mdf for wood storage rack??

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Forum topic by Shawn Masterson posted 04-08-2014 02:04 AM 1237 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2185 days

04-08-2014 02:04 AM

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


2738 posts in 2813 days

#1 posted 04-08-2014 02:19 AM

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


2692 posts in 2513 days

#2 posted 04-08-2014 02:29 AM

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


5150 posts in 2587 days

#3 posted 04-08-2014 02:54 AM

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


11830 posts in 3924 days

#4 posted 04-08-2014 03:03 AM

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


5314 posts in 1957 days

#5 posted 04-08-2014 03:04 AM

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.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View kdc68's profile


2692 posts in 2513 days

#6 posted 04-08-2014 03:21 AM

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


4032 posts in 3207 days

#7 posted 04-08-2014 03:26 AM

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.

View JaySybrandy's profile


78 posts in 1813 days

#8 posted 04-08-2014 03:36 AM

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

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