On a raised panel cabinet door thats 22 x 44", would 3/4" MDF provide
adequate structure for the rail and stiles also? The rail and stiles are
It would use MDF for the raised panel and rather then floating (as is
necessary for a solid wood door), the panel would be glued all around the 4
edges providing added structural strength. Further, I think this also would
use 3 hinges when using the Blum type hidden hinges.
I could use cheap dry 2x4 milled to size also for the rail and stile, but
sticking with MDF would reduce the work load.
Any thoughts of your experience are appreciated?
I installed MDF base molding in my house and was so impressed I
thought I discovered electricity. Several months have gone by and the
stuff is starting to look crappy. Yes MDF machines easily and
produces crisp lines but it can't take a shot. The slightest bump
with something will leave a mark or a chip. Also consider the holding
power of screws in MDF, will the hinges hold in the MDF? I would go
with Poplar or similar.
If you don't mind a material that cannot stand up to normal use without
showing dents, dings and other deformities, then by all means use MDF. The
stuff is pure junk and should be relegated to the home improvement shows on
I think it is great stuff where appropriate. Like all materials they
have both appropriate uses and inappropriate.
I love making templates from MDF if they will be short lived. Very
easy to shape with any type of cutter. I also like it as underlayment
when you want to add some heaft to a project. I've used it laminated
under under 3/4 ply to thicken table tops to 1-1/2" and add some
weight. It works great as a replacable bench top, dividers and back
boards in some projects, they even make entire single piece cabinet
doors from it which is fine when they do the thermal shrink coatings.
It is indenspeible as a CNC bed, etc. etc.
You guys must be out of touch with the real world then... All of those
"Remodeling Shows" make all of their high quality furniture out of
MDF. I can only hope to make pieces as nice as their's some day! MDF
held toghether with 18gauge brads is the only way to go if you want
TRUE "heirloom quality".
Ha.. Ha.. Ha.. :-)
"Heirloom quality" Now there is a description that means nothing.
An Heirloom does not have to be a quality piece. An heirloom is something
that has simply been a family possession handed down from generation to
I have a 16 lb sledge hammer badly rusted and with a cracked handle that is
As you well know, there are a ton of solid mdf interior doors being sold now
in the building industry these days.
As to the OP's original question ... and for him the question: Why even
bother with constructing mdf rails and stiles?
Most mdf cabinet doors are made entirely of a single piece of mdf, with the
"raised panel" simply routed into the face, and the edges routed in an
Add a couple of 35mm hinge holes, fill, prime, paint and away you go.
If you're going with mdf in the first place, this is usually the
best/easiest/longer lasting approach, IME.
The last time I routed MDF I got a bunch of "fuzzies" where the bit
passed (I was routing out a depression in a block). Is that a function
of the MDF or of my router bit?
I would use MDF more often, but when I encountered those fuzzies I
wasn't sure how to proceed. They didn't really sand out, and it just
looked crappy. I had to change my project materials to jummywood and
Au contraire ... mdf _is_ "real wood" ... just ask Mattress Mac, or any
furniture store salesman. ;)
Thanks for that link, BTW ... I passed it on to a past customer who was in
the shop yesterday, and who, while looking to build his own doors, was
looking for me to tell/advise him how to do it.
That oughta take care of that! ;)
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