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  1. #1
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    Default Can I seamlessly butt-join MDF sheet without cracking?

    Hi,
    Hoping someone can assist me. I'm using 18mm MDF board to clad the side stringer of a stairway. Please see attached an image of a similar design.
    The MDF sheet covers the face of the glass balustrade which is fixed direct to the stringer using concealed fixings. Height at the highest point from top tread to floor is 1900mm, unfortunately the largest MDF board I can buy is 1800 x 3600mm. The longer side is needed for the length of the stair which means I'm left with a small butt join just one tread or 250mm long.
    It would be nice to use one complete panel instead of having to make a feature of the joins, most likely vertical.. Is there a method to butt join MDF board so it will not crack? Using edge biscuits or other? the glass balustrade prevents anything being attached to the inside surface, so all joins will need to be wholly within the material.
    Many thanks.

    image.jpg

  2. #2
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    Oct 2015
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    Australia
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    Default

    Maybe just me but I'm not sure where or why this mdf is required?

    Russ

  3. #3
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    You can use biscuits or glue in a tongue but there is still a chance it will crack. Kitchen bulkheads were often done in MDF but they would often crack so we used to still clad them in plasterboard
    Plasterboard with a set casing bead edge following your profile would be the best option for a seamless finish

  4. #4
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    Default



    There's always the risk of cracking along a join, no matter how you do it.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2004
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    Perth WA
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    Default

    You can get 3600 x 1800 sheets of MDF.
    Experienced in removing the tree from the furniture

  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
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    Alexandra Vic
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    Default

    I used to operate a commercial CNC router in a kitchen factory that used 2400 x 1800 MDF sheets as a vacuum diffuser for the bed, so larger size sheets are available, but you might not get them through Bunnings or similar. However you should be able to get them through distributors etc. I believe that they can be accessed in sizes to 3600 x 1800, as commercial CNC routers are available that can handle sheets up to that.

    That being said, although you would eliminate a horizontal joint near the top tread, you would most likely end up still having a vertical joint because I doubt that you will be able to cover the entire side of the staircase with a single sheet, so the plasterboard option may be the way to go.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Canberra
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rod1949 View Post
    You can get 3600 x 1800 sheets of MDF.
    Indeed you can. Price is the same as its sold per M2.

    Timberwood Panels | Raw MDF, MR MDF and OptiShield(R) FR MDF | Raw MDF, MR MDF and OptiShield(R) FR MDF
    Mister Ply Wood > Products > MDF

    I buy from TimberWood - they are awesome. MrPly will cut to size for you.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2013
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    Bondi, Sydney
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by russ57 View Post
    Maybe just me but I'm not sure where or why this mdf is required?

    Russ
    See image, setting plasterboard along the sawtooth line of the stairs would be very difficult, which means MDF is best material, unless you can suggest otherwise?

  9. #9
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    Jan 2013
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    Bondi, Sydney
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rod1949 View Post
    You can get 3600 x 1800 sheets of MDF.
    Thanks for your response, I need the 3600 to cover the length of the stairs, leaving 1800 for the height.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2013
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beardy View Post
    You can use biscuits or glue in a tongue but there is still a chance it will crack. Kitchen bulkheads were often done in MDF but they would often crack so we used to still clad them in plasterboard
    Plasterboard with a set casing bead edge following your profile would be the best option for a seamless finish
    Thanks but we don't like the look of casing beads, it needs to look like the image, clean lines, no border which a casing bead would leave.

  11. #11
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    Jan 2013
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    Default

    Thanks, 3600 is needed for stair length, 1800 width is the height. I use Mr Plywood but he can't do the jagged cut I need. I'll likely need to cut onsite.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2016
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    Bris
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    Default

    How about "laminating" three layers of 6mm MDF sheets and stagger the joins to create a piece to your required dimensions ? That's the way I would do it.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chachi View Post
    Thanks but we don't like the look of casing beads, it needs to look like the image, clean lines, no border which a casing bead would leave.
    I was thinking a set casing bead so there is no border. Alternatively you could do a timber cap and use a P50 shadowline bead as a slightly different detail or cut a MDF stringer and infill under with an expressed joint

  14. #14
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    My thoughts are to glue a piece of MDF to strengthen the area of the joint. Hide it in the back side.
    Rich

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2013
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    That's prob the best suggestion I've heard so far, it's complex but would prob work. Just a lot of work. Thanks

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks but with glass lamination to the back this is not an option.

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