View Full Version : MDF turning

11th Jun 2010, 03:03 PM
does anyone have experience in turning mdf - before anyone yells me down I am looking at turning patten pieces so I can make casting molds from them.
does it turn smooth or chipp/ripp out.


11th Jun 2010, 03:06 PM
What ever you do wear a mask it turns well but very fine dust.

Tony Morton
11th Jun 2010, 03:45 PM
Hi Onetwoone
Yes I've turned on several occasions very dusty a good mask is a must, Iturned some moulds about five hundred in diam cuts beautifly long spiraling shavings several metres long, for paterns watch glue lines they become very hard and can result in a bump in finish.
Dont forget a good dust mask.

Cheers Tony

11th Jun 2010, 04:58 PM
Yeah, both the dust and the binder are toxic.

It's rubbish; only go there if you have to.

11th Jun 2010, 10:38 PM
Jelutong would be a better option

tea lady
12th Jun 2010, 12:43 AM
Its quite fun to turn. Long curlies. Jetulong would be the thing of course, but if you don't need extreme detail MDF would be fine. :shrug: Seal it will water based varnish rather than turps based, to get a mould off it. Seems to work better.:cool:

14th Jun 2010, 11:02 AM
G`day in the building industrie we use a seperate cutting room for cutting MDF. Some sites will not let you cut MDF on site at all. Your choice to use MDF I avoid it as much as possible myself. If you GOOGLE MDF you find a lot of reasons not to use it.

14th Jun 2010, 06:26 PM
Agree with Mick on this one. No MDF goes near my lathes. :no::no::no:

When it goes over the panel saw, I have dust extraction on top and bottom, but the dust filtration unit running full bore.

old pete
14th Jun 2010, 07:24 PM
Hi Onetwoon

MDF manufactured in OZ is about 12 or 13% by mass phenol formaldehyde resin. It's just brilliant to turn; equivalent to black walnut, and I've turned some very large patterns for sand casting from the stuff when I was younger and less aware of my mortality!

Don't even think about it unless you have good dust extraction, good air filtration,a high quality dust and organic vapor mask and a passion for keeping your workshop space clean.

Good luck,

Old Pete

14th Jun 2010, 08:01 PM
Yeah, re formaldehyde resin, IIRC this has been banned in California. What I said about toxic up in the thread. Do your own search.