Gluing Up MDF Laminations

      Tips on glue choice and clamping technique for laminating a 2-inch-thick MDF piece. November 24, 2007

(Adhesive Forum)
I have a job that will require me to laminate 2 sheets of 1" MDF together to make a 2" thick sheet. No 2" is available in my area. What is the recommended process and glue to use? Do I need to press it somehow? Can I just suck both sheets down on my Router Vac table after gluing?

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From contributor F:
Any good yellow wood glue should work. I would apply it to both pieces using a paint roller with a foam sleeve. You will have to press any way you can, over the entire sheet.

From contributor W:
I thought you weren't supposed to use water based glues on MDF, or it would warp. Is this just if you're gluing MDF to a different material?

From contributor S:
I often laminate 2 sheets of MDF together (though usually only 5/8" or 3/4") for tops or panels of some kind. I haven't had any issues using yellow glue, TB II to be exact. I trowel the glue onto both faces using a flat piece of 1/4" something-or-other with small "teeth" notched into one edge.

Once placed glue-side to glue-side on a flat horizontal surface, I use ten 5 gallon buckets filled with water sitting on a grid of straightened 2x4's placed on edge across the whole panel surface. Water weighs about 8 lbs. per gallon, so this is about 400lbs of pressure. It's not as much as I would like, but it's always worked well enough.

But for your 2" panels, you don't necessarily need two 1" sheets. You could use two 1/2" sheets with a 1" web-frame in between. I've done this a few times and I really like it. It's stronger, stiffer, and a whole lot lighter. I typically use poplar for the web-frame. Just some ideas.

From contributor T:
We just did this using our spray canister contact adhesive (Premium brand; PB925) and it worked well and fast. The trick is to cut the pieces slightly oversized and then trim them after.

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