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Guide to the use of MDF (Read 14278 times)
Dewy
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apprentice wood butcher

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Re: Guide to the use of MDF
Reply #6 - Oct 28th, 2004, 11:27pm
 
You didn't used to see anyone using masks when working with asbestos either but you do now.
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Jim
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Good Job!!!!
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Re: Guide to the use of MDF
Reply #5 - Oct 28th, 2004, 10:27pm
 
Unlesss you do it all day every day I wouldn`t worry to much, you never see Norm with a dust mask on. Wink
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woodsmith
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Re: Guide to the use of MDF
Reply #4 - May 23rd, 2004, 1:38pm
 
What about Plugwash's guide to elec supplies?
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supersparky
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Re: Guide to the use of MDF
Reply #3 - May 23rd, 2004, 1:15am
 
yeh we do have a how to section, unfortunatly we only have one guide to fill it  Roll Eyes

ss
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woodsmith
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Re: Guide to the use of MDF
Reply #2 - May 19th, 2004, 1:06pm
 
Thanks Dusty, this was written specifically to go in such a directory on this site. The plan is that it will be built up to a mine of information.

As it was my original idea, I thought I would write the first guide. When the site is completed all this will come to pass.
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Dusty
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Re: Guide to the use of MDF
Reply #1 - May 19th, 2004, 11:02am
 
SmileyAs I have said before. Smiley

Little gems of info, such as the above should have their own directory.  Users could have a quick look through this before posting a question that has been covered many times before.  The author could (if they wish) update the info from time to time.

I think this would greatly enhance this forum and free up time for those that kindly spend time passing on their knowledge, such as yourself and Wolf.

Just a thought.

Dusty Cheesy:D:D:D:D
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woodsmith
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Guide to the use of MDF
May 1st, 2004, 8:06am
 
MDF is the ideal material for many projects; it is inexpensive, stable, easily machined and gives an excellent painted finish; but it has had some bad press of late. There have been rumours that it has been banned in America and Australia but these are not true.

Machining, particularly sanding MDF, creates a very fine dust but it is not considered any more dangerous than other wood dust; all dust should be treated as potentially dangerous.

One issue of concern is the use of formaldehyde resins in the manufacture of MDF, and the health risks associated with emission of formaldehyde from the finished board. Formaldehyde can cause eye or throat irritations, asthma and rhinitis; it can also affect the skin, leading to dermatitis. But it is worth bearing in mind that formaldehyde is present in many products, and occurs naturally in wood.

The Health and Safety Executive have given formaldehyde a Maximum Exposure Limit of 2 parts per million. Most European manufacturers now produce low formaldehyde board made to the stringent German E1 standard of 0.1 parts per million. However it is still easy to buy imported MDF which has been produced in plants where they have not made the investment to produce low formaldehyde board. Some suppliers don't even know if their boards are low formaldehyde or not.

Low formaldehyde board is easily available though. For instance from Travis Perkins, who have hundreds of branches nationwide. Their standard MDF board is low formaldehyde, produced in Scotland by Caberboard, who have been producing low formaldehyde board for 8 years.

If you want to be ultra cautious, zero formaldehyde emission boards are available. Medite make a "ZF" zero formaldehyde board. The boards are about 50% more expensive than standard board and it is less widely available.


Sensible precautions

Eye protection and a respirator with a P3 rating should be used when machining or sanding MDF. However a mask gives only partial protection, as machining MDF produces tiny particles which can pass through most masks; efficient extraction at source is the best protection.

If you have any skin irritation, gloves should be used, especially when sanding to avoid formaldehyde coming into contact with the skin.

When I am routing I always wear a leather apron, this is not just with MDF. Even with good dust extraction, when rounding edges especially, the router fires wood chips at high velocity, usually at about groin level. The chips can pass through clothing and irritate the skin, causing a nasty rash. Embarrassed

When finishing the completed project it is worth coating all the surfaces, as this will help to prevent the release of any formaldehyde present in the MDF.

Keith Smith 2004
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« Last Edit: May 1st, 2004, 8:12am by woodsmith »  
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