Some projects built from MDF— shelving, desktops, sometimes even trim—look more substantial when you use thicker material. Since it’s harder to find thick MDF, reader Tim Burnside just glues 1/2- or 3/4-in. layers together. Here are his three keys to building up layers of MDF:
1. Rough-cut the slabs about an inch larger than their final size. That way, you don’t have to worry about aligning the edges during glue-up. Trim the perimeter later to create flush edges.
2. Spread on a full-coverage, even coat of wood glue. Spots that remain dry can open up slightly years later and show up as cracks in the edges. Tim’s favorite glue spreader is a small disposable paint roller.
3. Apply a lot of pressure to close all the gaps. Inexpensive spring clamps (lots of them!) are a quick way to squeeze the edges. For areas beyond the reach of clamps, apply weight. Buckets of water work well, as long as you don’t spill!