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post #1 of 11 Old 10-10-2009, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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MDF for Bookcase

I am planning on building my granddaughter a bookcase. I have seen post about building projects with MDF. I plan to paint the bookcase and add some decals. My question "is MDF a good choice for this project". I know I have had some minor damage to MDF from water. With paint will it hold up if a sweating glass is set on it?. Would a wood such a popular paint well and hold up better or what should I use?
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-10-2009, 03:30 PM
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MDF would work just fine for a painted project. So would Poplar and Maple plywood, but these would cost appreciably more. As for moisture protection, invest in some good coasters.






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post #3 of 11 Old 10-10-2009, 03:55 PM
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With a good primer and a good quality paint you should be just fine. The only drawback to MDF is the weight.
Most people dont put glasses containing liquids on bookcases.
Now if you want really water resistant there is a product called Extira. It is in effect a waterproof MDF without the formaldehide. It is used quite a bit for exterior signs and has a 5 year waranty. Runs about $50 for a 4X8 at 3/4" thick.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx

Last edited by Tony B; 10-10-2009 at 03:58 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-10-2009, 03:55 PM
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Poplar with paint and clear poly would be a better
choice when it comes to moisture and kids.

Might even think about laminate for the surfaces.
You could ust matching or contrasting colors. like
black with white laminate.

You can also get MDF with laminate already on it.
You can buy the laminate in narrow strips to do the
edges for a nice finish.

Remember, the MDf is very heavy. Ply is also an
option. Still needs protection for moisture.

MDF is also rough on cutting tools.

How long are the shelves to be? Anything over
about three feet with books needs some center
support.

Now you should be totally confused.....

Build a boat while you are thinking about it,,,^^^^


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post #5 of 11 Old 10-11-2009, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
Poplar with paint and clear poly would be a better
choice when it comes to moisture and kids.

Might even think about laminate for the surfaces.
You could ust matching or contrasting colors. like
black with white laminate.

You can also get MDF with laminate already on it.
You can buy the laminate in narrow strips to do the
edges for a nice finish.

Remember, the MDf is very heavy. Ply is also an
option. Still needs protection for moisture.

MDF is also rough on cutting tools.

How long are the shelves to be? Anything over
about three feet with books needs some center
support.

Now you should be totally confused.....

Build a boat while you are thinking about it,,,^^^^
This "Poplar with paint and clear poly would be a better
choice when it comes to moisture and kids;" is the key sentence.

If you are going to give it to a child there is no telling the ways that moisture could get on it.

I think that how you build it should be determined by what you think is going to be the pieces life span. Is this going to be only a temporary piece of furniture (say 5 years or so) or do you think she will have this for many years? I think the answer to that will tell you how to build it.

G
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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I agree with cabinetman, mdf. is a good choice, a lot of kitchen doors are made with mdf. and they get more wet hands than a child. Key word (painted) Festool uses mdf. on thier mft/3 table unsealed.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-11-2009, 10:28 AM
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MDF and paint are a great choice. And it is still a piece that will last for many many years.

Red

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-11-2009, 12:34 PM
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Personally I wood not use Mdf for furniture. There are plenty of other inexpensive materials that will work better.
If you do decide to use the Mdf make sure you support the shelves well, they will sag when loaded.

Did you say tool sale?
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-12-2009, 10:17 AM
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Tom

Last year I built some office furniture for my son and I used about 11 sheets and most of them were covered with laminate, however the privacy sheet for under the desks were covered one side laminate and the other side under the desk was covered with colored polyurethane to match the laminate.
If you use MDF some tips to consider.
You need to use special screws and a special bit; the screws are called “confirmat style connecting screws”. These are excellent for Melamine, particle board and MDF. Woodcraft, McFleeys etc. carries these.
If you plan on painting I found on the internet the best recommended primer for MDF…use 1 part yellow glue and 1 part water mix completely and brush on the surface. You will be surprised at how it seals even the edge which may require two coats. If need be you can apply two coats after lightly sanding the first after it dries. This will give a very smooth finish.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-12-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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mdf will sag under its own weight so its not a real great material for wide shelves unless you do some bracing.

also if you paint you shouldnt have any problems with water as the paint will seal the mdf

although im sure the conformit screws work great you really only need to use regular dry wall screws and glue with mdf. just predrill the holes slightly deeper then the screws will go and keep the screws at least 2" away from edges and you should be fine

ive actually started just using glue and brad nails on the cabinets ive been building out of mdf. the glue does the work, the brad nails just hold it tight till the glue dries

Last edited by Mike Gager; 10-12-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-12-2009, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for a the input on this project. I believe I will use MDF. I had never heard of using yellow glue and water as a primer on MDF. I will give this a try. Again thanks!
Tom
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