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Routing MDF

This is a discussion on Routing MDF within the Introductions forums, part of the Router Forums category; Can MDF be routed sucessfully...


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Old 08-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can MDF be routed sucessfully

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Old 08-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum Philip
Yes you can router Mdf same as wood but it does dull your router bits faster, I would definitely would use carbide bits
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome Phillip,

Routing MDF will show you how absolutely necessary dust collection is. After routing my first piece of MDF, my next order of business was to get a dust collection system up and running. It is really amazing how such a small project could have put an MDF dust coating over everthing in my shop and my lungs as well.

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Old 08-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome Phillip,

Routing MDF will show you how absolutely necessary dust collection is. After routing my first piece of MDF, my next order of business was to get a dust collection system up and running. It is really amazing how such a small project could have put an MDF dust coating over everthing in my shop and my lungs as well.

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Mine was spending a day cleaning the shop.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Plus the dust doesn't smell good. One time using MDF was enough for me, nevermore, nevermore. I like plywood, and it smells good.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum, Philip.

I agree with the previous posts.

MDF dust is supposed to be carcinogenic. If routing in a confined space use a dust mask as the DC systems do not all remove all the fine dust out of the air. This is the stuff that gets into your lungs.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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..... If routing in a confined space use a dust mask as the DC systems do not all remove all the fine dust out of the air. This is the stuff that gets into your lungs.
+1

Not used mdf myself yet but everything I've read says it creates loads of very fine dust and a mask is a necessity.

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Old 08-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just cutting MDF on the table saw creates an almighty mess. I'm ordering one of those hanging filters to be placed above my router table. That together with both bottom and top dust extraction and a dust mask, I should only need one oxygen tank instead of two when I'm older.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Amen on all the dust advice, but to answer the original question, it does route very well. You can get nice profiles and pretty fine details. Just don't use it in high traffic areas without a very tough finish on top as the edges can be fragile.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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MDF is very uniform and so far I have never found a void in a sheet of MDF. The dust from sawing or routing will have you hacking up fur balls in a short period of time. I use a good respirator. The comment about oxygen had me thinking that an oxygen mask might work even better. ;-)
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