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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default Routing MDF

I tried to route some box joints on 1/2" mdf just to test the bits. The joints get falling apart so I assumed that box joints and possibly dovetails are not a good idea for mdf.

Is this something I'm doing wrong or is this something that's not possible?

I was thinking of veneering mdf and using that to make boxes as it would be a lot less expensive then using "real" wood.


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:30 PM
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The center core of MDF is very soft so I doubt dovetails would work with regularity. If the pins are larger than typical pins it might. Same goes for box joints.

I would use pins no less in size than the thickness of the material.

You will see the MDF core at the ends whether the face is veneered or not.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 04:33 PM
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Forgot to add that you should be using high quality double grind MDF for this type of operation as it will have less tendency to powder and break.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Where do you get that and what's the cost like? Around here, I can only get the run of the mill Home Depot/Lowes stuff. Even then, Lowes rarely has MDF believe it or not.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 08:44 PM
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There's mdf & mdf light.

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Whittier, CA.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlord View Post
There's mdf & mdf light.
I'm kinda the same boat as Burt... There's MDF-HD.... H(ome) D(epot) period. No idea what grade it is and asking anyone at the store gets a look like ya got a third eye or something. Any way of determining the difference?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 09:13 PM
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The light is the same as PLYWOOD, "thickness" just like the candy bar same price but less in the package..


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2011, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
The light is the same as PLYWOOD, "thickness" just like the candy bar same price but less in the package..


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Hi Bob - the stuff I get calipers out to 3/4" when I buy 3/4" so I'm OK there. What got me wondering is using the sagulator link for determining shelf length or something, it has 3 choices for MDF; LD, MD and HD. It also has 8 variations of particle board. Nothing I've looked at seems to be labeled, at least in any way that I recognize as a grade..

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'm with John on this. Same exact results also with 1/2" & 1/4". For the most part, this stuff does what I need it to do. Making joints is something I'd like just for testing purposes.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 10:46 AM
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Try and look up wood supply houses in your area that cater to cabinet shops. The Borgs won't carry the good stuff. My favorite is Plumb Creek MDF II which is a very nice double grind MDF. Dense and heavy, but strong for MDF. There are other brands out there as well.

MDF lite is less dense than typical MDF which makes it lighter but not as strong. It will be the same thickness as other MDF of a given size. Often used for vertical/ceiling paneling and other low wear areas. Also for CNC tables since it allows more air flow.
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