Gluing MDF panels together


I am in the process of constructing a router table using ¾" MDF for the case and tabletop. The case was completed with little problem or fanfare. I cut two sections for the top and spread PVA glue over the surface of one of the panels. I tried to spread the glue evenly with a spatula and had difficulty spreading it. To further complicate matters it appeared the MDF was absorbing the glue. I opted to drizzle glue over the remainder of the piece (about ¼ of the area) and let gravity help spread the glue. I assumed (big mistake) that the glue would spread out when weight was applied on top. I stacked two coolers filled with water on top and placed the cabinet case atop of that. I then put a couple of boxes of ceramic tile on the case for good measure. I knew I was in trouble when I saw glue being squeezed out sporadically around the pieces. After letting it dry 2 days I uncovered the mess. As I feared there is a gap on one side where the glue did not spread. I now have a new top for my yet to be built SCM station!
Now I have to do it again. I have thought about using a paint roller to try to evenly coat the panel. Has anyone tried this method? Any other ideas? I have considered trying more weight but shy of parking a car on it, I don't have a clue what I could use. Again, any Ideas?
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Poseidon wrote:

See:
http://www.thewoodworkerschoice.com/detail.asp?product_id 09
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Since the top only needs some adherence to keep the two pieces of mdf together, I wasn't concerned that the glue was even or that there was squeeze out. I just drizzled the glue on and did a quick spreading with a putty knife. I put on the top and found that as soon as the two pieces went together, it was like I used contact cement. It wouldn't budge. I had a very small gap at a place or two, but it was negligible as far as the top went. Also, I applied plastic lam to all sides. If you apply glue, let it dry, then apply another coat before putting the two pieces together (as another poster mentioned), it will give you time to apply clamping cauls. Make one piece the correct size and the other oversize, then trim it flush later with a router.
For my next router table, I will build a really sturdy frame, sort of like a torsion box, that is mortise and tenoned with four crosspieces (allow room for the router). Then I will apply one layer of mdf to this. I believe this will stay flatter longer than two layers of mdf over time. Of course, care must be taken to make the frame flat at glue up.
Preston
I am in the process of constructing a router table using ¾" MDF for the case and tabletop. The case was completed with little problem or fanfare. I cut two sections for the top and spread PVA glue over the surface of one of the panels. I tried to spread the glue evenly with a spatula and had difficulty spreading it. To further complicate matters it appeared the MDF was absorbing the glue. I opted to drizzle glue over the remainder of the piece (about ¼ of the area) and let gravity help spread the glue. I assumed (big mistake) that the glue would spread out when weight was applied on top. I stacked two coolers filled with water on top and placed the cabinet case atop of that. I then put a couple of boxes of ceramic tile on the case for good measure. I knew I was in trouble when I saw glue being squeezed out sporadically around the pieces. After letting it dry 2 days I uncovered the mess. As I feared there is a gap on one side where the glue did not spread. I now have a new top for my yet to be built SCM station! Now I have to do it again. I have thought about using a paint roller to try to evenly coat the panel. Has anyone tried this method? Any other ideas? I have considered trying more weight but shy of parking a car on it, I don't have a clue what I could use. Again, any Ideas?
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wrote:

I've done exactly that, using a 3 or 4-inch trim roller. It works very well. As the glue soaks into the MDF you just go back and roll on some more. After a couple coats it'll stop absorbing.
-- jc Published e-mail address is strictly for spam collection. If e-mailing me, please use jc631 at optonline dot net
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Boy are you making a simple job difficult! Get some good contact cement (the stuff with SOLVENT) --Weldwood will do, and use a roller to apply TWO coats to each piece. Carefully align and press together as the instructions state on the can. Not too soon, and not to late. :) It isn't gonna come apart...
Don't do this job around a source of ignition.
David
Poseidon wrote:

