I am new to woodworking and would like to use MDF for a book case. I have
read that there can be some health issues with the dust when cutting the
sheets and want to know how others deal with the dust. What precautions
should I take in addition to a dust mask and eye protection?
Thanks in advance for your help.
The best advice I can give Dave, is don't use MDF. It's termite crap and
glue. Wood isn't going to cost you that much more and when you're done
you'll have something that won't crumple at the slightest bump or swell with
a little moisture. Not to mention, wood will actually carry the weight of
books - MDF won't carry its own weight.
Best precaution is to use a more suitable material for a bookcase. MDF is
not strong for shelves as it sags easily. Think plywood. Or pine boards
even. Check material differences here:
A basic dust mask and good dust collection.
You should also go to the trouble of getting
the "correct" wood screws for the project.
Check with the folks at http://www.mcfeelys.com /
Biscuits are also excellent for mdf.
Here is a great looking library made from nothing but
You will hear about how terrible mdf is and
that you can't build anything with it.
David Emerson wrote:
Keep in mind that MDF will sag under it's own weight. So, be sure to
The dust can be troublesome. I put myself between the MDF being cut and a
high out put fan blowing towards the large open garage door.
I did a bookcase, and a couple of other projects out of MDF when I was
starting too. It's cheap, so I figured the cost of a mistake would be
Get a *good* dust mask/cartridge respirator - I popped for a 3M N95 rated
one. Something along the lines of:
Dust will be *everywhere* so have a good ShopVac or Dust Collection
system running while you cut. I hope your shop is outside or in the
A couple of inexpensive Box Fans with decent furnance filters tacked on
can act like inexpensive air cleaners too.
The nice things about MDF are it's cheap, it's flat and square. The
downsides are it's heavy, it can't span a large distance and hold alot of
books, you'll want to paint it when you're done.
As others have said, make MDF your last choice... if ya have to use it, consider
making the "box" out of MDF and real wood for the shelves..
PLEASE.. if you do use MDF (or "particle board") use a real dust mask, not one
of those paper things with the elastic band and nose clip... they're for garden
clippings, not potentially harmful dust from laminates... YMMV
Also, if you don't have dust collection, be very careful with the dust that's
going to be all over your shop... especially if you have kids..
Please remove splinters before emailing
Not to be too picky, but particle board is not MDF
and MDF is not particle board.
Anybody cutting any wood should be concerned with
dust collection, with or without kids.
mac davis wrote:
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