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 Post subject: Attaching edging to MDF
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:22 pm 
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I have a 4'x 8' x 1 1/4" sheet of melamine coated MDF that will be used for some utility computer shelves, I plan on attaching some hard board (old paneling) edging to it.
Looks are semi important best way?
Or any ideas?
Glue and 16 or 18 gauge nails, or 1/4" crown staples
Needs to be relatively cheap as they will be free, a non-profit that refurbishes computers for low income families and other non-profits.

P.S. the sheet is so heavy I'm not taking it out of the van until it goes to where it will be installed.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:20 pm 
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DADDY GLOVES: First, Thank you for the volunteer work!! :thumbup: As you plan the shelves, consult the sagulator to determine what you can get away with. Just plug in your material specs and anticipated loading.

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

As far as attaching edging, I'd be inclined to glue the edging and then pin it with a pinner or some brads. I suppose you could screw it in place with some brass round head screws for a little bling look :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Daddy Gloves wrote:
I have a 4'x 8' x 1 1/4" sheet of melamine coated MDF that will be used for some utility computer shelves, I plan on attaching some hard board (old paneling) edging to it.
Looks are semi important best way?
Or any ideas?
Glue and 16 or 18 gauge nails, or 1/4" crown staples
Needs to be relatively cheap as they will be free, a non-profit that refurbishes computers for low income families and other non-profits.

P.S. the sheet is so heavy I'm not taking it out of the van until it goes to where it will be installed.


Depending on how thick the edging will be, and what kind of wood, I would be very leery of using 18 gage pins to attach it.

If the piece is really thin, or if it's mahogany, it might be okay...

BUT! If it's a thicker piece, with hard rings inside, I would be scared of the 18 gage pins following the grain and then coming out the face on the melamine. It's bad enough when it happens with plywood, but with melamine there will be no hope of fixing it.

I learned this the hard way, more than once... :mad:

If you must use a gun, I would use a finish nailer with heavier gage nails. Also, consider the beveled tip on the nails and orient your gun so that the tip will cut into the rings instead of glancing off them...

Sometimes the best solution is to just pre-drill and drive real nails by hand... but that all depends on how much time you're willing to spend on it.

I guess the simplest solution is to just get some "iron on" edging, but that's not as nice as real edging.

Good luck with it! :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:34 pm 
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Hi Monty,
Mdf does not play well with nails in the end grain. It will split very easily. If you can just glue that would be a decent solution. Even with iron edging I often put some pva on the edges of mdf and let it dry before ironing on the edging.

Good luck.
Eric


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:43 pm 
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Here's a way outside the box idea ...

Forgo any edging at all.
This is for utility and not show ... simply for a place to set computers as they're being readied for deployment.

As the real issue is the Melamine is prone to chipping at the edge ... the way to alleviate this is to round over the edge.
Route an 1/8" or 1/4" round over and be done.

If you wanted to "harden" the MDF center you could apply a coat of finish (Danish Oil, Shellac, Poly).

Jim is right ... I wouldn't risk shooting a nail through the Melamine.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:56 pm 
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DMoening wrote:
Here's a way outside the box idea ...

Forgo any edging at all.
...
As the real issue is the Melamine is prone to chipping at the edge ... the way to alleviate this is to round over the edge.
Route an 1/8" or 1/4" round over and be done.
...


:idea: Well DA! Why didn't I think of that? :confused:
It has now been changed to be used as a bar hight table with a 2x4 frame under it with 4x4 legs unsure of the over all size, but it will be heavy (my aching back) and final assembly will be in place.

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