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MDF Slab Cabinet Doors?

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Forum topic by 1thumb posted 03-12-2020 10:58 PM 620 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


03-12-2020 10:58 PM

Millwork shops nearby won’t do them. They’ll glue panels, I put battens on, no guarantee re warpage. Client doesn’t want battens, wants flat doors and drawer fronts and I already cashed his check. I don’t have a shop, but maybe size myself with straight edge and skill saw. Doable right? Overlay doors, wrap edges with hardwood, right?

But don’t want them to warp and I know there’s differnt types of MDF just don’t know where to get. Suggestions on types of MDF?

Waltzcraft and Barker door has them but not as cheap as should be and freight from there to the southeast is pricey.

Any suggestions, ideas? Thanks


39 replies so far

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1255 posts in 1762 days


#1 posted 03-12-2020 11:20 PM

You need to find a commercial shop with an edge bander. Can’t tell you the price, but will be a start…
If you were close to me I’d do them. Have another job maybe coming up with slab doors….

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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


#2 posted 03-13-2020 01:38 AM



You need to find a commercial shop with an edge bander. Can t tell you the price, but will be a start…
If you were close to me I d do them. Have another job maybe coming up with slab doors….

- JackDuren

Too bad you’re not closer, I’d take you up on that.

how you planning on doing those slabs? Rip on tablesaw, edge band?

Thanks Jack

View ibewjon's profile (online now)

ibewjon

1749 posts in 3595 days


#3 posted 03-13-2020 02:59 AM

My shop cabinet doors are 1/2” MDF from a big box. One coat of shellac, ten years ago, no battens or stiffeners. No warpage.

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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


#4 posted 03-13-2020 03:01 AM



My shop cabinet doors are 1/2” MDF from a big box. One coat of shellac, ten years ago, no battens or stiffeners. No warpage.

- ibewjon

Others told me to use a good plywood and shellac. Can you prime, paint over shellac?

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1248 posts in 529 days


#5 posted 03-13-2020 03:07 AM

Approx. how many doors are there?
Are these doors for a Kitchen (what are they going on? )

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


#6 posted 03-13-2020 03:13 AM



Approx. how many doors are there?
Are these doors for a Kitchen (what are they going on? )

- LeeRoyMan

10 doors. 5 drawer fronts. Home office.

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LeeRoyMan

1248 posts in 529 days


#7 posted 03-13-2020 03:24 AM

MDF would work.
3/4 Maple would be better with a taped or wood banded edge, but it doesn’t sound like the money is there for that.

I’m building a “budget” wall unit right now, and I’m using MDF for the drawer fronts. It’s cabinet grade MDF from a lumber company, not low density stuff from a big box store.

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

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SMP

2248 posts in 708 days


#8 posted 03-13-2020 03:41 AM

I’ve made plenty of MDF doors and drawers from commercial supplier when i worked in a shop and from big box stores. Never had any problems warping with any of them unless exposed to liquid. For example cabinets going in garage i’ll raise them up off the ground with 2×4s or something, otherwise they WILL get wet at some point and the bottoms will swell up and turn into twice baked potatoes.

If painting over shellac just make sure to get dewaxed shellac.

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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


#9 posted 03-13-2020 04:09 AM



MDF would work.
3/4 Maple would be better with a taped or wood banded edge, but it doesn t sound like the money is there for that.

I m building a “budget” wall unit right now, and I m using MDF for the drawer fronts. It s cabinet grade MDF from a lumber company, not low density stuff from a big box store.

- LeeRoyMan

Thats what I’m looking for. don’t know if money there are not. I’m getting quotes at $20 sf, cab grade MDF w/solid wood applied edge. Plus freight. I can get material, cut then with straight edge and skill saw, edge w/birch tape alot cheaper

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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


#10 posted 03-13-2020 04:10 AM


I’ve made plenty of MDF doors and drawers from commercial supplier when i worked in a shop and from big box stores. Never had any problems warping with any of them unless exposed to liquid. For example cabinets going in garage i’ll raise them up off the ground with 2×4s or something, otherwise they WILL get wet at some point and the bottoms will swell up and turn into twice baked potatoes.

If painting over shellac just make sure to get dewaxed shellac.

- SMP

Thanks. Someone else mentioned dewaxed shellac.

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SMP

2248 posts in 708 days


#11 posted 03-13-2020 04:35 AM


Thanks. Someone else mentioned dewaxed shellac.

- 1thumb

Btw, this is what most big box stores and wally world will carry:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Zinsser-1-qt-SealCoat-Wood-Sealer-824H/202070456

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3330 posts in 2296 days


#12 posted 03-13-2020 04:41 AM

+1 cabinet grade MDF

For quick set of garage cabinet doors working away from my shop:
I used junk 3/4” MDF, BIN shellac based white primer, and rattle can white enamel, all from BORG.
Seal edges with drywall compound to reduce absorption of sealer. Waited 3 days for enamel to harden enough to mount doors.
No warp 25 years and counting.

For Kitchen/Bath doors made in my shop:
Used cabinet grade MDF, Sherwin Williams white pigmented vinyl sealer, and SW white pigmented pre-cat lacquer.
One door broke in half after being hit with kids scooter 3 yrs after install, but no warping seen.

Not an expert, accept occasional commission work from family members only.
YMMV

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Rich's profile

Rich

5688 posts in 1391 days


#13 posted 03-13-2020 05:02 AM

I’m having a hard time following this. You cashed the client’s check before you knew if you could do the job? Now you’re scrambling to figure out a way? To top it off, you don’t have a shop, just a straight edge and circular saw?

Am I missing something?

As is usual, you’re getting good advice from folks on here.

Do you have a Plan B? What if the client wants his money back?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1255 posts in 1762 days


#14 posted 03-13-2020 01:24 PM

You’ll either have to use contact adhesive and veneer tspe. Not the pre glued. Or you’ll have to cut strips around 3/16,plane to 1/8 and apply.

These doors were the reason I dedicated the router table to cleaning two sides of the panel to be edge banded….

It’s set up to make a door 1/8 bigger than it takes exactly 1/16 off all edges

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1thumb

183 posts in 2958 days


#15 posted 03-13-2020 01:28 PM


I m having a hard time following this. You cashed the client s check before you knew if you could do the job? Now you re scrambling to figure out a way? To top it off, you don t have a shop, just a straight edge and circular saw?

Am I missing something?

As is usual, you re getting good advice from folks on here.

Do you have a Plan B? What if the client wants his money back?

- Rich

Cashed his 50% down check. Been doing finish carpentry/cabinetry for 20+ years, never in a shop environment. Rip, chop, assemble on back deck. Order doors n drawers from a couple local millwork shops. They won’t do the slab doors tho. My plan B is to make then myslf with strait edge and skillsaw, I’ll buy a new blade.

I’m just trying to save a few bucks and source slab doors which i’m having a problem finding locally from a door/millwork shop.

Cabinets are built. Need doors and drawer fronts. He can’t have his money back even if he asked and there is zero reason why he would. I’m not having this conversation with him. I’m dumb, but I’m not stupid.

Thanks Rich

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