mdf for wood storage rack??

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Forum topic by Shawn Masterson posted 134 days ago 488 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 573 days

134 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: jig tip question trick joining

So 2 weeks ago I was rebuilding my miter bench(19’ wall of cabinets). I was weighing out my options for a top, and stumbled on mdf at the restore across town. I went out there it was 1/2 off day. I ended up with 4 8’ maple cabinet fillers, 3 8’ cherry fillers, and 6 4×8 sheets of 1 1/8” mdf for just under $35. Normally I don’t mess with mdf, but at the price I couldn’t beat it for a bench top. Now I need to move/rebuild my wood storage on the other side of the shop. I have been doing some research and I think I am going to go with something like the Wood Whisperer did in his place, but hanging on a french cleat. It would only have 3 shelves hanging on a 4’ vertical, and run down 20’ of wall with a bracket every 32” or so. I was also thinking I would laminate the bracket with hardwood where it hung from the cleat. I plan on assembling everything with gorilla glue and 1 5/8” dw screws. Any insight to using mfd would be great. I know about the dust I just want to make sure it will be strong enough.
Thanks guys.

8 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2709 posts in 1201 days

#1 posted 134 days ago

No way for an MDF lumber rack.
It won’t hold. MDF has no structural strength.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View kdc68's profile


1956 posts in 901 days

#2 posted 134 days ago

You are right about the dust…in fact it is very dusty…wear a mask and have good dust collection…. The mdf would be a great bench top and would be a perfect sub straight for HPL (high pressure laminate)....laminate both the top and the underside if you intend to do so… Don’t use your good table saw blade as mdf is tough on blades….same goes for router bits…. Drywall screws work but special “Confirmat” screws are designed for mdf….. Drill pilots otherwise mdf tends to mushroom….. Hardwood laminated to the mdf would be a good idea as I wouldn’t trust it alone for a bracket supporting a lot of weight….a better option would be solid wood for brackets though…..

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


2478 posts in 975 days

#3 posted 134 days ago

Bad idea, may as well pile your lumber on the floor because that is where it will wind up. MDF is not structural.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Dusty56's profile


11643 posts in 2312 days

#4 posted 134 days ago

ixnay on the mdfay : (
If it was MDO, then you would be in luck although at 1&1/8”, it would be overkill.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View bigblockyeti's profile


1465 posts in 345 days

#5 posted 134 days ago

I think you could use the MDF as vertical supports as it performs quite well in compression loading, the 1 1/8” will surely serve you better than the standard 3/4” you’d likely find at the big box stores. As for shelves where the MDF would be placed horizontally, bad idea, it has little bending strength and in my experience begins to sag severely over time.

View kdc68's profile


1956 posts in 901 days

#6 posted 134 days ago

Dusty56 is correct MDO (medium density overlay) is a plywood product with the outer layers made of resin impregnated paper coating on either one or both sides . It is structural, weighs less, and holds fasteners much better….it is ideal for paint….
bigblocyeti is also correct….mdf is better in compression and will sag in horizontal without support. In a bench top application, support from underneath is recommended….your best bet is to use the mdf for your bench top and use solid lumber for the support brackets for all the weight it may be subjected to

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View crank49's profile


3366 posts in 1595 days

#7 posted 134 days ago

If you are referring to the polyurethane Gorilla Glue, the foaming type, I would not use that at all. Very weak stuff. Has almost no strength at all in shear. The Gorilla Glue brand of regular wood glue is as good as other brands , just more expensive.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View JaySybrandy's profile


78 posts in 200 days

#8 posted 134 days ago

will mdf be ok with 2×4 2×2s under it so a 2×2 (or 2×4) fram ?

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