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26 votes
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Is working with MDF going to kill me?

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 ...
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  • 20.1k
21 votes
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Is vertical storage of sheet goods causing my boards to warp?

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 ...
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  • 20.1k
18 votes

How do I achieve a "piano black" high gloss finish on wood?

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 ...
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  • 59.2k
13 votes
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How do I achieve a "piano black" high gloss finish on wood?

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 ...
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  • 8,026
11 votes
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How do I treat MDF?

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 ...
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10 votes
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What steps should I follow to properly paint MDF?

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 ...
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  • 7,413
10 votes
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What is the name of the hardware used in these MDF joints?

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 ...
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  • 20.1k
10 votes
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What is the difference between MDF and MDO?

MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard and it's made by essentially combining resins with sawdust and compressing it into a fairly dense, extremely flat and smooth sheet. In general it can be worked like &...
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  • 1,064
9 votes

Connecting the MDF corners, so there's no gap

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 ...
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  • 18.6k
8 votes

Is vertical storage of sheet goods causing my boards to warp?

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 ...
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  • 9,121
8 votes
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Enlarging a stepped through hole

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 ...
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  • 18.6k
8 votes

Does MDF have a grain direction?

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 ...
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  • 7,413
8 votes
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What type of blades should I use for machining MDF?

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 ...
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  • 4,328
7 votes
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Does MDF have a grain direction?

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 ...
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  • 59.2k
7 votes
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What is this plywood joining mechanism and hardware for knock-down furniture?

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-...
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7 votes
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Connecting the MDF corners, so there's no gap

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 ...
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  • 435
6 votes

Dado for T-track cross cut sled

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 ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes

Space between assembly

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 ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes

Does MDF warp less than pineboards?

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 ...
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  • 59.2k
6 votes
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Does MDF board dull tools quickly?

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 ...
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  • 4,796
6 votes

What is the best way to transport (ply)wood on the roof of a vehicle?

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. ...
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  • 9,121
5 votes

What steps should I follow to properly paint MDF?

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 ...
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  • 20.1k
5 votes

Space between assembly

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 ...
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  • 381
5 votes

How do I achieve a "piano black" high gloss finish on wood?

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 ...
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5 votes

Does MDF board dull tools quickly?

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 ...
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  • 59.2k
5 votes

What are the pros and cons of MDF as a workbench top?

What are the pros and cons of MDF as a workbench top? Pros: Relatively cheap. Is already a flat sheet ready to use as a work surface, saving much time and effort. Fairly flat to dead flat right from ...
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  • 59.2k
4 votes

Enlarging a stepped through hole

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. (...
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  • 4,382
4 votes

Space between assembly

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). ...
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  • 20.1k
4 votes

How to flatten MDF board

Rather than laminating two pieces of MDF together which is not guaranteed to remove the warp you see I recommend you build a torsion-box style lattice structure out of straight stock and skin it on ...
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  • 182
4 votes

What steps should I follow to properly paint MDF?

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-...
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  • 3,809

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