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post #1 of 10 Old 11-05-2007, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Working with MDF

Hi All,

Looking for some insight on working with MDF. I usually use either birch or oak plywood for my material. I have to build some cubbies for the playroom. Figured I would give MDF a shot, it would be nice not to have to worry about the end grain.

I plan on routing and gluing the material together, any tips/tricks you guys can share.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-05-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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I've heard the MDF sheets are thicknessed to a metric dimension. You might wanna check that. I could be wrong though...wouldn't be the first time.

Heavy dusty stuff. Wear a mask....

As far as side/end "grain"....treat it like a sponge. That stuff will soak up anything you give it.

Last edited by Corndog; 11-05-2007 at 04:23 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-05-2007, 05:18 PM
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I vowed a few years ago that I would never work with MDF again. The mess it makes with the talcum powder like dust is incredible. The 3/4" stock is way too heavy for this old man to deal with. It does finish up nicely though. I used to use vinyl spacking on the ends . Smear some on with a putty knife, sand it flush and you have a pretty good area to prime and paint.

Never lick a steak knife.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-05-2007, 05:31 PM
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Built a sub-woofer cabinet out of it for a friend some time back. Came out ok, but was the biggest PITA project I've ever done.

To quote Corndog...
Heavy dusty stuff, wear a mask....
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-05-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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I just did a counter job with it. Not bad. Very dusty when cut. It seems like it would be very fradgile on the edges and corners. But stable, flat and solid. I'd use it again as long as I did the cutting outdoors.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-06-2007, 12:04 AM
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Dusty!!!! like you have no idea, ware a very good dust mask ( not the cheap throw away kinds)and cut router it outside if at all possible, When screwing edges make sure you predrill with a drill thats practically the same size as the threads, brad nails are prone to blow out the sides if it happens do not try to pull them out, instead wiggle them back and forth till they snap and punch in with a nail set and patch, use a good primer ( I use oil based). When cutting with a table saw make sure when you start your cut to proceed with out stopping. I find these saw Marks can be quite pronounced.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-06-2007, 05:47 AM
 
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Well,it's almost 3 in the morning and I have to say....I'd rather be working with MDF than going to my day job.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-06-2007, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Guys - thanks for your input, I was doing some research on the web last night and I was going to update this request with all of the following you guys stated! Thanks again.

I do plan on cutting outside, and I will get a good mask! I am not making anything complicated, just some cubbies for the toys in the playroom. I was figuring on 3/4 MDF for the shelves and outside shell, and using 1/2 for the vertical dividers. I will certainly post some pics once the project is completed!. (We're looking at least two weeks until start time)

Any recommendations on screws? I was looking at the "Hi-Lo" screws from Rockler (30195).

Appreciated your time.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-06-2007, 09:42 AM
 
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Just watch the edges. That stuff will split like mad. It is just dust and glue after all.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-06-2007, 08:45 PM
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Try drilling holes in the sides then put dowels in,when you screw
into the ends the screws will have the dowels to bite into.
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