Flushtrimming MDF and router speed

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Forum topic by ScottKaye posted 12-18-2013 08:18 PM 1377 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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711 posts in 2150 days

12-18-2013 08:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router mdf

Installing a sacrificial MDF top on my new QS poplar Radial Arm saw table that I sanded and sealed with shellac. Im guessing speed doesnt matter when flushtrimming MDF. Am I correct in my thinking? I’ll be using a good bit from whiteside but I dont want to tear it up either. By the way, the MDF is only 1/2” thick.



-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

2 replies so far

View DeltaDaddy's profile


52 posts in 1851 days

#1 posted 12-18-2013 11:22 PM

You should have no problem flush trimming mdf with a good 1/2” shank bearing bit. if it is more than 1/2” you have to trim off on any given edge just hold the router firm and at a nice steady pace as sometimes the router wants to catch and jump. I wouldn’t worry about 1/2” thick though just when you start getting into 1” thick and above. mdf actually trims up nicely but throws a lot of fine dust, you might want a light mask on. I use mdf for quick straight edges at work to run top bearing router bits on. good luck with your project.

-- Take it apart to see how it works

View pintodeluxe's profile


5797 posts in 3010 days

#2 posted 12-18-2013 11:54 PM

Fairly high router speeds are appropriate for small diameter bits. Flush trim bits are usually 1/2” diameter, so I set my router at 5 of 6 on the variable speed.
The key is to trim the workpiece to within 1/8” with a different tool. That way the router work is light, and the bit won’t grab.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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