Am I crazy?

Hi all:
I am planning to make some raised panel bi-fold doors for our house (approximate dimensions 17 X 79 with the lower half being the raised panel and the upper half a mirror). I am foing the first rum in MDF and had planned to do it ALL in MDF but I am now having second thoughts. I am afraid it will be too soft and not stand up very well for the amount of work I will be putting into them. What do you think? Is MDF a crazy idea?
Richard Shelson
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It depends on how much rum you have foinged.... <grin>

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On Mon, 9 Aug 2004 00:24:27 -0400, "Mark Hopkins"

mdf could be OK for the panels, but the rail and stile frames should be made out of wood.
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On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 23:19:34 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

I too recommend wood frames with mdf panels. Just be sure to sand smooth the newly exposed visible panel edges. And, as someone said, it's hell on your knives/bits.
JP
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Apart from the foinged rum........
MDF is very weak and dense. It's not soft, particularly, but would not like too much belting about, and as I say it is very heavy for its strength and stiffness.
It is nice and stable as far as warping goes, but does swell and shrink with moisture IMO more than most woods.
Any reason not to use ply?

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I have made many MDF raised panels with poplar rails/stiles, both for cabinet doors for built-ins as well as panels for our staircase. No problems with dents etc and the finish is great.
MDF is brutal to your panel cutters and the dust it kicks out coats everyting in the shop (even with a dust collector).
Lou

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My only concern would be where the pivot pins go into the top and bottom edge of the MDF and the weight There will probably be a lot of wear in that location. You may have to use heavy duty hard ware to handle all that weight. That said, many full sized rail and stile raised panel doors are made from totally of MDF. You might consider using a hard wood like maple for the edges that will receive fasteners and hinges.
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In my opinion, MDF is not appropriate for any furniture or item like a door. I realize they build furniture out of this stuff and I also realize it's reputed stability (which I question since you have to support it to get any stability out of it), but the stuff does not hold up to any of the typical bumps and nudges that something like a door is likely to receive. That they build furniture out of this stuff does not say much, after all, Staples and Office Max are both full of "furniture" I would never consider. Again, in my opinion, use real wood. How much are you talking about spending for the real McCoy... probably under $20.00 more than the MDF route. Is it really worth that small of a savings for regurgitated rat ingestion?
--

-Mike-
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