MDF Question

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Yes.
You can route it too if you want an effect.
Rick
On 22 Dec 2003 00:03:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.completed (Reteplav) wrote:

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For painted built-in furniture I have found MDF to be fine.
Couple of things to watch out for.
First, as others have said, protect yourself against the dust (this applies to any woodworking with machinery, but especially the masses of fine particles created when using MDF). Decent mask. If you can connect a vacuum to your tools for dust extraction then it makes the whole process a lot cleaner - you want a 3 micron filter (aka HEPA) for MDF dust (if you're using a Henry then you can buy a 25 Microtex add-on filter from Numatic suppliers - comes with Super Henry as standard). Wouldnt' become paranoid about it - it's not in the same "one fibre can eventually kill you" league as certain types of asbestos.
Second, beware of sag. An oft posted link but a very useful one is the sagulator....
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm
Useful information about bookshelf loading on that page as well.
Third, the edges need sealing before painting. I've done a lot of built in stuff with MDF so have a tin of MDF primer knocking about, but this is expensive and I don't find it particularly pleasant to paint with and achieve good flat finish (along with other acrylic primers I've used). I have been told that shellac sanding sealer is very effective in sealing the edges prior to painting but I haven't tried this yet. If you don't seal it then it will soak up a lot of paint on the edges, which might potentially lead to swelling.
Finally, to achieve a good finish I used eggshell paint applied with a small foam gloss roller (pack of 10 in wickes about 5 I think, they fit the tremendously useful behind-the-radiator small roller handle) and then laid off with a good quality 2" paint brush. Three or four thin coats give a much better finish than one or two thick ones. Allow to dry properly between coats.
Jim Tolpin's book "built in furiture" is quite good for ideas and inspiration and some constructional detail, but it's not a step-by-step construction guide.
cheers Richard -- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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