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Forum topic by DarthPicard posted 06-10-2021 07:45 PM 415 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DarthPicard

15 posts in 362 days


06-10-2021 07:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shaker tablesaw router question mdf

I’ve always made my door panels with 1/4” MDF, and it works rather well because it fits nice and snug in the dado grove. I’m currently working on the doors for a bathroom vanity, is it safe to use MDF for the panels? All the edges will be enclosed in the frame and it will be painted, so I think the risk of water damage is low, but I’d like to get a second opinion. I’ve got some 1/4” birch plywood, but it’s slightly smaller than the most narrow dado I can do, so it wobbles a bit in the slot. This isn’t an issue for back panels but could be a bit problematic for the doors.


15 replies so far

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squazo

240 posts in 2762 days


#1 posted 06-11-2021 11:13 AM

I think MDF is fine. Plenty of bathrooms have MDF in them.

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BlueRidgeDog

825 posts in 896 days


#2 posted 06-11-2021 12:03 PM

The ply I use for similar functions is MDF core. There should be no issue (unless my daughter moves in with you and she only gets out of the shower when the massive hot water tank is empty just to create her own steam room).

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therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1691 days


#3 posted 06-11-2021 02:15 PM

Not going to argue the attributes of MDF in a bathroom. What I would suggest is going to the bath showroom nearest you and look to see what the “better” cabinetry uses for a door panel. Mostly pay attention to ones finished how you plan to finish yours.

A bathroom will have 2 things MDF doesn’t like, running water, and steam.

-- Think safe, be safe

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SMP

4148 posts in 1023 days


#4 posted 06-11-2021 02:23 PM

What i have found is that painted MDF in a bathroom is perfectly fine…until it isn’t. I’ve had things be fine for years, or decades. Them one day a leak develops under the sink, a pipe gets a pinhole that sprays, hose to the toilet birsts, toilet overflows, someone puts the stopper in the sink and fills it and forgets to shut off the water, or one of a hundred other things happens that you never thought could happen, then the MDF swells up like a balloon made of cardboard and you remake it with real wood/plywood.

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DarthPicard

15 posts in 362 days


#5 posted 06-11-2021 02:56 PM

Any suggestions on how to get the plywood to fit in the groove of the shaker door without it rattling around? I could use the kerf of the table saw blade and then do a second cut slightly offset from the first, but that seems like it will leave a lot of room for error. There’s about 1/32” to 1/16” extra space with I use a 1/4” dado. Or, is that normal, and I’m just used to a snug fit with the MDF?

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JackDuren

1599 posts in 2077 days


#6 posted 06-11-2021 03:00 PM

Space balls..

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BlueRidgeDog

825 posts in 896 days


#7 posted 06-11-2021 03:08 PM

Before the small rubber balls that Jack mentioned, they were just made tight enough that they did not rattle, but still could move on expansion. Also, long ago, little or no room was left on the end grain side as there will be no expansion that way.


Any suggestions on how to get the plywood to fit in the groove of the shaker door without it rattling around? I could use the kerf of the table saw blade and then do a second cut slightly offset from the first, but that seems like it will leave a lot of room for error. There’s about 1/32” to 1/16” extra space with I use a 1/4” dado. Or, is that normal, and I’m just used to a snug fit with the MDF?

- DarthPicard


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JackDuren

1599 posts in 2077 days


#8 posted 06-11-2021 03:37 PM

The are barrels as well.

(

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DarthPicard

15 posts in 362 days


#9 posted 06-12-2021 12:19 AM

Where is a good place to buy space balls? I’m trying to use Amazon less, but I don’t see anywhere else that sells them.

View corelz125's profile

corelz125

3022 posts in 2093 days


#10 posted 06-12-2021 01:34 AM

Possibly Druidia. Sorry had to say it.


Where is a good place to buy space balls? I’m trying to use Amazon less, but I don’t see anywhere else that sells them.

- DarthPicard


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corelz125

3022 posts in 2093 days


#11 posted 06-12-2021 01:41 AM

I think Rockler sells them

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Jared_S

464 posts in 1076 days


#12 posted 06-12-2021 02:54 AM

Use Medite or Medex (or some other moisture resistant mdf)

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DarthPicard

15 posts in 362 days


#13 posted 06-12-2021 07:39 PM

I got a bag from my local Rockler store. Going to try them out soon once the doors are ready to glue up.

View Marpel's profile

Marpel

55 posts in 1407 days


#14 posted 06-13-2021 12:17 AM

Or if you have a tube of silicone or similar, just put a glob in the center of each groove, just before putting in the panel. Once dry, it will hold the panel firm and be a bit flexible as well.

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DarthPicard

15 posts in 362 days


#15 posted 06-13-2021 02:50 AM



Or if you have a tube of silicone or similar, just put a glob in the center of each groove, just before putting in the panel. Once dry, it will hold the panel firm and be a bit flexible as well.

- Marpel

I’ve got some silicon caulk for bathrooms. I can give that a try as well.

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