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MDF material for frames and keel-How is it compaired to plywood? Good or Bad?

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Have read that some kits are comming out with MDF material instead of plywood. Is it good or bad? How is the mdf to work with? Can you use screw clamps in MDF? Ant warping  or other problems with it,like formaldahide smells?

 

 

And what kit amkers have switched to using MDF? And why?

 

Thanks

Keith

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Don't know about kits, but like to work with it, because it is (largely) isotropic, i.e. it doesn't matter in which direction you are working. The material is designed to not warp. It sands and glues well, it is also easy to saw. It holds sharp corners.

 

Hardness and compressive strength are slightly different vertical to the board and horizontal, which is due to the manufacturing and partily intentional. The idea is give a relatively hard surface, while keeping it workable.

 

I seem to have heard some warnings against breathing-in the dust of MDF, but I don't actually know what the issue is. I not producing a lot of dust, so it wasn't something I was worried about.

 

As it is is easy to get material in sheets from 1 mm thickness on in shops that cater for architects, I assume it is very popular with them. It can also be cut easily using lasers.

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It stands for Medium density fibre board.

 

As it happens I have been sawing some sheets of 25mm thick boards today, the dust is very fine and there is plenty of it. When planing  mdf it comes off as dust rather than shavings, and I would suggest that a mask is worn when working it.

 

B.E.

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Hi,

I would certainly recommend using a mask when working with MDF. It's not really the wood particles that is the nasty one here. It's the glue!

Having worked as a maintenance worker in a former MDF manufacturing plant. I know that the glue they use contained formaldehyde and some say it is released when working with the material. I can remember that the area of the plant where the panels were pressed was particularly nasty and I was glad I was based on the other side of the plant. 

The only other downfall I find with MDF is that it will swell terribly with moisture, including paints, without proper sealing

Cheers, Scott

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with mdf other than the chemicals off gassing I do wonder how it will last over a long time.

when the computer and music industry first came out with the CD-ROM and DVD-ROM it was thought that they would last forever as long as the disk did not melt or break.   we now know that some disks can go bad in a few years depending on the material they are made from.

 

so will MDF last for say 50 or 100 years ? 

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MDF (particle board) has no strength, over time, under tension. In ship modeling this may not matter as much, but every shelf, piece of flooring, or furtniture I have has gone out to the trash over time. It also swells if it obsorbs water (major problem with floors).

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with mdf other than the chemicals off gassing I do wonder how it will last over a long time.

when the computer and music industry first came out with the CD-ROM and DVD-ROM it was thought that they would last forever as long as the disk did not melt or break.   we now know that some disks can go bad in a few years depending on the material they are made from.

 

so will MDF last for say 50 or 100 years ? 

You have a point. Wood has a proven record of lasting very, very long, at least in certain conditions. On the other hand, mdf is used now even in restoration projects in architectural woodworking. The rule is, mdf for stability, wood for strength.

 

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Moisture Resisitant, FSC Certified, No Added Formaldehyde (NAF)

medex_logo.jpg

Medex® is a sustainable, moisture resistant, medium density fiberboard (MDF) panel utilizing a formaldehyde-free adhesive system and pre-consumer recycled wood fiber. Medex® is engineered for interior high moisture areas in non-structural applications and is used in place of sanded plywood or solid wood. With the versatility of a superior composite wood panel and the enhancement of indoor air quality, Medex® has been specified in hundreds of commercial, institutional and conservator projects since the 1980’s.

  • Medex carries an industry leading MR50 moisture rating
  • We have upgraded our stocking program to Medex over the venerable Medite II
  • SierraPine’s Medex MDF is produced with a No Added Formaldehyde resin and 100% post-industrial recycled wood fiber.
  • FSC MEDEX MAY CONTRIBUTE FOR THE FOLLOWING LEED CREDITS
    • Materials & Resources (4.1, 4.2, 7.0)
    • Indoor Environmental Quality (4.4)

Stock Items   4' x 8' 4' x 10' 4' x 16' 5' x 8' 5' x 10'

1/4" ,3/8",1/2", 5/8",11/16",3/4",1" , 1-1/8" ,1-1/4" ,

Edited by Joshua

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