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Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels


I'm making a batch of MDF wall panels that will be painted with a dark pigmented satin 2k poly. When it's finished, it'll be a good sized heavy stack that gets delivered a half hour away. I've not had to load and transport this many fully painted sheets before, and have concerns about the weight and truck ride causing abrasion. Panels will be cured about a week before stacking. I'm thinking about slipping a sheet of kraft paper in between each panel. Overkill, or not enough?

9/15/22       #3: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Leo G Member

I always put something between panels. Usually I have a good stack of cheap harbor freight moving blankets for protecting most things I transport. How about the thin bubble wrap cut up into squares and put about every 2'.

9/16/22       #4: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...

Kraft paper is abrasive. Some turners use it to polish the finish on parts on a lathe. As mentioned, shipping blankets should have been added to the bid.

9/16/22       #5: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
D Brown

Maybe you could stand them up ?

9/16/22       #6: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Kevin Dunphy


What Brown said keep it simple

9/16/22       #7: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Leo G Member

I thought of that too but decided that while the panels are being transported the up and down movement was more likely to scratch the faces than if they were laying down.

9/16/22       #8: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Kevin Dunphy


I think the danger is the weight once you have 4 or 5 sheets stacked acts like a press

9/16/22       #9: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Josh Koschak

It is only being transferred a half an hour away, put them on edge with blankets in between, or make multiple trips. How many sheets are you referring to?

9/16/22       #10: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Mark B Member

I'd agree with shipping them on edge. Even with some curing time with the weight of a stack you'll risk damaging the finish or even worse something sticking.
Not sure of your capacity or the quantity but even cutting a sheet of MDF in half and either plowing some slighty spaced dado's or some battens and screwing them to the ends of the panels so they can ride on edge spaced apart would seem simple enough.
Shipping is one of our biggest nightmares and even on short rides its amazing what the vibration/abrasion will do to finish. Sticking even with curing time is an even bigger nightmare.

9/16/22       #11: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Leo G Member

2K poly is fully cured in 3 days.

9/16/22       #12: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Mark B Member

Agreed on the cure time. I'd just personally still be cautious depending on the size of the stack. Add to that loading and unloading and the potential of sliding sheets stacked on top of one another and I'd be running them vertical by default. Separating them with furniture pads is fine if theres not a ton of sheets. Im even cautious loading and unloading pressed panels of HPL as one piece of grit and your scratched. With the cost of 2K finishing a quantity of 4x8 panels I'd be handling them with kid gloves to avoid any and all headaches.

9/16/22       #13: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...

Thanks for the input everyone. I was hoping to load & unload in a forklift-friendly manner on an 8' pallet, as these will be ridiculously fragile. It's about 40 sheets of 3/4 MDF with curved 1/2" deep grooves going every which way. Stacked flat, the bottom sheet would have about 3700 lbs sitting on it...too risky. Final vote is hand loading on edge with blankets as spacers, 3-4 days after the last one's shot. Leo that was my understanding on cure time also. Fortunately I'm not the one that has to thread them down a spiral staircase to the final destination: that's an official SEP (Someone Else's Problem).

I've had moving blankets print on painted surfaces in the past, but it's probably because they weren't pristine, and also because that particular time we were shipping a truckload from Washington to San Francisco goes over a section of I-5 in northern CA that sets up some brutal pogo stick resonances between truck suspension and concrete.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to volunteer your ideas.

9/16/22       #14: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...
Mark B Member

Ive had the imprinting issue as well but would never risk it on a 1.5 ton stack. If your wanting to fork it I would be using a large 4x8 pallet like 3Form or solid surface lands on and a couple half sheets dado'd and screwed to the ends or even just web-strapped in a pack. You could probably get 30 sheets on a single skid standing on edge that could be forked off. The effort of safely palletizing the load even for a short haul would be well worth the peace of mind. Even if one sheet gets biffed your in the hole.

9/16/22       #15: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...

Any commercial glass companies near you? They get big sheets of glass coming in vertically stacked on skids all the time. I picked some up this spring for a gardening project. Well made and usually free.

9/18/22       #16: Stacking finished 4 x 8 panels ...

Two pallets , 20 sheets each pallette, with foam sheet between each layer. The rolls of foam are about 300 each around here for 4' wide .

I don't remember how many feet per roll but I keep a couple rolls on hand at all times .

Depending on the pattern of the routing this may or may not work well, but would enable them to be fork loaded and off loaded which would save a good amount of time .

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