How to Create Thick Stock

Great tips for gluing boards together to create thicker stock

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!

Originally Published on The Family Handyman