Thursday, February 1, 2007

Cutting MDF

Itching to start I break out one piece of MDF and start transposing the template onto it. It takes a while but the directions are easy to follow and soon I have one board completely ready to cut. To save time I decide to double up the MDF so I can cut both sided of the cabinet at once. That makes the thickness 1 ½ inches.

Now I am no stranger to power tools and have quite a collection. However the table saw won't work due to the many cuts that would be needed. So I break out a new craftsman circular saw. It is a bit lighter then my older circular saw.

I line up the saw and start a cutting. Quickly the blade locks up. I back it out and try again with similar results. Perhaps the saw blade is dull so I remove the existing 7 1/2 inch blade and put in a new one. Line the saw up and start a cutting… Same results. Apparently the MDF is so thick that the circular saw cannot cut through two pieces at a time.

So now I have to cut them one board at a time. I separate the MDF and start again. DUST FLYS EVERYWHERE.

Time to take the MDF outside to cut.

I bring it to the outside picnic table and continue to cut out the pieces. Most can be cut with the circular saw, some cuts need to be finished with the jig saw.

Needless to say it takes a few days to cut out the pieces since I am building two. I also took the times to label the pieces to help with assembly.

Now previously I mentioned the dust caused by MDF. When you add humidity to the dust it acts like glue and sticks to everything. I am still coughing up it to this day. Even wearing a dust mask does not help much.

¾’s of the way through the cutting I hit a snag. My new circular saw stops working. I break out the older, heavy duty one and finish the job. A post mortem on the new saw reveals that the MDF dust has coated all the bushings in the motor. Translated, the dust killed my saw.

Eventually I have a very large amount of cut pieces of MDF stacked in the garage.

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