radiator cover out of MDF

36" H, 12" W, 75" L radiator cover . I was thinking of using mdf for the top and sides . plywood back and for the front a divided poplar frame around decorative metal grating. the whole thing will be permanently attached to wall and floor since this will be located not by a wall but by the top of a staircase. are there any problems using mdf for this application?
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On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:04:40 -0500, "Fairway Ray"

I have used MDF, but for shop furniture. It's best property is that it is flat and smooth. It's a pain to get a strong joint from MDF, but there are special screws you can use for it. It is heavy stuff, cheap, but hard on bits and blades. You should be okay with it, although I might choose ply for the top for better strength.
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The consensus is that MDF and most other man-made sheet goods release formaldehyde and other chemicals over time. I'd guess that a radiator (heat) will accelerate the process.
'zat OK in your application?
-JBB

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Hi, Ray,
Nah, MDF is very stable and is well-suited to this sort of application.
Only one question - why are you putting a back on it?
Cheers
Frank

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Radiator covers in my experience are a real test of stability for wood products, its a bad application for solid boards at least. MDF would probably be the best choice if it never gets wet.
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as i said in my post i was thinking of using ply for the back. only one narrow end will be facing the wall. the cover will not be tight to the radiator with about 10" of open space on the top, 6" on the narrow ends and 3" front and back . I want to anchor it to the floor and wall in some manor as it will also be be replacing a banister on top of a staircase. this why i like the idea mdf as it is heavy and easy to work with as i am just a beginner to woodworking. Thanks to all who replied . Ray.

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On Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:04:40 -0500, "Fairway Ray"

The proverbial answer is "it depends".
Two kinds of radiator systems: "Steam", and "hot water".
Steam radiators _will_ vent steam into the room. this moisture will *not* do MDF any good.
Hot water radiators are a sealed system, with no venting.
OTOH, the _heat_ involved won't be good for *any* kind of wood. splitting/ checking, warping, cupping, and bowing are all likely, without precautions.
Insulating the 'solid' parts, and using a polished metal 'inner liner' is not a bad idea.
Also consider a medium-small thermostatically-controlled _electric_fan_, to keep the heat level inside the enclosure down to 'moderate' temperatures.
All of the above is a 'non-issue' with all-metal radiator covers -- which *is* why that's what you 'usually' find.
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