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DexterII 07-22-2011 07:29 AM

Opinions on MDO for this project?
I need to make a couple of lawn ornaments for some friends, and the plans call for 3/4" exterior plywood. Since I will need to lay out a lot of curves and other details, I happened to think that MDO might provide a better platform on which to perfom the layout, as well as the fact that it might provide a more durable surface once it has been painted. However, I have minimal experience with MDO, so am interested in any opinions that you may have. I am also curious about how well the overlay will remain attached while cutting the curves, etc. Thank you.

Daniel Holzman 07-22-2011 08:46 AM

MDO is usually used in indoor applications. It might work OK if it is painted very carefully. I used MDF recently in an outdoor application, primed and painted with two coats of exterior latex it worked very well. The only advantage over exterior plywood is that MDF and MDO paint better, due to the very smooth finish.

AGWhitehouse 07-22-2011 11:00 AM

In an exterior setting, as soon as the paint degrades so will the MDO...plywood will forgive you if you delay on the repaint for a few months.

DexterII 07-22-2011 11:37 AM

Thank you, gentlemen. I think that I will stick with what I know, which would be regular exterior plywood in this case. I happened to think that it might be easier to lay the grid out on, and subsequently the lines with the french curves, and then remembered that it was supposed to take paint well too, but it's also more expensive, so with no overwhelming support for it, we'll go the more traditional route. I appreciate the input.

AGWhitehouse 07-22-2011 11:49 AM

You could buy a piece of 1/4" to make a template out of...

DexterII 07-22-2011 12:19 PM

Thank you AG; good advice. I have done a fair amount of this type of work, and have used that technique a number of times, depending on the complexity of the layout, so that wasn't the issue. Being perfectly honest, I am reaching a point in life where eye strain is becoming a factor, and given the the amount of scroll work that these have, I got to thinking that the MDO surface may make it easier to work with. But since it otherwise doesn't seem to be the way to go, we'll be fine with the grain. I just tell myself that I need to slow down a little sometimes, and keep going.

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