Any suggestions for finishing jigs made of MDF

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Forum topic by WayneC posted 06-22-2007 09:44 PM 1796 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4122 days

06-22-2007 09:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mdf finishing jig jigs

Something easy cheap and hopefully easy to find a the local big box store. Thanks.

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

11 replies so far

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 4060 days

#1 posted 06-22-2007 09:54 PM

My sled is made from MDF and the only thing I put on it is minwax. I only do the top, bottom and the slides (which are oak). I wish I had more suggestions for you.


-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4016 days

#2 posted 06-22-2007 09:56 PM

I usually just slop on some poly or danish oil, just something to prevent glue sticking to it.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4061 days

#3 posted 06-22-2007 09:58 PM

I just seal it to paint it, and then only the edges. I mix some carpenters glue in water and paint it on. Other than that, what happens, happens. I hadn’t thought about poly or Danish oil as I figured it would just soak it up forever. Good tip, Damian. I’ll have to try it.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4055 days

#4 posted 06-22-2007 10:17 PM

I just use 2 or 3 coats of paste wax-wait until each coat is fully dry, then buff until is shines.

Or, the second method I use is a general varnish, thinned with mineral spirit (30%) 12 hours between coats – 3 coats – after 3 weeks it is a really hard – long lasting finish.

It really does depend on the application – I never make my jigs look like works of art – they are normally a LOW TECH sollutions.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4122 days

#5 posted 06-22-2007 11:52 PM

Thanks, I was asking because I did the suck up poly forever trick on the edges of a commercial table saw sled (LOL, I own a Dubby, a story for another day). I’m planning to build the shooting boards on the Lie-Nielson web site and thought it would be nice to make them durable. I think may try the varnish method Tony suggests.

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#6 posted 06-22-2007 11:53 PM

I use two spray coats of shellac.


View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4122 days

#7 posted 06-23-2007 01:54 AM

Assuming your using your HLVP rig David. Hmmm another thing to add to the someday list. : ^ )

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

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4186 days

#8 posted 06-23-2007 01:57 AM

Well you could just wipe on the shellac too. I don’t suppose that chalkboard paint would be a good thing to use? At least you could mark it up and not worry about it.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#9 posted 06-23-2007 02:03 AM

I would think that you’d want something to soak into the fibers of the MDF and protect it. I’d think that Tony’s choice would do a great job.

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

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4111 days

#10 posted 06-23-2007 05:49 AM

I agree karson…Tony’s sounds like a winner. I just bought some to make a couple jigs I need and I don’t want to make them twice.

-- Bob

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4118 days

#11 posted 06-23-2007 06:28 AM

Wayne, to add to Tony’s comment and others above. Matthew Teague mentions in his router table project in his Shop Projects book, to coat the MDF in Shellac and then a few coats of wax. I would imagine the wax would go on top of a coat of wax much easier than the bare surface of MDF. It sounds like a seal coat more or less. I offer this up not having done it myself but from the standpoint that it makes sense.

- Jeff

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

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