When it comes to purchasing wood products for your projects, MDF and plywood are two major contenders. Both MDF and plywood are affordable and versatile products that can be used for a wide range of woodworking projects. Determining which wood product will work best for your specific project can be a bit challenging.
Here are three factors that you can take into consideration to help you make the right choice between MDF and plywood in the future.
1. Location of the Finished Product
You can use the intended location of your finished project as a guide to help you choose between MDF and plywood when sourcing your supplies.
MDF is not designed to handle exposure to moisture well. Any water that comes into contact with MDF will be absorbed into the board, causing swelling and changing the profile of the board itself. Because moisture poses such a risk to the integrity of MDF, this wood should only be used for projects that will be housed indoors.
Plywood is much more capable of withstanding the outdoor elements. This is especially true of plywood that has been exterior-glued.
2. Fabrication Processes
Most wood goes through a series of fabrication processes before being used to construct anything. The types of fabrication processes you will be using can help you determine whether MDF or plywood is the best option for your project.
Plywood has a tendency to crack and splinter when being cut, machined, or drilled. MDF doesn't share this sensitivity to certain fabrication processes.
If you need to do any type of extensive machining to prepare your wood components, MDF is the better option.
3. Intended Finish
The way that you intend to finish your wood project can also be used as a determining factor when deciding between MDF and plywood.
Plywood has a rough surface that may not look the best when painted or stained. This makes plywood a better option for projects that you intend to cover with some type of veneer.
MDF tends to have a smooth finish. This smooth surface allows you to finish off an MDF project by painting or staining the wood.
Both MDF and plywood share some characteristics that make them an affordable option for most woodworking projects.
You will need to factor in how you want your finished piece to look, how much fabrication will be required to create the right wood components, and whether your project will be housed indoors or outdoors after completion before you choose either MDF or plywood for your lumber needs
.For more information, contact a company like Liese Lumber Co Inc