Home News MDF Cutting and Plywood Cutting – All You Should Know!

MDF Cutting and Plywood Cutting – All You Should Know!

by Uneeb Khan
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MDF

What is MDF?

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is the engineered wood made from sawdust and resins such as urea-formaldehyde. It has been popular since the 1960s due to its low cost and eases of production.

MDF panels can be cut using standard woodworking tools such as circular saws, mounting saws, or routers. They are strong enough for furniture making, but more importantly, their flat surfaces and straight edges make them extremely handy for woodworking purposes.

For example, installing bathroom cabinets and shelves on the walls would be very simple if you used pre-sized wall panels rather than customizing them yourself.

Get MDF Size

Most people searching for this service will head online and search for “MDF cut to size” or something “MDF cutting”. You may notice that there are usually two options:

  • Hire a shredding company to do the job for you
  • Complete it yourself at home with the right cutter

Sure, the first option is viable, but it’s also not practical unless you have large sums of money to spare. If you plan to cut MDF by someone else, you should discuss the problem in case if they do not provide this type of service.

Alternatively, you can make your own cuts at home with a suitable table saw or laser cutter (although prices vary widely). The second option is the most practical for most people, especially if you are reading this article because you need to cut MDF to size regularly.

For example, when I built a custom media entertainment center, I knew exactly what metrics I needed. Since it was only one use, there was no point in spending money on hiring someone else to do it. Buying an MDF board cutter will pay for itself the first few times you buy size MDF pieces!

Can you get MDF wall panels cut to size?

There isn’t reason why you should not cut MDF to size. Cut-to-size is a service offered by almost all companies, which should be available in most regions. If you’re still not sure, check the company’s website or contact them, and they’ll be happy to let you know if they offer this service!

Is MDF Too Expensive?

In short: no! There are actually very cheap table saws on sale from many retailers, such as Amazon, for as little as $100/£100 (or even more affordable on sale). Plus, unless you plan on using it daily, don’t worry about spending a lot of money.

If someone tells you that a new MDF board cutter will cost thousands of dollars, they probably won’t be honest! It is certainly possible to spend a lot of money if you want an industrial machine, but you don’t need a machine for home use.

You may also notice that some big-name companies sell expensive table saws that claim to cut MDF. This will doesn’t mean that the products themselves are of better quality. It just means that it’s heavily coded because of its brand name.

Are MDF Wall Panel Sets Really Cut To Size?

Yes, all of them! As you can probably tell that this article has an entire section dedicated to “cutting your wall panels to size”, there is no need for manufacturers to cut to size off-the-shelf products (unless they’re damaged).

This is because nearly all 24″ x 48″ MDF boards come in standard sizes, which means it’s easier and cheaper for them to pack them as is rather than cutting each MDF sheet individually.

Incas if you wish, you can also ask the supplier if they will cut the panels to a different size. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and there’s a chance they’ll say yes, but know that they may charge you for this service.

How to cut plywood with the circular saw

Select the right blade

There are plywood-specific blades, but we like the traditional, sharp, the 24-tooth carbide blade. If you don’t have the one in your saw, replace it with one of these. With this blade, you can also successfully make all the cut to size MDF you need.

Set that saw blade to the correct depth

If you set the blade too deep, you will pull a lot of the extra blade through that plywood, and if you set it too shallowly, you risk not cutting all the way through. Adjust the blade so that a quarter of an inch passes through the bottom of the plywood. This will give you an excellent, crisp cut.

Plywood backing as clipping

An entire board of 4’x8′ plywood can be hard to support. There are many ways to support plywood when it is sawn, trimmed, or other pieces of wood or at the edge of a table. It is important to support the entire piece of plywood when cutting. Using another table, you will need to hold the sheet down, so it does not move while cutting it. We like to cut the plywood on the floor using a piece of extruded foam as a backing board. It makes a nice, solid surface for making cuts. If storing the foam board is an issue, you can cut it in half and fasten it together with masking tape, which acts as a hinge. With this method, you can crawl across the board and the excess doesn’t come off when you’re done cutting.

Face the plywood the right way

If you are cutting veneer-faced plywood, always cut the good side down. This way, the saw blade will push the veneer back into the board, instead of puncturing and cracking it. If you need two good sides, score the cutting line with a utility knife. Make sure the cut runs the length of the peel. It may take a few passes with the knife. Using painter’s tape across the cut line is also a good way to avoid splinters when cutting. Make sure to press it firmly.

Cutting precision

You can use your finger as the guide when cutting along the edge of a piece of plywood. Align the blade with that cut line and set your thumb and forefinger along the outside edge of the circular saw, pinch the saw shoe and work parallel to the outside edge of the plywood.

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