The MDF panel (medium density fibreboard) is a medium hard fibre-type board with a high-density surface. It is produced with coniferous woods that have been decorticated (bark removed) and that is why it has a relatively light colour. Interesting fact: to produce a 16 mm thick panel, pressed-fibre mats that when stacked are close to one metre thick must be pressed together.
The flexural strength of MDF board is almost twice as great as that of basic wooden particle board. This makes MDF a much more reasonably priced and easier to use material for making furniture and for interior finish work. The only downside is its relatively high weight; one square metre of 16 mm MDF with a base film weighs about 11.64 kg, the 19 mm version about 13.82 kg. Its uniform and smooth surface has a nice appearance whether raw or clear varnished, an attribute that makes it very interesting as a architectural modelling construction material.
Working with MDF is done using the usual tools and machines that are used for all solid woods. One particular attribute of this material that should be mentioned is how it takes to being milled. It is recommended that all machining work should be done using carbide tipped tools because the high density of the panels contributes to an increased wear and tear. The panels can be varnished directly without any problem.
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