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For spreading the glue, I would use a paint roller made for glue. You may have to look in the laminate top section of the Borg to find them. I've used the smaller trim rollers to spread yellow glue on veneer when using the iron on method.
Also consider putting on a thin coat and letting it absorb into the MDF, effectively acting like sizing. Then put on a second coat that won't soak in quite as much.
You asked about clamping. If you get the glue spread evenly, you really don't need that much clamping pressure. I would think your coolers, tile and kitchen sink method should be enough. Where you had good glue coverage, did you get a good bond? If so, then your clamping pressure was enough. Don't plan on using clamping pressure to spread the glue. The hydrolic effect of the glue is way stronger than you will ever get clamping pressure in a home shop.
Bernie PS: Let's see some picture when you get it done!
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I am in the process of constructing a router table using ¾” MDF for the case and tabletop. The case was completed with little problem or fanfare. I cut two sections for the top and spread PVA glue over the surface of one of the panels. I tried to spread the glue evenly with a spatula and had difficulty spreading it. To further complicate matters it appeared the MDF was absorbing the glue. I opted to drizzle glue over the remainder of the piece (about ¼ of the area) and let gravity help spread the glue. &nbsp;I assumed (big mistake) that the glue would spread out when weight was applied on top. I stacked two coolers filled with water on top and placed the cabinet case atop of that. I then put a couple of boxes of ceramic tile on the case for good measure. I knew I was in trouble when I saw glue being squeezed out sporadically around the pieces. After letting it dry 2 days I uncovered the mess. As I feared there is a gap on one side where the glue did not spread. I now have a new top for my yet to be built SCM station! </SPAN></FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Now I have to do it again. I have thought about using a paint roller to try to evenly coat the panel. Has anyone tried this method? Any other ideas? I have considered trying more weight but shy of parking a car on it, I don’t have a clue what I could use. Again, any Ideas? </SPAN></FONT></P></FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Use contact cement
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I am in the process of constructing a router table using ¾” MDF for the case and tabletop. The case was completed with little problem or fanfare. I cut two sections for the top and spread PVA glue over the surface of one of the panels. I tried to spread the glue evenly with a spatula and had difficulty spreading it. To further complicate matters it appeared the MDF was absorbing the glue. I opted to drizzle glue over the remainder of the piece (about ¼ of the area) and let gravity help spread the glue. &nbsp;I assumed (big mistake) that the glue would spread out when weight was applied on top. I stacked two coolers filled with water on top and placed the cabinet case atop of that. I then put a couple of boxes of ceramic tile on the case for good measure. I knew I was in trouble when I saw glue being squeezed out sporadically around the pieces. After letting it dry 2 days I uncovered the mess. As I feared there is a gap on one side where the glue did not spread. I now have a new top for my yet to be built SCM station! </SPAN></FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Now I have to do it again. I have thought about using a paint roller to try to evenly coat the panel. Has anyone tried this method? Any other ideas? I have considered trying more weight but shy of parking a car on it, I don’t have a clue what I could use. Again, any Ideas? </SPAN></FONT></P></FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Thank you all for responding! I appreciate the inputs. I will post pix when I get done.
-Mike
-- Michael Hoskowicz
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I am in the process of constructing a router table using ¾” MDF for the case and tabletop. The case was completed with little problem or fanfare. I cut two sections for the top and spread PVA glue over the surface of one of the panels. I tried to spread the glue evenly with a spatula and had difficulty spreading it. To further complicate matters it appeared the MDF was absorbing the glue. I opted to drizzle glue over the remainder of the piece (about ¼ of the area) and let gravity help spread the glue. &nbsp;I assumed (big mistake) that the glue would spread out when weight was applied on top. I stacked two coolers filled with water on top and placed the cabinet case atop of that. I then put a couple of boxes of ceramic tile on the case for good measure. I knew I was in trouble when I saw glue being squeezed out sporadically around the pieces. After letting it dry 2 days I uncovered the mess. As I feared there is a gap on one side where the glue did not spread. I now have a new top for my yet to be built SCM station! </SPAN></FONT></P> <P class=MsoNormal><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Now I have to do it again. I have thought about using a paint roller to try to evenly coat the panel. Has anyone tried this method? Any other ideas? I have considered trying more weight but shy of parking a car on it, I don’t have a clue what I could use. Again, any Ideas? </SPAN></FONT></P></FONT></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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Just did some of that with 2 pieces of MDF for a small workbench. For a face joint the particular glue isn't too important so I just used cheap white glue. Used a roller to quickly apply a very light coat to each piece and gave it an hour to dry (sealing the MDF surface). Then put a heavier coat on one piece and a couple of positioning angles on two long corners so I wouldn't have to fuss getting them even.
At this point, the key is how to effectively clamp them (unless using contact cement). Forget weights or clamps unless the piece is pretty small. For large pieces, the only two good ways I know are a vacuum bag, or cauls. Not having the former, I made and clamped on five cauls. GerryG

tabletop. The case was completed with little problem or fanfare. I cut two sections for the top and spread PVA glue over the surface of one of the panels. I tried to spread the glue evenly with a spatula and had difficulty spreading it. To further complicate matters it appeared the MDF was absorbing the glue. I opted to drizzle glue over the remainder of the piece (about ¼ of the area) and let gravity help spread the glue. I assumed (big mistake) that the glue would spread out when weight was applied on top. I stacked two coolers filled with water on top and placed the cabinet case atop of that. I then put a couple of boxes of ceramic tile on the case for good measure. I knew I was in trouble when I saw glue being squeezed out sporadically around the pieces. After letting it dry 2 days I uncovered the mess. As I feared there is a gap on one side where the glue did not spread. I now have a new top for my

evenly coat the panel. Has anyone tried this method? Any other ideas? I have considered trying more weight but shy of parking a car on it, I don't have a clue what I could use. Again, any Ideas?
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You might pick up some relevant tips by watching the free video at http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/wvt083b.asp Its about veneering on MDF but the gluing principals using a paint roller probably apply.
Bob
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Excellent video! Thank you so much..
-Mike

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