New twist on M.D.F.

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Review by Lee A. Jesberger posted 04-13-2008 06:16 PM 6789 views 4 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch
New twist on M.D.F. New twist on M.D.F. No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Hello all;

I thought it would be nice to post new products or materials, or little know products and materials, that are a great asset to us woodworkers.

This first product is made by Norboard, out of Canada. Their website is:

Their 800 number is: 1-800-850-8061

Here’s some information on the company and also may help to locate a distributer in your area.

Norbord Inc. is an international producer of wood-based panels with assets of $1.5 billion. We have 15 plant locations in the United States, Europe and Canada. We are one of the world’s largest producers of oriented strand board (OSB).

In addition to OSB, we manufacture particleboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF), hardwood plywood and related value-added products.

Fast Facts
Based in Toronto, Canada
Common shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NBD:TSX)
Number of employees: 2,700

  • 11 OSB mills
  • 2 MDF (medium density fibreboard) plants
  • 3 particleboard plants
  • 1 specialty plywood mill
  • 1 furniture plant

This particular product is a combination of plywood, with an aspen core, (a fast growing harvestable resource). covered on doth side with a layer of 1’8” M.D.F.

One of the main down sides to M.D.F. is the lack of screw holding power.
The second is the extreme weight of M.D.F. I believe a 4’ x 8’ sheet is about 90 pounds.

This product is about 25% lighter than standard M.D.F., which in itself is a good reason to use it.

The second advantage to it is the increased screw holding ability.

It is a very stable product, perfect for applications where inexpensive sheet goods are desirable, but quality is of major importance.

For me, a huge appeal to it it the fact it is extremely smooth. A perfect choice for a project to be veneered.

Although somewhat more expensive than standard M.D.F., the advantages make this a somewhat mute point.

Cost for a 4’ x 8’ sheet is about $ 68.00 compared to about $ 45.00 for standard M.D.F.
In addition to being perfect for veneering, it machines well, and can take a solid finish, such as colored lacquer or paint extremely well.

Certainly a product worth knowing about for your woodworking adventures.

Hope this helps.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

39 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4680 days

#1 posted 04-13-2008 06:58 PM

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the review. It always nice to find an alternative to mdf. I like it but I don’t really like handling full sized sheets anymore and you are right about its ability to hold screws. This product sounds good.

I will have to be on the look-out for it in this area. Although I don’t have any hope that it will be in my lifetime. In Kentucky new things tend to happen slowly. It looks like the nearest distributor is in Cincinnati area, which is about 90 miles from me.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile


35226 posts in 5259 days

#2 posted 04-13-2008 09:42 PM

Thanks for the review Lee. Where do you get it. In Philadelphia.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5158 days

#3 posted 04-13-2008 11:16 PM

Thank you Lee!

The company has a plant about 100 miles from here.

They make OSB there.

Is that wood layers on the inside plies ? I got my answer, when I read it a gain.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4627 days

#4 posted 04-14-2008 12:07 AM

this is a cool product. haven’t looked into where i can get it yet in my area but i don’t think i can afford the extra 20 dollars. maybe when i get older though. thanks for the review.

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5020 days

#5 posted 04-14-2008 12:25 AM

Interesting product Lee. I wonder how long before it starts showing up in the off the shelf cabinets people buy from the big box stores?

Dennis will have to make a few cabinets with it and give us a review.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#6 posted 04-14-2008 12:40 AM

HI Scott;

I imagine it start to show up i the big box stores eventually. Kentucky has those right? LOL

If they do start to carry it, you can have them cut it into manageable sizes.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#7 posted 04-14-2008 12:50 AM

Hi Karson;

I get it Fesseden and Hall, which is a wholesale supplier. They have an outlet in Delaware also. If you want to get some, let me know and I’ll call it in on my account.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4880 days

#8 posted 04-14-2008 12:53 AM

A 3/4” sheet of OSB did me in in January with torn ligaments in my shouldler and muscle tear on my left lower back.
I would kill lfor more yeildable substrates.
The extra 30 lbs is probably what did me in.
Lee’s loader can save me fatigue and injury at the table saw but, man o man, the jobisite has nothing!

Can’t figure out what happened . I could always move them before for the last 40 years. <vbg>

Lee, I will definitely give these guys a call .
I have about 20 cabinets to build this next few weeks.
Of course he fewer pop ups when joining the particle boards the better i like it.

Thanks for the heads up.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#9 posted 04-14-2008 01:10 AM

Hello Bob;

That sure sounds painful. Is everything all healed up now?

Maybe the key sentence there is: ”I could always move them before for the last 40 years”.

I wonder what could have changed in FORTY years? As my doctor said to me: “your not getting any younger you know”.

This is an excellent product for a painted or laminated project.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#10 posted 04-14-2008 01:16 AM

Hi Bill;

I imagine it won’t be too long.

Maybe I should start selling it in pre cut sizes, and shipping it for lumberjocks.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4657 days

#11 posted 04-14-2008 01:58 AM

interesting properties. when i see some I will have to try it

-- making sawdust....

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4754 days

#12 posted 04-14-2008 02:11 AM

Lee – what about voids——are there any? I use regular MDF for templates and jigs. Voids would be a problem.

Thanks for the review.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#13 posted 04-14-2008 03:42 AM

Hi Motthunter;

I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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Lee A. Jesberger

6872 posts in 4838 days

#14 posted 04-14-2008 03:46 AM

Hi Betsy;

I haven’t come across any voids. If I were building jigs, I wouldn’t hesitate in using it. If by chance I found a void,

I would fill it with Bondo.

This would take care of that problem quite quickly.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 4792 days

#15 posted 04-14-2008 03:48 AM

Thanks for te post Lee. MDF is awfull heavy, nice to know there is an alternative.

-- bryano

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