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Plywood vs MDF

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  • Plywood vs MDF

    I've seen many post they cut puzzles from plywood. Has anyone ever used MDF with a veneer instead? Any significant differences between these two I should be aware of?
    Sawdust King

    If there is one thing I can make perfect every time it is sawdust.

  • #2
    Just my opinions but...

    DUST - Cutting MDF produces an incredibly fine dust that is difficult to collect.
    MOISTURE - MDF likes to absorb moisture and swell so I'm not sure it is suitable for use when you are making locking pieces for puzzles.
    EDGE - I find that MDF has a tendency to edge chip much more easily than plywood.

    A day without sawdust is a day without sunshine.

    delta 650, hawk G426


    • #3
      I agree with George on his points. MDF breaks rather easily and I would be afraid any mishandling would break off the interlocking tabs, creating a choking hazard...
      "Still Montana Mike"

      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


      • #4
        Thanks. I had seen MDF where I can get Baltic Birch and with the different veneers and appearance of a solid core was wondering if it would be a viable alternative to plywood. I'll take it as a no and stick with the plywoods.

        Thanks again.
        Sawdust King

        If there is one thing I can make perfect every time it is sawdust.


        • #5

          I make lots of things with MDF and do not find it a problem all, especially when you are paiting it. I use a vacuum cleaner attached to my saw, the dust does not create much mess (I wear a mask for cutting everything). I have never had a problem with it breaking, I often have pieces break out of ply. As for swelling, I think you would have to immerse it in water and ply would't stand up to that either. I have not used veneered MDF. Go for it, I would if I had some local availability.



          • #6
            I did the Tiger Butterfly a few years ago and used MDF for the backing. I ended up painting the MDF and in my opinion I liked it better than the plywood and I am not a good painter. No chips, No swelling I may have been lucky.


            • #7
              This was discussed a month ago and people pointed out that MDF has formaldehyde in it. HDF / hardyboard does not however. I found HDF at Home Depot and/or Lowes but can't recall what it was called...hard board or some such thing. I did not buy any - only came in 4x8 sheets and decided to use plywood. I like the idea of MDF/HDF (for adults) though since people are used to that type of material for puzzles, and it should be flat - not warped like plywood.


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