Adding wood veneer to MDF for shelving

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  #1  
Old 04-12-04, 10:46 AM
stuarterickson
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Post Adding wood veneer to MDF for shelving

I recently built a large set of pantry shelves out of MDF. I was looking into buying sheets of wood veneer to surface the exterior and shelves but was surprised to find that they cost around $80 for a 4' x 8' sheet! At that price, I might as well have built the shelves out of hardwood in the first place (I can get sheets of hardwood plywood for around $50 a sheet).

Is there a lower cost veneer option that I don't know about? If not, what would cause someone to ever use wood veneer instead of sheets of hardwood plywood?

From an asthetic standpoint, what are some good options to make the MDF look good? I can put nice 1"x2" hardwood facing on the ends of the shelves, but what should I do for the MDF shelves themselves? Stain? Try to Paint with the same color as the wood stain?

-Trying to learn
Stuart
 
  #2  
Old 04-12-04, 11:56 AM
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Stuart-

At the risk of insulting you, I think you should have thought your project thru before you started. If you had looked into relative costs, you probably would have used a good quality plywood with real wood face frames or edge bands.

Now, you're kinda stuck with either using the MDF shelves or chucking them out and starting over. Personally, I would start over because MDF isn't a very good shelf material anyway (it bows much easier than plywood).

If you must use the MDF, you can put a 'lip' on the front edge to improve their appearance and add some strength. I usually rip some 3/4" stock about 1-1/2" wide, cut a 3/4"x3/4" rabbet in it, then glue it to the edge of my shelf. If you like, you could use a router to round over the front edges for a neater appearance.

If you'll send me an email (Dave_D@sbcglobal.net), I'll send you a picture of what I'm talking about.
 
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Old 04-12-04, 03:03 PM
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Firewood sounds like a good option. If you're not interested in gonig that route, take the wood and stain it to whatever color you want, then find a paint sample that will match one of the color tones in the wood and paint the MDF with that.
 
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Old 04-12-04, 05:44 PM
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C'mon Mike..........you ever tried to burn MDF or particle board? It doesn't burn worth squat and smells bad too.
 
  #5  
Old 04-12-04, 09:40 PM
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Well Dave,

If it doesn't work, we can always start singing the song, "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don't need no water let the mother ...... burn, burn, mother.... BURN!!!!!!!"

I haven't heard that song in a long time.

Ya, probably not a good idea to burn particle board, Mdf or plywood.

But MMMMM the smell of Cocobolo burning, now that's yummy. Did I forget to mention that Cocobolo is posionous and can cause death if inhaled?

Maybe that's why I think that 1+1= 5
 
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Old 04-13-04, 06:53 AM
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No, I didn't know that. Glad to find out, though, since cocobolo is one of the species that may be used for the face trim on those stereo cases I build.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-13-04, 08:45 AM
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I found a commonly available table of wood toxicity and posted it here. http://www.k4tet.us/Toxic_wood.html

It was surprising to find that some common woods, such as: maple; can cause reactions the same as cocobolo. Cocobolo can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Of course, all dust presents some hazard. Some reactions can occur from contact with the wood and its sap, such as: poison ivy.

We need to be careful with all our work and hobbies.
 

Last edited by chfite; 05-31-04 at 08:58 PM. Reason: correct url
  #8  
Old 04-13-04, 12:04 PM
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Cocobolo is one of the worst to inhale.

When I'm around Spanish Cedar, my asthma kicks in immediatly
 
  #9  
Old 04-14-04, 09:31 AM
dzl13
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maple?

I recently trimmed my maple tree and have a ton of fire wood (really big tree). Are you saying its not safe for me to burn in the fireplace next winter?
 
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Old 04-14-04, 06:43 PM
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According to the chart, some respiratory reaction may occur from exposure to the dust, as in sanding or sawing.

See chart

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 04-28-04, 11:03 AM
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Back to the original question. I would use hardwood faces (or mouldings on the fronts) including the front edge of each shelf and paint the shelves themselves a contrasting color (white, off-white, black, hot pink). That way it looks intentional, and it could look pretty nice.
 
  #12  
Old 05-31-04, 10:18 AM
Tommy2Times
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MDF + veneer is better than hardwood plywood

You could rout a 3/4" bullnose on the edge(MDF machines a whole lot better than plywood), paint the whole thing, and flip it when you notice it bowing, or apply a hardwood shelf edge and flip it. People use MDF and veneer on cabinets and furniture because you can get the best yield on the MDF(you don't have to worry about grain direction) and apply the grain however you wish. If you are not knowledgable about contstruction, you can screw right through the face, fill the screwholes with bondo, and veneer only the visible areas. Hope this helps.
 

Last edited by Tommy2Times; 05-31-04 at 10:49 AM.
 

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