T-Tracks

Good morning all, New guy here and thank you for the help in advance.

Just build the table and about to add the T-Tracks and MDF as I see most do. Unfortunately no MDF in my area right now. Is this just the best to use or can anyone suggest another type of board?

Thanks again


Hi Louis! Welcome to the forum!

The major reasons for using MDF are typically:

  • it is pretty well dimensionally accurate (not too big a deal for waste board or machine base)
  • it is dimensionally stable (it doesn’t expand and contract much with changing humidity or temperature) - this is the point that matters most
  • it cuts really nicely (always a bonus)

This isn’t really my area of expertise, but I would say you could probably get good results with very uniform plywood - which can be expensive, but might get to where you need. Consider Baltic Birch (the real stuff, watch for knockoffs or fakes):

  • it isn’t as dimensionally accurate in thickness, but you can deal with this by surfacing your waste board with a very light skim cut
  • it is dimensionally stable in width and height - not sure about thickness - but it should be fairly uniform across its surface once you have skimmed it

There may be other materials available to you - the key for sure is the consistency in changing humidity and temperature.

Anyone else have ideas?

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You are a scholar and a gentlemen. Thank you for this. I’ll go ahead and see what else we have available in the area then.

Thanks again.


Louis, if mdf is not available then whatever you do is likely to be temporary, a spoilboard is going to be replaced at some point anyway. Thinking about if I was in your situation I think I would end up bolting the Ttracks and installing slats of poplar at $2 to $2.25 a bf dried, you would be able to surface just like normal. Other sheet goods will work but will generally not surface well especially ply even 13ply Baltic birch. Note a bf is 12 x 12 x 1 inch.

Yes Sir and thank you for that. I was actually looking at other wood options today and that makes more sense. Thank you again.