I have a client who has a stack of 9mm (3/8″) and 25mm (1″) mdf that he wants made into a wall of cupboards and a wall of matching panelling. Toal lengtha bout 16 metres (33 ft) by 2.1 (7 ft high)
This guy is a designer but not a woodworker. His idea is to cut the 9mm mdf into 150mm (6″) strips, rebate it by 50mm (2″) by 4mm (go figure”) then plant this as a surrond onto slabs of the 25mm stuff. There’s a bit more moulding, involved, but you get the picture…
I’ve used a lot of MDF as a carcassing material, and for shelves, flat doors (including some pierced) and even a bit of edge moulding, buit never like this.
My guit reaction is that the idea is bad. The wide shallow rebate in the 9mm stock will look bad as it won’t be surface-smooth. The planted-on strips give a big gluing problem, (how do you clamp all that? and how join it? Mitres? Please no!
There are other problems which i want go into save to say that assymetrical router cutters are hard to come by.
So, trying to give this guy something like what he wants, I could
a: Use a comboination of router cutters, fences, baseplates and so on to cut ‘fielded’ panels out of solid mdf stock.
b: Use conventional joinery techniques for the fixed pannelling – cut the MDF into strips, groove, join, field pannels etc. Piece of cake
c: But how could I make this work for doors? Is mdf strong enough to support framed cabinet doors with short tenons or biscuits? It would have to be done with a router and tct cutters. I ain’t sticking no mortiser through MDF. Are there any good books on MDF techniques? As thois is all going to be painted, my own bet would be on softwood stiles, tops and bottomns with moulded/fielded mdf panels – the latter could be done with a tct shaper block
Or should I just choose a different career?