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24

Is working MDF bad for your health? Yes but only if you are ignorant of your tools and materials. It certainly can be. However the answer of "Yes" is misleading as the concerns surrounding MDF are more than just the potential presence of hazards such as the release formaldehyde. Working MDF creates dust particles much like any other wood. It is true ...


17

MDF is heavy and we all know that. Like keshlam says if it is not supported across its vertical span then it will pull itself down slowly warping it. Gravity is a [w]itch. Now if you cannot store it perfectly vertical then you are not out of options. I couldn't imagine the space needed for some larger sheets however you should be able to get away from ...


16

I think the link in LeeG's reply covers all the necessary steps but just to have it spelled out here. Good surface prep is very important, imperfections 'telegraph' through paint very easily so the more perfect you can get the surface initially the better. The flatter the starting surface the less paint you have to use too, so it does have both time and ...


12

I have used this guy's technique before and it works great. Basically, you apply very thin coats, then sand to about 400 grit, and after that, do wet sanding to about 2000 grit, and then switch to the polishes. There is a pretty complete step-by-step here


10

What should I apply to seal the edges from leaking and seal the top from absorbing? Indoor use, subject to humidity. Technically you don't have to do anything to it, many people have MDF benchtops with no finish on them. The moisture in the air is basically a non-issue for MDF, it's only liquid water that you need to be concerned with. On a separate ...


10

Sanding?, priming?, painting?, other? break sharp corners: Sharp outside corners are easily damaged, and they don't hold paint as well as not-so-sharp corners. You can "break" the corners with a sanding block or just some sandpaper held in your hand. A router with a small-radius roundover bit works really well -- I use a 1/16" radius bit. prime before ...


10

What you have there The names of those are Cam Fittings, Furniture connectors or Flat pack connectors or variations of those phrases. These are a favorite amongst economical furniture suppliers (IKEA is a good example) as it enables the consumer to build it themselves. These are typically used for joining wood at a 90 degrees. While they are not the ...


9

Does the manufacturing process of MDF give the resulting boards a grain direction? No. MDF is made of short fibers that are randomly oriented. If you cut a circle out of MDF with a router, for example, you'll notice that the cut edge has the same appearance along the entire circumference. There are manufactured products that are stronger in one direction ...


8

There are a few different options, but I would use a router with a pattern bit: Use a router, circle-cutting jig, and straight bit to cut a template out of hardboard, plywood, or MDF with a hole of the exact size you want the outer circle to be Center the template around the existing hole and tape, clamp, or screw it in place Use a pattern bit set to the ...


8

MDF is tough on blades, since it's basically sawdust and glue. You may want to consider trying a blade specifically designed for cutting laminate flooring, since the majority of the material in laminate is usually MDF. Table saw blades designed for this purpose are usually polycrystalline diamond tipped, and have a surprisingly low tooth count (~12-16 for a ...


8

If you lean stuff against a wall at an angle, it's weight will tend to cause it to bow. If you can stand it fully upright with support on both sides that will be less likely to happen. Or you can figure out a way to support it lower down, so the middle can't sag. Or, of course, you can lay it flat if you have space to do so (most folks don't). Or delay ...


8

The other answers are great from a technical standpoint, but they overlook the much simpler solutions which are actually used on mass-produced arcade cabinets. If you look at commercially-produced arcade cabinets, you will find that the construction methods are much simpler than you might expect. For example, the TMNT "Turtles in Time" cabinet that is ...


7

Cam bolt and cam screw connector. Very popular in european style cabinetry. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bolt-15-mm-x-19-mm-Cam-Connector-Zinc-50438/203088336 http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-6-mm-x-45-5-mm-Connecting-Zinc-Bolt-Cam-Screw-818238/204281642


6

The sled is made out of 18mm-thick MDF. I would only be leaving behind 3mm thickness of wood to allow a dado deep enough for the T-track. Is that enough? My brain works in Imperial units, so I'm going to convert. Three millimeters is about equal to 1/8". MDF is not a particularly strong material in bending, especially not with that thin of a section. You ...


6

How much space is taken up by the glue between two pieces? 1mm per side? Less? Usually, this thickness of glue in a butt joint is negligible to the point of being zero, at least as far as woodworking tolerances go. Yes, the glue does have some finite thickness, but it's probably on the order of 1/10mm in a properly-clamped joint. Trying to account for the ...


