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MDF and Particleboard Van Wert OH

Composite wood has a few significant drawbacks: it’s heavy, easily damaged and not very stiff. In addition, it doesn’t hold screws as well as solid wood, swells when it gets wet and creates clouds of obnoxious sawdust. Particleboard is fine for utilitarian work, but MDF is preferred for furniture projects.

Van Wert - Auth Hometown
(419) 232-4900
1159 S Shannon St
Van Wert, OH
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Hometown Dealers
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Hometown Dealers
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Mon:8.5-18
Tue:8.5-18
Wed:8.5-18
Thu:8.5-18
Fri:8.5-18
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16
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Mon:8.5-18
Tue:8.5-18
Wed:8.5-18
Thu:8.5-18
Fri:8.5-18
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16

Fastenal- Van Wert
419-232-4350
529 Bonnewitz Avenue Van Wert, OH, 45891
Van Wert, OH
 
Ottoville Do it center
(419) 453-3338
145 W 3rd Street
Ottoville, OH
 
Delphos Ace
(419) 692-0921
242 N Main St
Delphos, OH
 
Decatur Ace Hardware
(260) 724-3700
1220 S 13th St, Located on US 27, Across from Baymont Inn
Decatur, IN
 
Lee's Ace Hardware
(419) 238-1546
647 W Ervin Rd
Van Wert, OH
 
Hall Do it Best Lumber
(419) 749-2119
122 S Main St
Convoy, OH
 
Tri County Do it center
(419) 692-6936
833 N Main St
Delphos, OH
 
Decatur True Value Hardware
(260) 724-9543
1480 Winchester Rd
Decatur, IN
 
Kmart 3664 / Cross Merch
(260) 728-2010
804 S 13Th St
Decatur, IN
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Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
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Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
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MDF and Particleboard

MDF and Particleboard

How two versatile woods can be both a blessing and a curse.

by Karen Nakamura

Cheap, plain and definitely not wood. That’s how many woodworkers describe particleboard and MDF (medium-density fiberboard), but think these words instead: inexpensive, uniform and stable. 

• Inexpensive. MDF and particleboard panels run $25 to $35 a sheet (oversized at 49 in. by 97 in. so you can cut off a dinged edge).

• Uniform. Collectively called composite wood, MDF and particleboard panels don’t have the irregularities of veneer-core plywood, such as voids on the inside and patches on the outside.

• Stable. Composite wood doesn’t shrink and swell across the grain or warp to the same degree as solid wood.

Composite wood has a few significant drawbacks: it’s heavy, easily damaged and not very stiff. In addition, it doesn’t hold screws as well as solid wood, swells when it gets wet and creates clouds of obnoxious sawdust. Particleboard is fine for utilitarian work, but MDF is preferred for furniture projects. MDF is smoother, takes better detail, holds screws better and paints very well once its edges are sealed. Whichever one you choose, use only carbide cutters, because the binders in the wood are very abrasive. Even carbide will wear more quickly than normal. Here we’ll only cover the basics, but a wealth of free technical information on different grades of composite wood is available from The Composite Wood Council. You can download entire pamphlets at www.pbmdf.com or call (301) 670-0604.

MDF takes a much crisper edge than particleboard. MDF is made of very small wood fibers, almost like flour, while particleboard is made from larger, coarser fibers. Particleboard has a tendency to chip out when routed. If you want sharply defined edges with particleboard, glue on a solid wood strip.


Man, this stuff is heavy! Projects made from MDF and particleboard can weigh a ton. A full sheet of 3/4-in. MDF is 97 lbs. A sheet of particleboard typically weighs 85 lbs. A sheet of veneer-core birch plywood, by comparison, comes in at 60 lbs. Extra weight means joints in moveable furniture have to be extra strong.


MDF and particleboard are extremely flat. They’re perfect for veneering because there are no lumps or ripples to show through extra-thin sheets of veneer. Glue veneer on both sides to keep the panel from distorting.


It may be flat, but it’s not stiff. Look familiar? MDF and particleboard shelves are notorious for drooping, even from their own weight, unless they have additional support. Shelves that are 10-in. deep should be no more than 24-in. long. 


MDF’s thickness is usually right on the money. Unlike plywood, which is generally undersized, MDF and particleboard often fit right into standard-sized grooves.

Click here to read the rest of the article from American Woodworker