Maple Veneer with MDF Core (Medium Density Fiberboard Core)
Maple Veneer with MDF Core
Our maple/mdf has two maple veneer faces and a medium-density fiberboard core. The exterior show-face is furniture-grade hardwood, but because the veneers are laminated to an mdf core, the material is very smooth, solid, and dimensionally stable. The back side is B grade material.
MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is made from pre-consumer recycled wood, usually saw dust from a saw mill or wood chips from lumber operations. The wood particles are mixed into a dough with a polymer binder (e.g., “glue” or “resin”) and consolidated under heat and pressure to form a panel.
Laser CuttingLaser cutting Maple with MDF Core works beautifully, with most lab cutters cutting up to 1/4in and many cutting up to 1/2in or more. The laser does leave a dark charred edge. Most people leave it as is, but if you prefer, you can easily sand the edges to remove the charring.
Specifications and DimensionsWe stock Maple on MDF in 1/18" and 3/16" nominal thicknesses. The actual thickness is just over an eight of an inch. Of course, MakerStock provides pre-cut maple-faced MDF panels in the right sizes for the laser cutter, or to a size convenient for your project. All MakerStock panel dimensions are cut to tolerances of +0in/-0.188in. That is, the panel will always be up to 3/16in undersized so that it will definitely fit a machine with the corresponding nominal bed size.
You can finish maple-faced MDF like any hardwood. We like the wipe-on Minwax polyurethane. Sand first, and then apply thin coats, with light sanding between applications.
The density of Maple-faced MDF is about 788 kg/m3 or 0.028 lb/in3, a bit more than the constituent wood because of the addition of the polymer binder.
Historically the glue used in MDF (and in plywood for that matter) contained formaldehyde, which could result in off-gassing and potential human health risks. Since Spring 2019, all plywood and MDF sold in the US must comply with quite stringent California and US regulatory standards. The level of formaldehyde is very, very low. (For the details, see https://www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-emission-standards-composite-wood-products.)