Reply by JBrow

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Posted on MDF for round table apron?

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1368 posts in 1729 days

#1 posted 10-19-2017 01:45 AM


I can give no reasons that would prevent a circular table apron being made from face gluing two pieces of ½” MDF although using a 1” thick piece of MDF could be a little easier. However there are some potential issues with MDF that may be worth considering. The table apron is likely to be a structural member of the table. The table top and the table legs presumably attach to the MDF ring. MDF could be weak in these critical areas and eventually fail. With this in mind, perhaps the MDF apron could be strengthened in these areas.

The first problem would be to ensure the two MDF layers are firmly and uniformly bonded together. The approach to cutting the apron layers would likely affect the ease or difficultly of achieving a good bond.

Since the plan includes a 1/16” thick poplar veneer glued to the perimeter of the MDF apron, the veneer/MDF bond would be strongest if the edge of the MDF is smooth and uniform around the outside perimeter. I suppose this smooth outer perimeter edge could be achieved with a straight bit in a router mounted on a trammel and taking a light final cut.

I would be inclined to replace those portions of the MDF with ¾” thick solid wood inlays where the table legs will be joined to the apron. Perhaps the ¾” thick solid wood inlays could also be attaching point for the table top. If not, then I would be inclined to introduce some solid wood where the top will attach. However, if the table top is other than solid wood, then allowing for expansion and contraction otherwise required for a solid wood is not necessary. A plywood or MDF top could simply be screwed to the apron from below through the apron into the top.

Since MDF does not stand up to moisture, I would be inclined to paint the MDF. This would be a simple added measure to protect the table from extreme humidity, rain during a move, or some other unforeseen circumstance.

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