MDF Stability for Kitchen Doors - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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MDF Stability for Kitchen Doors

Im starting a project to make some replacement doors for our kitchen presses. The plan is to make some shaker style doors by gluing 75mm wide 6mm deep MDF boarder struos onto the surface of 12mm MDF panels, which are pre-cut to the current door sizes.

Im going to leave the boarders a little proud of the backing board then flush route them to trim back the 6mm strips. Also before gluing on the boarder strips I am going to route the center of the 12mm panels to give them a TG&V style effect. Guess thats not strictly shaker but it seems to add a little character. A very small 45 degree routing around the edge strips gives a nice effect and mock joint top an bottom too.

Ive copied the idea from a thread on ultimate handy man. Fraid i cant post urls here yet so hope the above gives a good picture.

The prototype looks good when made as above. However, Im wondering if anyone has any thoughts on keeping the MDF stable, especially when applying paint. Im concerned that if they take on moisture from the air (while sitting in the workshop), glue or paint, before they are sealed, I might get warping in the finsihed product.

I plan to seal all the routed edges of the MDF with PVA (Polybond) un-diluted and then sand back when dry to try and keep the furry edges fairly smooth when finished. Then its a coat of oil based undercoat and 2 or 3 coats of water based acrylic on top. All the paint to be sprayed.

Unfortunately the cost of moisture resistant MDF stretches the budget. Also I cant seem to get 12 and 6mm sheets of MR MDF.

Many thanks
S
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 04:04 PM
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One of my uncles builds custom cabinets and he often makes the doors out of mdf. Before you add glue to the edges, go to a knowledgeable paint salesman and ask what he would use. You could also ask at a store that specializes in cabinet grade plywood products. They would likely know the best method.
Trying to mix oil and water based products is usually a bad idea. I think the correct answer is to use the right sanding sealer and sand between coats until it is smooth. Most glues don't sand very well.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 04:54 PM
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Hi Simon.
MDF also does not hold screws that well as wood would on items that get frequent use such as cabinet doors. I prefer to use something like Poplar for the rails & stiles & use MDF for the center panel on painted projects. For a kitchen they will last problem free much longer. Here a picture of some raised panel doors that I built using Poplar & MDF center panels. Just make sure you prime them well before final paint.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hallway 001 Large Web view.jpg (53.7 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg Hallway 007 Large Web view.jpg (50.6 KB, 56 views)

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 05:42 PM
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Hi Simon

They have been using MDF for cabinets for a very long time and you don't need face frames or door frames with MDF and they make spec.screws just for MDF so to say it will work out just fine..good luck with your project..by the way buy cabinet grade MDF...


Woodhaven MDF Door Kit - YouTube

WOODWORKING MADE EASY FRAME- PANEL- DOORS 1 OF 2 - YouTube
Making Frame and Panel Effect Doors - YouTube

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Last edited by bobj3; 09-19-2011 at 08:45 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi Simon

They have been using MDF for cabinets for a very long time and you don't need face frames with them and they make spec.screws just for MDF so to say it will work out just fine..good luck with your project..by the way buy cabinet grade MDF...

=====
I will agree you can make them from 100% MDF, but just because they have been making them for a very long time doesn't mean they are the best choice for the kitchen. MDF doors are on the bottom of the quality list. I've replaced many that just don't stand up as well as the doors that have wood for the rail & stiles in kitchens. Kitchen doors take a lot of abuse like constant opening & closing & kids that like to slam & hang on them. Over time the screws come loose. Many homeowners regret the choice.

If budget is a factor then use MDF but my suggestion would be to upgrade the rails & stiles for a piece of mind. MDF ais better suited for shop grade cabinets.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2011, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Hi All

Thanks so much for all the responses so far. Im afraid budget is the big problem here. Using the MDF and doing the DIY job brings it in line with what we can afford at the mo.

The existing base units, doors and such are all old and eventually the whole lot will need to go I think. The hope is that we could get 4 or 5 years out of the MDF ones and that it will look a bit more modern and clean, and less like living in somebodies cast offs.

I think they will take a bashing from the kids too so maybe its not a bad thing to let them get throgh that phase before we spend more on them..

Thanks
Simon
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2011, 08:09 AM
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I think my first choice for stiles and rails would be poplar or paint grade maple if I were going to paint them. MDF just doesn't seem that it would give me the results I would want.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:49 PM
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If they are wood and in descent shape, is there any chance you could re-use the rails and stiles from the old doors and put in new mdf center panels? If they aren't that bad off you could clean up the wood stiles and rails saving you some money in the process.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Im afraid the old doors are very nasty flat formica chipboard. Could be 20 years old plus by now. having said that they have lasted. The base units are not bad either, though a little off here and there.

I guess my worry is that gluing 6mm borders onto the 12mm backing might result in an unstable finshed product. If the 12mm expands or contracts differently than the 6mm for example I maght get warping.

Guess I could just use 18mm MDF and do a simple boarder routing and edging treatment on them. They would still be an improvement but might be very boaring also..

Anyway thanks for all the replies, its great to get the input.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 02:54 PM
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Hi Simon,
MDF does not expand & contract as wood would. It is more stable.

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