Finishing routed MDF doors

      Dealing with sealing and finishing routed Medium Density Fiberboard doors. April 11, 2000

Q.
I have been outsourcing my MDF doors for some time now, and find that the area that has been routed for the raised panel effect needs to be sanded.

Any suggestions for a quicker, more effective way to sand that part of the door and not lose the detail of the routed edges before or after they get primed? Currently I do it all by hand, and that takes forever on a large job.



There are a few things you can do here.

One, purchase an abrasive wheel. It looks something like a grinding wheel, with the same contour as the profile of your routed area.

Another option is, I believe, called a fladder sander. It has strips of sandpaper on a wheel, kinda like a balloon sander does, and you brush the profile. The problem is that it can take away your profile if you are too aggressive with it.

I know hand sanding is a time-consuming process. You won't be able to eliminate all of it, but can reduce the time spent hand sanding with these tools.

Another thing you may want to consider is using a filler in the places where the primer is being soaked up. If you are using a conventional, solvent-based system you can fill the edges, dry either overnight or in an oven at 130-150 degrees for about 30 minutes (depending on the filler), then allow the substrate to cool down before priming, sanding and topcoating.



Are you paying good bucks or discount prices for your doors? Anyway, sanding by hand is quite tedious, but there is no better way to get the best result.

The routered spot on the doors you speak of is a very tricky area to sand without taking all the edge, or worse yet, completely rounding off the edge. With power tools, this becomes especially likely.

All I can say is, CHARGE FOR SANDING -- it's just the way it is. Top quality comes at a PRICE.

I use Kilz primer, thinned (three cups mineral spirits to one gallon primer), and spray it with an HVLP turbine, applying it semi-heavy.

This may cause some orange peel, but it's easly sanded smooth with very little effort thanks to those guys at 3M - their fine sanding pads work best. But be careful on the edges with a new pad!



There are few solutions for edge and internal profile sanding of MDF cabinet doors:

1. Use an abrasive alumimum head with rechangeable and rejectable profiled inserts in your router or point-to-point machine.

2. To sand the internal door profile you can use also use an OMNIA 90 PLUS sanding machine system, a semi-automatic machine that will solve your tedious manual sanding.



The easiest and most efficent way to form open grain on MDF or HDF is to seal it with lacquer with conventional spray or brush, then sand with 320. Then prime.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: High Speed Production

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article