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Cabinet construction - veneered MDF

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Digizz

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I've settled on a cabinet construction type to hold my new aquarium. It will be a very simple veneered MDF 'box' construction.

My question - how easy or difficult is it to achieve a good mitre along the shorter edges of two largish MDF panels so I can biscuit join them? Would it be easier to butt join them and veneer one edge? Nasty though?

I do have a P/T and TS - but never mitred large panels before.

Ta, Paul.
 

Chris Knight

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Paul,

It is tricky but can be done perfectly satisfactorily on the table saw if the saw is big enough. You will need an out-feed table and preferably a helper to do the job properly.

A feather edge on MDF will be rather fragile and my approach would be to mitre but after veneering, to rout the arris for an inlaid strip of hardwood, (square in cross section) that then becomes the corner. This is a common approach too, to hide imperfections in the mitreing.
 

Digizz

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Will that work with biscuit joining?

I'll be using pre-made maple veneered MDF boards at 19mm thick, maybe even the thicker version at 26mm (IIRC). There will be quite a weight on the cabinet.

Do you have a sketch of how you'd do it? I'm not sure I can fully visualise it.

Thanks.
 

Chris Knight

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Paul,

A bit rushed but this is what I mean. This is a section through the mitre which you can biscuit together as normal. Then just rout the corner after assembly and veneering (although if using pre-veneerd boards as you say, then that step is not needed!) and glue in a strip.
 
A

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Paul

I would agree with Chris on this as you will be very lucky to get a nice edge otherwise.

I woukd cut the 45 degree using a hand held circular saw set to 45 degree and with a good blade in and a baten clamped to he MDF to guide it

My cheapo circular saw has a fine cut Trend blade in and hardly tears any of the veneer at all
 

Digizz

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waterhead37":2eautdte said:
Paul,

A bit rushed but this is what I mean. This is a section through the mitre which you can biscuit together as normal. Then just rout the corner after assembly and veneering (although if using pre-veneerd boards as you say, then that step is not needed!) and glue in a strip.
Ah yes - I understand :)

Would you get the inlay strip exactly dimensioned or leave it slightly larger and plane/sand to size? Can you plane veneer without risking tearing it out?
 

Digizz

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Tony":1i7lh5ob said:
Paul

I would agree with Chris on this as you will be very lucky to get a nice edge otherwise.

I woukd cut the 45 degree using a hand held circular saw set to 45 degree and with a good blade in and a baten clamped to he MDF to guide it

My cheapo circular saw has a fine cut Trend blade in and hardly tears any of the veneer at all
Why would you use a hand held rather than TS? Just ease of use?
 

SimonA

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Howdy Digizz,

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I've been thinking about making some built in units for the dining room using veneered MDF or ply so I too could use a little help from the pros out there that use it all the time........Having also never used a veneered surface before I thought that a lot of the questions I would have might be useful to you too? Would you mind if I posted a few along with your questions?

Cheers

Simon
 

Chris Knight

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Paul,

Leave the inlay strip oversize and plane flush. As long as you use a fine set plane it is quite easy.. I prefer using a long plane so that it is easy to register the front or rear of the plane on the veneered surface. Just don't try to rush it and ensure the blade is very sharp. If set fine and you plane the veneer, it will only be a couple of thou that are planed and you will see it in the shavings as long as you empty them out after each stroke (always a good habit anyway)

Tony has not yet said why he prefers a hand held saw - possibly to do with the feather edge rubbing against the fence on a table saw. In any event I have always used the table saw without difficulty.
 

Digizz

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SimonA":18li787k said:
Howdy Digizz,

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit, but I've been thinking about making some built in units for the dining room using veneered MDF or ply so I too could use a little help from the pros out there that use it all the time........Having also never used a veneered surface before I thought that a lot of the questions I would have might be useful to you too? Would you mind if I posted a few along with your questions?

Cheers

Simon
Sure - help yourself :D
 

Digizz

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waterhead37":2qcm65yo said:
Tony has not yet said why he prefers a hand held saw - possibly to do with the feather edge rubbing against the fence on a table saw. In any event I have always used the table saw without difficulty.
You're still using the Scheppach supplied blade I believe? I've been thinking of getting a finer blade but haven't so far.
 

jasonB

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It can be done on a TS preferably with a sliding carrage if the panels are of a large size, use a sharp blade for laminate or a triple chip profile. Try to cut the board so the point of the mitre is on the top so any break-out will be inside the cabinet.

I usually leave strining a little larger than the rebate then scrape it flush, less chance of catching the veneer which will only be about 0.5mm thick on preveneered boards.

Provided you can get a good grain/colour match the option of butt joints and over veneering is fairly easy especially if you use flexi veneer which is pre jointed and comes on a paper backing. These table legs use the method, the two wide sides are preveneered, the narrow sides & tops are flexi.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v156/jaso ... CT0011.jpg

Jason
 

SimonA

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Cheers fella.....

As I said before I thinking about making some built in units for the dining room to make it more of a office-come-dining room. I fairly sure of the design, but I could do with a little bit of help on the construction side. I'm basing the construction of the units around the same design as kitchen units, but with bookshelves on the top. These will be mixed, some with glazed doors and some just open. The first little bit of help would be in the form of a drawing or sketch of how the base units could be made.....I have a basic drawing down already but just need someone to say that I'm heading in the right direction.....

Cheers for all your help....

Simon
 
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