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MDF laminated doors

Ed  Member


Got a designer that wants mdf slab doors.
Their plan is " MDF then 3M 468MP, then a sheet of 20 ga. steel .0396" , then a layer of thin carbon fibre with an adhesive back. They plan on the "painters" finishing the back & edges
My big concern is the panel balance. The doors are 24" wide X 60" tall. Are these things going to stay flat? Also they are inset doors. Would it be be safer to use a prefinished ply?
Any help appreciated!

3/5/14       #2: MDF laminated doors ...

Most likely the doors will turn into a potato chip, classic case of unbalanced construction. Front and back need the same treatment.

3/5/14       #3: MDF laminated doors ...

No chance.

3/6/14       #4: MDF laminated doors ...


3/6/14       #5: MDF laminated doors ...
james mcgrew  Member


Best way to get their attention is to propose a solution (if possible) and then tell them why you cannot warranty the work based on the design. tell them the manufacturer of the product will not back you up so it will not get personal !

3/6/14       #6: MDF laminated doors ...
David R Sochar Member

Never say no. That is behind Jame's excellent post.

Use a bit of science and good practice to spur you to a better solution.

3/4" MDF is going to be risky at 60", even if it is balanced.

3/6/14       #7: MDF laminated doors ...
Ed  Member


Met with the dream team designers this AM.
After I rained on their parade, the plan is to make a sample door using HP laminate on the back of the door. Don't know might help,
they are paying T&M, to experiment.
David, in response to your comment, I very rarely say NO, just charge accordingly.
As far as big mdf doors, believe it or not I have 2 big lockers, in the shop, doors are 2' X 8' painted with oil base Porter Glyptex on the outside, raw on the inside,
they are still after 13 years perfectly flat.
I would never do that for a paying customer, but it confuses me about panel balance every time I look at them.

3/16/14       #8: MDF laminated doors ...

"I would never do that for a paying customer, but it confuses me about panel balance every time I look at them."

Don't that drive ya nuts? I have a 3/4 x 26 x 60 "sample" flat panel door I made to go to an unheated attic cubby at home. I used bisquits and butt joints took me less than an hour with the jamb.Finished 1 side. Figured I'd replace it with the real deal later if we liked it. 18 years later, it's still flat, no sag. If I tried that for a customer, it would warp in the first 5 mins. Go figure.

Anyway, good luck with your "dream team"
they will come up with the darndest stuff and expect you to make it work. Sounds like you've covered your bases, just be sure the end client knows whats up.

3/16/14       #10: MDF laminated doors ...
Ed  Member


We made a sample for them.
" mdf, steel, carbon fibre.
Shot the mdf with 2 coats of vinyl sealer first. Gave it to them 3/12, told them, no guarantee. Now wait & see what they come up with.

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