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Hinging MDF

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Forum topic by ChunkyC posted 1532 days ago 1145 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ChunkyC

856 posts in 1887 days


1532 days ago

I built me a simple cloths hamper out of MDF. The problem is that it has a hinged lid. Anyone have any tips on adding the hinge? The way I see it, no matter how I put the hinge on, one side of the hinge has to be in the edge of MDF which spells certain disaster, or at least to me. I’m afraid of splitting the MDF or the screws striping out. I’ve been reading different tips here and there for screwing into MDF edges but they all seem to have a bit of risk of splitting the MDF.

I was thinking that I could always over size the hole and install a dowel in the hole. Then the screws would be in dowel ends and not MDF. Or add a strip of solid wood along the back edge to screw into. (the hamper is painted.)

On hand I have two hinge choices, no mortise hinges or piano hinge. Not to say that I can’t get something else if it work better.

Thanks,

Chunk

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135


10 replies so far

View Northerner's profile

Northerner

78 posts in 1794 days


#1 posted 1532 days ago

how about edge banding it with a ¼” strip of wood or something?
glue the wood to the mdf and then screw the hinge into the wood?

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning!

View jevarn71's profile

jevarn71

80 posts in 1793 days


#2 posted 1532 days ago

Maybe use strap hinges so the screws would be in the face of the MDF and not the edge.

-- Jason - Aim High!!

View levan's profile

levan

405 posts in 1613 days


#3 posted 1532 days ago

We always added a couple of inches of hardwood to the hinge edge. Either tongue & groove or biscuits on to the mdf. and sand flush. We used this system on large mdf doors some of them 1 1/2” thick, never had a problem.

-- Lynn "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1670 days


#4 posted 1532 days ago

Why not use European cabinet hinges? Think of the top of the hamper as the cabinet door, and then you would be screwing all fasteners into the face of MDF. They are designed to allow clearance of the overlapping doors when opened, so it shouldn’t create any binding issues.

Good luck!

-- David from Indiana --

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 1887 days


#5 posted 1532 days ago

European cabinet hinges – Great idea. I hadn’t considered that.

I like the adding of strip of hardwood to the back edge of the hinge. I think that’s what I going to try and use the piano hinge. I’ll make sure my plane is nice and sharp too so that I can flush it up.

Thanks!

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

View trimmer's profile

trimmer

90 posts in 2074 days


#6 posted 1532 days ago

How about drilling for wood plugs where the hinge screws go. Then glue the wood plugs.

View Bothus's profile

Bothus

428 posts in 1809 days


#7 posted 1532 days ago

Lots of great ideas here. Thanks for asking the question Chunk.

Jerry

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

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ChunkyC

856 posts in 1887 days


#8 posted 1532 days ago

Here’s what I did and it turned out great.

Disclaimer: I do a lot of work by the TLAR (That Looks About Right) method.

So I have a lot of little piece of walnut in a pile on the floor from days pasts. I got a couple of pieces a milled them down. I didn’t measure it but I think it was about 1” wide and 1/2” thick when finished. Then I cut a rabbet on the bottom side of the top just so the hardwood set about 1/64 proud. I glued them in the rabbet and used my block plane to flush it up all around.

The rabbet may seem like an unnecessary added step but I didn’t want to be able to see the joint from the top. Now the top looks like one piece and I have a nice piece of hardwood to hold the screws. Now the only joint that will be seen is in the back on the edges, someplace that will never be noticed. So in a way, I used a combination of plugging and adding a hard wood edge.

Now for the final coat of paint! Thanks to everyone for the great tips.

Chunk

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

937 posts in 1977 days


#9 posted 1531 days ago

Send pics! Thanks.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Mogebier's profile

Mogebier

170 posts in 1666 days


#10 posted 1531 days ago

On MDF I just squirt a little bit of Super Glue in the hole when I drive in the screw. I haven’t had any problems.

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

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