6

MDF is practically purpose-made for this application. It is very dimensionally stable, one of its prime selling points. And while it's not as stiff or strong as ply it is as a rule more stable these days (because of the falling standard of plywood, while MDF is easier to make to a reasonable standard consistently). As often mentioned MDF can bow under its ...


6

The glue is much harder than the wood, hence the extra wear on blades and tools. Pine is pretty soft compared to hardwoods, but construction lumber is often wet which might explain your experience with it in that it can gum up equipment faster than well dried hardwood. How fast can it dull It depends on the quality of the blade. A high quality blade ...


6

It sounds like you want a mitered corner. You will want to find the overall angle of the piece in relation to the vertical one. Just a guess but it looks like it is 15-20 degrees above horizontal level from the corner. Lets go with 20°. The overall angle is 90 from the vertical piece to the level + our 20 above for a 110 degree inside angle. This means ...


5

There should not be much to this. One of the main advantages of MDF is that it is paint ready. There are still some things you need to consider where the drawbacks of MDF come into play. Rob brings these up in his comments so I mention them here at an attempt of completeness. Weight - MDF is very dense which makes it heavy. Depending on the thickness you ...


5

I would say that you don't need to account for the space unless your angles will all be exactly, without fault, 90 degrees, and each cut will be accurate within 0.25mm. In other words, woodworking is not the same as designing a car part from metal with very precise tolerances. If you do need that level of precision, I would venture to say that you will ...


5

Does the manufacturing process of MDF give the resulting boards a grain direction? Yes and no. The wood fibres in MDF are said to be randomly oriented, and it is plainly visible if you study the surface that they are random. However, during manufacture MDF is laid down in a continuous horizontal sheet and then pressed down to thickness which does leave a ...


5

There are many who say that MDF dulls cutting tools really fast. Bear in mind that a lot of that is from people milling it with power tools, where the blades are moving very quickly. But I do not think it does compared to many woods, even pine I wold think is a harder material than MDF. Well there's pine and there's pine, there are many subspecies ...


5

Drive Very Slowly, and Do Not Overload. The Car Talk guys have a story about a friend who sheared off most of the front of his car when he stopped suddenly but the pile of plywood on the roof didn't. Personal recommendations: Install a proper roof rack, secure strongly to that without exceeding it's cargo rating, consider a leading airfoil, and drive slow. ...


4

It seems nobody bothered to mention French Polish. Sigh. That is the standard piano finish for quality pianos, period. French polish is a series of steps that fills and smooths surfaces using shellac. Over a stained and filled (grain filler) prepared surface: The first step uses rottenstone (like pumice) mixed with 1/2 lb or 1 lb cut shellac; rottenstone ...


4

Your best bet is a straight cutting router bit with a bearing on the bottom. If you're lucky, the distance from the inside hole to where you want it to be will be of a size that there's a bit for. (Bad grammar aside.) If not, you could cut a template in hardboard (we used to call it masonite, but I'm not sure what the commercial name is) and use a bushing ...


4

I agree with this answer that having a zero tolerance precision can make for a big headache in woodworking (This is more true for real wood as it expands and contracts but the point still applies). I offer a design compromise for these inaccuracies. You should be able chamfer the edges of your box to hide and inconsistencies in your external dimensions. An ...


4

Good advice here from Matt and Caleb. Just thought I'd tell you how we do it where I work: We use MDF all the time, including moisture-resistant MDF for external boarding. We also sometimes run V-grooves or flutes into the faces of boards for a decorative detail. Before painting, we sand all faces, paying particular attention to cut edges (so the edges ...


4

From your description WhatEvil's answer is spot on. Router is a great solution for this project given the materials suggested and desired outcome You don't need a router if that is what you are trying to make if you are willing to change your materials.... You would have to buy different thicknesses for this to work but another idea would be to buy two ...


4

MDF is much more likely to be flat and is relatively dimensionally stable - however it's not overly strong when running long unsupported distances. If the pelmet is attached at its top along the length then it should be fine. If you plan on only attaching it at the ends it will probably sag over time. (...usual concerns about formaldehyde off-gassing and ...


4

Given your situation I recommend you consider dowels and glue. Cutting an accurate dado with a circular saw is very tricky and mistakes there are hard to undo or hide. Generally that sort of thing is done with some sort of guided tool like a table saw or router against a guide. MDF accepts glue very well and makes strong joint. The dowels (maybe three on ...


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