Main base replacement?

I am going to replace the MDF base on my XL with europly or richlite.
I’m going to be able to fo this in a week or so.
Would it make more sense to wait to put my machine together, or go ahead and assemble it with the MDF for now?
I don’t want to have to take the whole thing apart to replace the base in just a couple of weeks.

Thoughts?

Unless you really need to get cutting, wait. You would have to not only disassemble it but also redo the squaring…
EDIT: or, at least don’t bother squaring the machine if you do assemble it with the MDF baseboard.
Is Europly/Richlite significantly stiffer than thick MDF ? (naive question, I had never heard of those materials before)

Europly is like Baltic Birch, but has about 15 or so layers for 3/4” so really stable.

Richlite is amazing but expensive.
Recycled paper put under pressure and impregnated with resin to make a solid surface.
Its used for countertops, but is about $1200 for a 4x8x0.75 sheet, so i am trying for a cutoff/remnant piece from the hardwood supplier.

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That sounds sort of familiar … MDF?

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Not even close.
Doesn’t absorb moisture.
It is more akin to a solid surface countertop.

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Any idea how it compares for stiffness and damping to other options like MDF, Ply, Aluminium etc. ?

I’m wondering how well it cuts, and how much dust is created? Since there’s so much resin, does it cut more like plastic?


It looks like it’s pretty much made for machining.

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Richlite sounds identical to Micarta, which is often used for knife scales. It machines nicely, although dusty.

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It’s also really tough on tooling due to the combination of adhesive and paper, at least micarta is reputedly so.

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In case anyone was wondering.
I got the base redone in 3/4 Europly.

I also picked up some scrap richlite, looking forward to cutting into it and seeing how it behaves.
image image

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Nice,

Keen to see how the richlite cuts or rather, how long the cutters last.

Are you bolting that Ply base down to the bench?

Nope, it was a replacement for the MDF baseboard

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