Router Forums

Router Forums (https://www.routerforums.com/forum.php)
-   Jigs and Fixtures (https://www.routerforums.com/jigs-fixtures/)
-   -   MDF vs. Hardwood (https://www.routerforums.com/jigs-fixtures/28449-mdf-vs-hardwood.html)

Ken Bee 05-11-2011 07:41 PM

MDF vs. Hardwood
 
I have a plan for a Box Joint Jig that calls for it to be constructed with 3/4 and 1 inch hardwood. I have an extremely small shop and about the only thing I build is boxes, clocks, signs and some scroll work. Thereby about the only hardwood I have on hand is from 1/8 to 1/2 inch thick stock. I do have enough MDF to build a house in 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick pieces, so my question is, would MDF be sufficiently hard enough to build a Box Joint Jig?

Actually my primary concern would be the inability of MDF to hold the screws and fasteners to build the jig. Is there a way around this particular concern or am I being overly cautious?

Thanx

bobj3 05-11-2011 08:01 PM

Hi Ken

It will work for most jigs :), MDF likes to split if you drive the screw in on the edge side of MDF like you know but you can get around that error by putting in a 1/2" wooden dowel 1st..and than glue it in place and than screw into it..with the right predrilled hole..


=======

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Bee (Post 235576)
I have a plan for a Box Joint Jig that calls for it to be constructed with 3/4 and 1 inch hardwood. I have an extremely small shop and about the only thing I build is boxes, clocks, signs and some scroll work. Thereby about the only hardwood I have on hand is from 1/8 to 1/2 inch thick stock. I do have enough MDF to build a house in 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick pieces, so my question is, would MDF be sufficiently hard enough to build a Box Joint Jig?

Actually my primary concern would be the inability of MDF to hold the screws and fasteners to build the jig. Is there a way around this particular concern or am I being overly cautious?

Thanx




Ken Bee 05-11-2011 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobj3 (Post 235579)
Hi Ken

It will work for most jigs :), MDF likes to split if you drive the screw in on the edge side of MDF like you know but you can get around that error by putting in a 1/2" wooden dowel 1st..and than glue it in place and than screw into it..with the right predrilled hole..


=======

Thanks Bob, That is another item I have an abundance of, Dowels in various sizes. Actually most of the fasteners would be located in the flat side of the material as opposed to the ends so maybe I will be OK with the MDF using your suggested fix.

bobj3 05-11-2011 08:36 PM

Hi Ken

I make a lot of jigs and most of the time I just glue them up,that's one of the neat things about MDF it holds with just glue..


==========

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Bee (Post 235584)
Thanks Bob, That is another item I have an abundance of, Dowels in various sizes. Actually most of the fasteners would be located in the flat side of the material as opposed to the ends so maybe I will be OK with the MDF using your suggested fix.




jcr3 05-11-2011 09:24 PM

MDF is perfect for jigs

john

Ken Bee 05-12-2011 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobj3 (Post 235586)
Hi Ken

I make a lot of jigs and most of the time I just glue them up,that's one of the neat things about MDF it holds with just glue..


==========

Problem solved Bob.

I just ran across a piece of 7/8 thick live edge maple I had bought on the cheap to use for box lids. I cut it a few weeks ago and got 2 lids and the remaining piece is only 1/8 inch shorter than the plan calls for and I doubt that will create a major problem as well as the extra bit of thickness considering it will be the fence. The rest of the jig can be made with the MDF because the fasteners go into the face and all the way through for adjustment slots and hold downs.

Thanks again for all your input.

istracpsboss 05-14-2011 10:15 AM

Pretty much all my jigs are MDF. If I've got to fix to an edge I simply use barrel nuts.
5 X M6 X 60 FURNITURE BOLTS AND BARREL NUTS BEDS COTS | eBay UK which create exceptionally strong joints, as well as allowing for knock down, which can sometimes be useful.

Cheers

Peter

Ken Bee 05-14-2011 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by istracpsboss (Post 235878)
Pretty much all my jigs are MDF. If I've got to fix to an edge I simply use barrel nuts.
5 X M6 X 60 FURNITURE BOLTS AND BARREL NUTS BEDS COTS | eBay UK which create exceptionally strong joints, as well as allowing for knock down, which can sometimes be useful.

Cheers

Peter

You know, that is a great idea Peter. I will still use the piece of Maple I have for the jig I had questioned about, but there are a couple of others I want to build I can adapt your suggestion to.

Thanks for the info Peter and Cheers to you.

Mike 05-14-2011 01:51 PM

Ken, building your own jigs is a great thing. If you produce a lot of boxes it is worth considering the Oak Park box joint jigs. They are built from polyurethane so your projects slide easily and there is no problem with wood warping or MDF falling apart. Since you can buy all 3 for about $50 why reinvent the wheel? You will find many happy users on the forums.

bstadtler 05-15-2011 05:06 PM

Baltic birch plywood? Works great


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® - Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.


vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.