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View Full Version : Wood - what to use and what NOT to use



@lien_Zed
10th September 2006, 12:52 PM
This morning i finsihed putting the finishing touches to a monitor surround for my lowboy cabinet.
and then i went to slide it in side the cabimet.
i was a bit supsect the wood might crack...

sure enough, it did.
i did use 12mm particle board.
this time round i wont bother.i will use about 18mm plywood instead.
hope somebody learns from my mistakes.... *sigh*
i know better for next time

lookout bunnings, here i come again!

Crafty
10th September 2006, 08:29 PM
Bad Luck....:x

Bunnings is slowly taking over the hardware world...

It would not surprise me if one day I wander on in and find a cheap imported ready to stain arcade cabinet in one of their warehouses...

@lien_Zed
11th September 2006, 05:42 AM
on the bright side of it i used the particle board as a template to mark out the new one on the wood i bought.i got 15mm 5ply sheet. that should do the trick

DevoDave
11th September 2006, 07:46 AM
I'm curious... there isn't usually a lot of stress on a monitor surround.. what made this one crack?

Ric
11th September 2006, 09:58 AM
i am looking to build a repalcement pinball cabinet - i was originally looking at plywood but MDF seems to be a nicer looking wood and appear not to have issues with knots etc (went to bunningsa and all their plywood had knots in varying degrees)

is their an advantghae or disadvantge to using playwood over MDf or vice versa?

Cheers

Ric

elvis
11th September 2006, 10:10 AM
is their an advantghae or disadvantge to using playwood over MDf or vice versa?

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) Pros:
* Doesn't chip easily
* Easy to sand/paint/finish - baby smooth finishes are simple!
* Easy to cut (fairly soft for tool work)
* Easy for edge-routing (T-Molding, etc)
* Very strong at 18mm

MDF Cons:
* MDF dust is very bad for you! Mask and googles are MANDATORY when working with this stuff
* Needs to be sealed quickly. Working with MDF in wet weather will make it expand. Throw a coat of sealer on this stuff ASAP (even before you start working with it, if it's going to be stored for a while)

Plywood Pros:
* Strong
* Easy to cut
* Not as much evil dust as MDF
* Won't expand like MDF
* Paint-friendly with a good all-in-one sealer and undercoat.

Plywood Cons:
* Can chip unevenly at the ends and corners - not as routing/t-moulding friendly.
* Can chip on edges with a rough sander, which can look ugly.

Chipboard or coarse Particleboard Pros:
* None. This is shit. Leave it alone.

Chipboard or coarse Particleboard Cons:
* Where do I start? It flakes, it doesn't deal well with moisture, it's a bitch to paint, etc. Avoid it at all costs.


For cabinets, I'm an MDF fan because it's easy to finish. If I'm building structural stuff that nobody is going to look at, ply all the way. Ply also is not bad for laminating. But for pretty things that need a good finish, particulary when using paint, MDF is the winner.


I'm curious... there isn't usually a lot of stress on a monitor surround.. what made this one crack?
Without having a look at it, my guess would be moisture. You *NEED* to seal this stuff properly. I'm gobsmacked at the number of cabinets I see daily (even "professional" LAI cabs) that just have a single layer of paint slapped on them with no sealer.

Bunnings sell a number of nice all-in-one sealer+undercoat paints. Choose the right one for your topcoat (water based or oil based depending on your finish). As I said before, it even pays to slap a layer of sealer over your MDF quickly if it's going to sit in the shed for a few weeks. I live in Brisbane and it's always muggy here. Moist air is a killer for any sort of particle/fibre board.

DKong
11th September 2006, 10:10 AM
I have used MDF on a Lowboy monitor surround with no problems...

OzStick
11th September 2006, 12:26 PM
Agree totally with Elvis - particleboard is garbage and I would not recommend it for use as a monitor support/surround. It may appear strong but if you've cut a dirty big hole in the middle of it then it won't be. It's only use is for shelving in walk in robes and that's where it should ALL be used.......

Us southerners are lucky in that we don't have to endure the same humidity as our northern friends, so MDF is a more suited material to use.

MDF should do the trick nicely and won't cost a King's ransom compared to ply. 16mm MDF should be fine, otherwise 18mm if it is easier to source. You shouldn't have too many moisture probs due to it being inside the cabinet, but only you can make that call.

elvis
11th September 2006, 12:32 PM
Pricing wise, last time I bought a sheet of MDF from bunnings it was $50 for a 1200x2400 sheet.

That was enough for me to make an entire cocktail cab out of. My upright cab (http://benchmark.mameworld.net/cab1/) of course was 3 sheets of the stuff, but it's bloody huge (over 6 foot high).

OzStick
11th September 2006, 12:50 PM
Pricing wise, last time I bought a sheet of MDF from bunnings it was $50 for a 1200x2400 sheet.

$50??? They saw you coming - last full sheet I bought was $31, which admittedly was from a supplier, but not that long ago I got a sheet from the local Mitre 10 for $36!!

Cheers,
Chris

jumpydoctor
11th September 2006, 02:03 PM
I have an offcut of MDF that I use for putting under things I drill etc and it has been out leaning up against the back of the shed (on the ground) for months now and I am very surprised at the condition it is still in. We have had some reasonable rain as well. On this basis I will be using it for any projects coming up and would recommend it over particle board. A guy I know in his 70's reckons that despite all the hoo haa over new generation particle (chip) board it's no where near as good as the original stuff when it first became popular.

elvis
11th September 2006, 03:07 PM
$50??? They saw you coming - last full sheet I bought was $31, which admittedly was from a supplier, but not that long ago I got a sheet from the local Mitre 10 for $36!!

Cheers,
Chris
Damn, I got pwnt. That'll learn me not to shop around.


A guy I know in his 70's reckons that despite all the hoo haa over new generation particle (chip) board it's no where near as good as the original stuff when it first became popular.
The glues they use nowadays in particleboard are ever so slightly safer for human intake compared to the old carcenogenic stuff of the early days. Not to mention cheaper. I still wouldn't go inhaling the stuff of course.

Anyways... with said price reduction and safety improvement came the inevitable drop in quality. Such is life in the modern world.