How to repair gouged MDF?

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Forum topic by JohnEinNJ posted 06-18-2012 11:17 PM 13509 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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94 posts in 2371 days

06-18-2012 11:17 PM

So I just finished building Wood Magazine’s tilt-top workbench (like this:, and was trimming up the maple band around the edge with a router. The router grabbed onto the edge, and did a little dance on the MDF top, making about a 1/2 inch deep by 3 inch long gouge :(. What’s the best way to fill & repair MDF?

17 replies so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3009 days

#1 posted 06-18-2012 11:20 PM

I have had decent luck with MDF sawdust and glue (since, yknow, that’s basically what it is right now!)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 2356 days

#2 posted 06-18-2012 11:20 PM

When filling holes in MDF drywall compound works very good but I doubt it’d work in your situation.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2215 days

#3 posted 06-18-2012 11:22 PM

I think some sanding dust mixed with glue to make a nice thick mixture and pour it in, then when dry, sand it (Gosh, Wear a dust mask while doing this) and there you go! Hope this helps

-- My terrible signature...

View mark4345's profile


71 posts in 2447 days

#4 posted 06-18-2012 11:26 PM


View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2257 days

#5 posted 06-18-2012 11:28 PM

Bondo rules! Drywall compound would only be for vertical surfaces.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3021 days

#6 posted 06-18-2012 11:37 PM

Liz said it best. Sawdust and glue.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View doughan's profile


96 posts in 2615 days

#7 posted 06-18-2012 11:44 PM

saw dust and glue or bondo….bondo if you are in a hurry…..mix it hot and fast then use a putty knife to get it close before it gets to hard.

View AandCstyle's profile


3069 posts in 2281 days

#8 posted 06-19-2012 12:20 AM

+1 Bondo

-- Art

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2600 days

#9 posted 06-19-2012 12:31 AM

bondo, yeah buddy

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2716 days

#10 posted 06-19-2012 01:10 AM

Router out the damaged area and insert a new MDF patch, glue as needed.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View JohnEinNJ's profile


94 posts in 2371 days

#11 posted 06-26-2012 02:30 PM

Thanks to everyone for your responses. Just to wrap this up, I believe mtenterprises’ response (rout out damaged area & patch) is the “right” way to do it. But since a router mishap – due to my inexperience – is what caused the problem in the first place, I decided to do it one of the “less right” ways: glue mixed with sawdust. It took two days to dry enough to be sandable. Not pretty, but it worked.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2716 days

#12 posted 06-26-2012 08:57 PM

The only way you are going to learn is try and do. Now you will continue to look at your repair and say to yourself “I should have done it right” and one of these days you will make that repair correct.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View DS's profile


2924 posts in 2444 days

#13 posted 06-26-2012 09:06 PM

MDF + Bondo = MFEO

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3064 days

#14 posted 06-26-2012 09:26 PM

I would have filled with epoxy

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2363 days

#15 posted 06-26-2012 09:29 PM

Durham’s rock hard water putty. This stuff is awesome.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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