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Old 04-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #1
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


Is it possible to make Trim out of MDF with a Router? I have read talk of a shaper? Not looking to go Fancy, using Craftsman trim

MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router-20031101_craftsman_trim_page004img003.jpg

Only looking to SLIGHTLY round over sharp edges?

Also is there a specific order to install the trim? Specifically the baseboard? Read as limiting end grain exposure?

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Old 04-01-2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


I don't know why it wouldn't be possible. Are you talking of using a piece of 3/4" MDF, ripping it to the appropriate dimension on the table saw, then easing the corners using a small round-over router bit? Seems like it would work to me. Something thing you'll need to be careful with is MDF + moisture = bad. If you have a poorly sealed window, it can make the trim get wet and swell.


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Old 04-01-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


VERY manageable......yes
As previously stated, MDF is a no no in wet areas.

Order of installation
Doors casing then baseboard

Window installation sequence = sill, extension jambs, casing and apron.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:52 AM   #4
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


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Originally Posted by hyunelan2 View Post
I don't know why it wouldn't be possible. Are you talking of using a piece of 3/4" MDF, ripping it to the appropriate dimension on the table saw, then easing the corners using a small round-over router bit? Seems like it would work to me. Something thing you'll need to be careful with is MDF + moisture = bad. If you have a poorly sealed window, it can make the trim get wet and swell.
Yes that is exactly what I am proposing! We just had all brand new quality windows intalled, so it better NOT be a moisture issue! haha
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:31 AM   #5
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


I'd use plywood instead of MDF, unless you're about to sell the place. MDF is easy to work with but doesn't hold up very well. I suppose MDF would be OK if you just don't use the windows or put things on the sills. My parents have some curtains that never, ever, get opened. MDF would be find for them. My wife opens all the windows regularly, and likes to put plants and things on them -- MDF would be bad for our house. I would imagine that over time the bottom of the metal mini-blinds would eat through the paper.

I've never painted the edges of MDF, but I've read you should avoid water based primers, since it will suck up the moisture -- can someone comment on that?
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:45 AM   #6
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My wife will be opening and closing the curtains and blinds ALL DAY LONG! haha I thought it would have been a good alternative to pine, but maybe not?????
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


I personally think the world would be a better place without MDF. But that's just my opinion.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


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I personally think the world would be a better place without MDF. But that's just my opinion.
REALLY?! I "THOUGHT" everybody loved mdf? No expansion or contraction with weather? But as YOU know I have been wrong before! LOL My preference is pine for the trim and the router, but thought I could save a couple bucks? But am thinking twice now?
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


You can save a lot of $. A whole sheet of MDF is really cheap, and you can cut a lot of flat trim from it. But it's not much more durable than cardboard. Really, it kind of is cardboard.

I made a bookcase for oversized books from it. The flatness made assembly a breeze. It's great for that, because they're books I rarely use. For that reason, there is minimal wear and tear.

I made basic square window trim from 3/4" plywood (subfloor -- about the same price as MDF) for my office. I sand it and fill it, then prime and paint. Looks like painted wood. People look at it and say, "That's plywood?". Durable too, and since it's wood, it's easy to patch, fix, and/or paint. I read about plywood window trim in Fine Homebuilding magazine a while back.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #10
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


Pyper,
"I'd use plywood instead of MDF,..."
How do you deal with finishing the lamination edge (voids) and potential for tear-out when routing?
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:09 PM   #11
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


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Pyper,
"I'd use plywood instead of MDF,..."
How do you deal with finishing the lamination edge (voids) and potential for tear-out when routing?

That was going to me my question?!
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:29 AM   #12
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


MDF is very easy to work with and finishes very well. As its not an extremely hard product I don't see why the edges can't be eased with just some 220 sand paper. The smaller pieces will probably be wood while the larger pieces will can be MDF. Thin long pieces of MDF break fairly easily.

Order of install, base usually buts into casing so the casing goes up first. You will want casing a little thicker than the base that buts into it. The casing will stand proud of the base. This limits the endgrain exposure of the base.

Look around at some finished houses, see how they did it. Thats one of the best and cheapest schools around.

If you have an area subject to hits and bangs (window stool, some hallway casings) use wood. MDF does not take a lot of mechanical damage. I have had success with properly painted MDF in bathrooms. I would not use it in very close proximity to a tub or shower. I would not use it for an exterior application.

good luck
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #13
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


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I personally think the world would be a better place without MDF. But that's just my opinion.
Amen brother...But I guess i don't hate using it in budget "fancy" closets.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:11 AM   #14
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


I have to jump in here and defend MDF a bit. It is less durable than wood, but it is very stable. I've done some high end homes with MDF, although its preprimed and shaped before we get it. It forms to radii well too.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #15
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MDF Window/Door/Baseboard Trim made with router


I used MDF for all my trim except the window sills where i used pieces of the hardwood floor i was installing just to break up the all white trim and add a little detail. I also made a new mantle for the fireplace from 1 28.00 dollar sheet of MDF with 24 dollars for wood molding and it looks better then the 400.00 mantles you buy premade. I didnt like MDF when it first came out but after dealing with warped and twisted wood trim the MDF is a breeze to install in houses with bowed walls and crooked floors. If its gonna be painted why waste the money on wood.





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