On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 07:15:45 GMT, "Novice"
MDF is great. Easy to work, stable in service, cheaper than plywood.
It's a lot nicer than particle board. It's heavy, so it's not too good
for portable items, but this does give some stability for smaller
things like a CD rack.
I suggest getting a biscuit jointer, and a fine toothed blade for
whatever sort of saw you use. You'll also want a dust mask if you're
1/2" MDF is fine for most pieces, or something like a CD rack where
the shelf spans are narrow. But it is prone to sagging under load, so
don't use it for bookshelves, and go to 5/8" or 3/4" for wider shelves
It screws easily into the face, and awkwardly into the side grain.
Always pre-drill and use MDF screws; parallel thread, twin start.
There are also lots of patent and knock-down fittings around - barrel
nuts and bolts are good for knockdowns.
For a CD cabinet, I'd work on a basic carcase with biscuit joints, and
internal dividers. Racking the CDs vertically, on shelves of about 9"
width is my favourite. You can read the spines and they won't usually
fall over, assuming it's fairly full. All the specialist racks and
dividers I've seen work badly, or don't work at all for non-standard
jewel cases. I'd fit a back panel, but this would be thin MDF and
applied by screws. It also helps to support the shelves.
Avoid boring straight edges. It routs well, so dont be afraid to
jigsaw a big sweeping curve, then run some sort of rounding cutter
over the edge.
These were done with a single-sided Queen Anne cutter.
For a painted finish, use MDF primer first. Using water based paints
instead will raise fibres on the surface. Another option is to use
Valchromat instead of MDF - this is MDF with extra adhesive and a
pigment. It's self-finished straight from the router, even on moulded
edges. Comes in several colours and is more moisture resistant too.
Do whales have krillfiles ?