Can You Make a Ping Pong Table Out of MDF? (Best Materials)
China is the leading country in playing ping pong, and so they are among the top consumers of most ping pong equipment. In addition, it includes variously priced ping pong tables, which can be too costly for low incomes. But you can always be sure to have elegant, long-lasting tables. Would it be possible to make a ping pong table out of MDF?
You can make a ping pong table out of MDF. MDF wood is denser than most other types of wood, in addition to its fully packed particles. The material also includes several additives that will extend the life of your table, enhancing its durability and elegance.
Ping pong tables can be somewhat expensive. But you don’t have to buy the factory tables if their budget is too high for you. Read on for more info on what kind of wood you can use for making homemade ping pong tables.
- What Is the Best Material to Make a Ping Pong Table?
- What to Look for When Buying a Ping Pong Table?
- How Do You Refinish a Ping Pong Tabletop?
- My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
What Is the Best Material to Make a Ping Pong Table?
The best material to make a ping pong table is the medium density fiberboard(MDF). Most factory-made tables are made from high-density fiberboards, but they can be quite expensive. The best choice is MDF, tho, plywood can serve as an economical option.
Besides the fact that some industry-made ping pong tables can be expensive, I have to confess about some manufacturers use substandard materials. So if you are not keen on what you are buying, you may end up with a low-quality and non-lasting table. Nevertheless, this should not deter you from buying a table. Since 75% of the industry-made tables are of good standards.
It’s just about the few 25% of individuals who spoil the broth in the market. So here comes the benefits of opting to make your ping pong table. Apart from the fact that it will be less costly, you will have the opportunity to test different types of wood for your table. When you are certain the table is solid wood, you can begin the process.
So some of the best materials you may need to check on include:
Plywood is made from stacking thin slices of natural wood. Part of its advantage is its ready availability, and it’s somewhat inexpensive as compared to other types of wood. However, its low price comes at a cost since the wood can easily warp unless it’s used appropriately. Furthermore, it’s crucial to avoid exposing the table to extreme hot or cold temperatures.
So this might not be your best wood for a ping pong table unless you are very low on your budget. However, you can choose from its variety of materials, including fir, spruce, and pine.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
This is a composite wood made of different softwood fibers stacked together with wax and combined with urea-formaldehyde resins (UF). Several additives can be applied to resins, based on their manufacturer, to improve their density, texture, and color.
MDF also uses other materials, including wood, bamboo, scrap, glass cuts, forest thinning, recycled paper, polymers, bamboo, and carbon fibers.
A mixture of these particles results in a solid and dense wood, making it an ideal choice for ping pong tables. It also has zero voids and sharp non-tearing edges.
It is a wood product made from sawdust and other wood wastes such as wood chips and wood cuttings. Particleboard has low strength and reduced moisture resistance. It is somehow resistant to warping. Its top advantage is that particle boards are quite eco-friendly. In most cases, it’s not used on ping pong tables because of the probability of tampering with its particle features. However, it’s quite cheap if you may want to give it a try.
If you’re more interested in what wood is used to make a ping pong table, you should read my comprehensive article about the topic!
What to Look for When Buying a Ping Pong Table?
When buying ping pong tables, you need to look for the table’s thickness, structural finish, and type of wood surface. Most popular ping pong tables adopt using aluminum shells on top of wooden surfaces.
Before you go through these wood materials, you have to consider some of the most crucial features of a ping pong table. Besides being a guide for buying ping pong tables, you can use these features for building your ping pong table. At least that way, you can be sure of the features you need by comparing the wood prices and most relevant features.
These features of ping pong tables are:
Direct sunlight and extreme cold are some of the reasons behind warping in most ping pong tables. Therefore, for a sturdy and warp-resistant table, you need a tabletop with a minimum thickness of ¾ inches or 19mm thick. The maximum thickness on the other end goes as far as ½ inch to 1 inch.
Any Thickness less than that stated here has a probability of warping too easily, thus affecting the ball’s bounce. There can also be cracks and holes on the table, depending on the intensity of the warping.
In addition, the ping pong ball’s bounce won’t be as good quality if the tabletop is thin. Therefore, the thicker the tabletop, the better. Take a look at my in-depth ping pong tabletop thickness guide, so you don’t make any mistakes when choosing a table.
This helps to resist fading and enhance the ball’s bouncing. An approximate bounce height should be 21 cm for a ball dropped from 30cm height. Some balls also bounce as far as the edge of the table. So if anything, unless these ends are well taped with screen lines, the protrusions on these edges can affect the balls’ bounce.
Aluminum or Wood Surface
Today most popular ping pong tables are wooden top surfaces engraved in aluminum frames. It helps in reducing the warping of the wood, thus lengthening the last period for the table. Some tables not only use aluminum frames but aluminum shells as well. So the shells are encircled on wood because the wood has the best bounce features for tennis balls.
Fold and Store
Fold and store tables are quite expensive, but if you plan to play from your garage, you can easily fold them up to make space for your car. In addition, fold and store tables have the advantage of allowing you to fold the end of the table and use it as your front wall when you don’t have a practice partner.
I highly encourage that you learn every aspect and feature you need to check before making a buying decision. For that purpose, you should check my article about choosing a ping pong table so you will be satisfied with your choice.
How Do You Refinish a Ping Pong Tabletop?
To refinish a ping pong table, you will need to remove any present linings on the table edges and sand the surfaces. If you want an entirely fine surface, you will need 80-grit and 150-grit sandpapers. Dust the top and paint it. Retape the table’s edges once it has dried.
When you purchase your homemade table, you might not have enough funds to paint it and add other finishes. So as soon as you think your budget is elastic enough to cater for the retouch, you should do it as soon as possible. It reduces fading, increases the warp resistance, and upholds the balls’ bounce on the table.
So to go about your retouching your table, you should:
Remove Any Linings
Check your table’s edges; if you hired someone to make the table, he might have taped linings on the edges to prevent age protrudes. So check for any white or shiny tapes on your table’s edges and remove them.
Sand the Tabletop Surface
Suppose you notice pits and cracks on your ping pong tabletop. You will need to sand the surface at least twice with differently rated sandpapers for an evenly smooth surface. So at first, you should use medium 80-grit sandpaper, then after 24 hours, you should sand the surface again with 150-grit sandpaper, then make sure you dust it.
Paint the Tabletop
Chalkboard paint or alkyd paint is the best option paints for ping pong tables. In addition, spray canned paints go perfectly because of their art, like coloring. So holding your can about 10 inches from the table, spray the table evenly. Six hours after the first painting, apply a second coat of paint and a third layer another six hours later.
The three layers will enhance a unique non-peeling finish on your table.
Reinstall the Boundary Lines
If the previous taped lines you removed are in good condition, you can reinstall them back. Alternatively, you can also mask the edges and paint acute white paintings to mark the boundaries.
- Depending on how you paint these boundaries, you don’t need to have second layers on the boundary marks. When painting, however, you may need to hold the can of paint at least 10cm away from the surface.
Related: Can You Play Ping-Pong On Any Table? (& How To Make One)
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.