MDF for Detailed Concrete Formwork

      Advice on building forms using MDF. September 3, 2011

I need to build some rather detailed concrete forms and would like to use MDF because of how it machines. The problem is how the MDF holds screws, especially if they need to come out and go back in several times. Is there a better way to do this? Some kind of insert maybe?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor P:
MDF holds screws well perpendicular to the face? I would just use screws. If you have to, inserts could be added later, but the inserts will pull loose as well if not handled gingerly or over-tightened. Maybe tee nuts would be better.

From contributor R:
If you need to assemble/disassemble several times, the MDF won't stand up to it. You could use the T nuts, which would most likely get you through the project, but if you do that, I would skin your panel over with another layer of MDF. At that point you might use plywood for the substrate and 1/4" MDF skin glued to it for smoothness.

From contributor J:
MDF is fine; Exteria is best. I have used HDPE when detail and lots of repeatability is needed. Screws work, yet I prefer to build a ply outside corner and seal with a fine bead of caulk depending on the desired model produced.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Click here for higher quality, full size image

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: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: General

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous

    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 © 1996-2019 - 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