Turn MDF into Amazing Woodworking Projects with Capable Tools
Medium-density Fibreboard is a high-density material made with resins and wood fibre. It is made by pressing wood fibres embedded in a synthetic resin binder together. Apart from being inexpensive, they are ahead in qualities like strength and durability too. Therefore, MDF is suitable for a wide range of woodworking tasks, including furniture, cabinets, doors, and many other interior design applications.
MDF can be cut with any instrument that cuts wood; however, the cutting tool should be chosen by keeping the MDF's unique qualities in mind. But precaution must be taken to use the best tools to get the best out of it.
The easy and effective way to cut the MDF is using a table saw with a carbide-tipped blade. To avoid dust build-up, the blade should be carbide-tipped, and the table saw should have a vacuum removal system.
It can be cut in 4 major ways:
- Straight cuts
- Curved cuts
Before selecting the blade for cutting MDF, you should keep the following things in mind:
- Blade size: You must select a small blade size for MDF cutting as saws can handle smaller blade sizes, and with that, you will be able to produce a clean cut easily.
- Blade teeth count: The blade must have a high tooth count per inch to deal with a high-density board like MDF. For cutting MDF, the optimum tooth count per inch varies from 50 to 80 teeth per blade.
- Blade type: Various blade types can be used with table saws to properly cut MDF such as crosscut blade, combination blade, composite blade, ATB blade, etc.
Before going through the MDF cutting process, let us understand how we can keep ourselves safe:
- Wear protective gears: Before beginning the process of cutting the MDF board, make sure you are wearing all the protective gear like thick working gloves, tight and long-sleeved t-shirts/shirts, ear protection, safety goggles, and dust mask, etc. The gloves will provide a thin layer of protection against the edges of MDF and your saw blade. Also, the goggles and mask can protect your eyes, throat, and nose from the dust.
- Cut it in a large room or large external area: During the cutting process, dust is released thus it is advisable to cut it in an outer, large, and empty area.
- Position: In the course of the cutting operation, keep the MDF board perfectly flat against the table.
How to Cut A MDF Board?
The two main methods of cutting MDF are as follows:
- Making A Straight Cut:
- Unplug the table saw and attach a sturdy blade to the circular saw. The saw should have a cutting speed between 3000 to 3500 m/sec and the carbide tip blade should have 50-80 teeth per blade.
- Amend the depth of the blade slightly lower than the MDF board so that there is no difference between the height of the two surfaces and the blade cuts properly. After that, release the depth knob or lever on your saw and slowly slide the blade till the tip is just below your MDF sheet. Again, consolidate the depth knob or lever once you have got the blade where you want it.
- Attach your MDF board to a large solid table and ensure that the piece you need to cut hangs over the edge of the surface, and then use bolts to hold the MDF board in place.
- Make a thick line using woodworking tape or a pencil over the area of the MDF piece you want to cut through. Since you can only cut through the wood once, use a tape measure to double-check the line's length and alignment using a level or L-square.
- By slowly pushing your circular saw through the MDF board, you can cut the marked area while keeping the saw stable and the cutting speed gradual and stable. If you notice your saw fluctuating or flexing, switch it off and wait for a minute before restarting.
- A jigsaw can be used to make curved cuts on the MDF sheet. Unplug the device and install a narrow blade that has numerous small teeth just like T-shank or a bi-metal cutting blade.
- Secure the MDF sheet board on a hard surface and if the area you want to cut is in the middle of the MDF board, lay either end of the material on a strong table or sawhorse. Then, to keep the MDF sheet from sliding around, use big clamps around the borders.
- Use a pencil to draw the line for cutting the MDF piece or you can also use a drafting compass or stencils to create more precise curves.
- Now cut over the marked area with your jigsaw, using slow, delicate movement to create a path through it because MDF is quite dense. Turn the saw ON and gently push it into the MDF board, making sure the blade is aligned with the defined line.
Some other woodworking tools which can be used in the cutting process of the MDF board are:
- Circular saw
- Jigsaw for curved cuts
- Hole saw to drill holes
- Rip fence
- Push stick
- Meter gauge
Thus, you can cut MDF board without cracking or damaging it if you properly follow the steps outlined above.
To summarise, cutting MDF is usually a simple operation. To produce precise, accurate, and clean cuts without chipping, you will need to be cautious. In this blog, we have deeply understood the procedure of cutting MDF sheets on our own by following simple techniques. And we now know that we can cut the MDF board using a variety of ways, but with care and protection at our hands. You won't have to worry about cutting a piece of MDF straight any longer. Just keep in mind that your safety is more important than everything else.