Plaque Board Width & Finishing

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Forum topic by John posted 10-03-2007 06:42 PM 1015 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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100 posts in 4088 days

10-03-2007 06:42 PM

I have been considering maiking some antler mounting plaques out of MDF or veneered plywood. Some of you on this sight said it was a bad idea, and that I should glue up pieces and then make my plaques from that point. Well, I have decided you are right. I want to have a superior product when finished, and plywood just won’t cut it. I was trying to avoid the expense of the tools needed to work with solid wood, but would have had a far inferior product in the end. I’ve decided to bite the bullet and do it right. Thanks for your help.

To begin with, I intend to purchase the pieces I need, joint the edges, plane both sides, put in some biscuits, and glue them together.

My first question is this: I need my finished plaque to be 14” wide. I can purchase oak pieces that are 7 1/2” wide and glue them together. However, my concern is that they will warp over time. Is this unfounded? Do I need to use three 5” pieces, or four pieces that are 3 3/4 inches each? How wide is too wide? After cutting out the pattern on a band saw and routing the edges to a finish, the finished plaques will be 14” wide by 21” long, .

This will leave me with finishing. My intention is to apply 2 or 3 coats of polyurethane by simply brushing on the finish, sanding in between coats as needed. Of course I would have first applied a stain, most likely MinWax.

Now my second question: Is there a better finish you could recommend? Could I simply use varnish sanding sealer? I don’t have an HVLP spray gun, so at this point I will need to do it by hand. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-- Thanks!

3 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4064 days

#1 posted 10-04-2007 03:16 AM

I fail to see whats wrong with MDF, or for that matter, plywood.

My guess is that the “mail order” plaques are veneer on MDF….........and even a seasoned woodworker would be hard pressed to tell them apart from “real wood” offence meant.

Wood is kinda like wine and cheese… has to calm down, loose it’s anger, it’s youth and in time it mellows just like wine and therefor it is somewhat impossible to tell you if you need wide boards or “not so wide” boards. Suffice to say that most folk look at the antlers and not the plaque because the plaque compliments the antlers….............if it was the other way around then what would be the point of mounting “Bambi”.

personally I would use smaller random widths as small as 1/2” wide and up to 2” wide. For 1…........its far less $$$,less likely to warp and its solid…............MDF paints up nice, easy to work, inexpensive, and quick.

Good Luck


As for the finish…..............urathane works fine with a brush as done varnish.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Karson's profile


35139 posts in 4572 days

#2 posted 10-04-2007 03:27 AM

I use plywood with veneer all the time. I’m not sure what someone was saying when they didn’t want you to use them.

MDF and plywood are solid products. The edge leave something to be desired but solid wood with a routered edge gives a great look.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View WayneC's profile


13776 posts in 4268 days

#3 posted 10-04-2007 03:34 AM

I think that gluing up panels gives you additional options. MDF and Plywood others. Each has positive and negative aspects.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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