MDF and Router Bits

MDF and Router Bits

MDF and Router Bits

A thread in the last issue mentioned that MDF can quickly dull router bits. In particular, one post insisted “the pallets are used nails and all, and there is a pretty high metal content in MDF.” That inspired the following question. – Editor

“That’s a new one. Is it really true?” – Rich Flynn

We’re not sure, Rich, but perhaps one of our readers who works in the industry will write in to either confirm or refute that. Whether or not the culprit is metal, there does seem to be some agreement that MDF dulls bits. – Editor

“I use MDF for my templates. One template I made required some router cuts. It dulled and blackened my upward spiral bit so badly that I feared I would have to replace it. Fortunately, my tool supplier was able to restore the cutting edge. I would not run another piece of that stuff through an expensive router bit again.” – Bob Thornton

No Thanks

“I am waiting to read a “bad” review on the eZine. Are you only advertising or are you giving information about products?” – Marc Lupien

We do indeed give information about products, Marc, and even announce the release of new ones, but we do not test or compare them. Instead, we help you peek inside the history and workings of companies who manufacture and sell to you, and inside the shops and heads of fellow woodworkers. That should make it easier for you to come to your own decisions about which companies, and which woodworkers for that matter, are worthy of your admiration. – Editor

Salad Bowels

Our typo corner is well loved, but readers usually chuckle, then move on. However, the most recent one about ‘salad bowels’ inspired some unusual responses. – Editor
“Now I have the ultimate answer to why I do not want salad with my evening meal. You have no idea the grief I have had to endure the past 30 years for not wanting salad at supper. You have saved me from many endless lectures.” – Wilson Brame

So glad we could help, Wilson. The next writer ignored the humor and instead gave a chef’s eye view of finishing. – Editor

“I found the best finish is warm mineral oil. This was recommended by a local chef.” – Greg Guertin

With all due respect to local chefs, Greg, we prefer to get our finishing advice from local finishers. Ours pointed out that mineral oil, while safe and edible, is a non-drying oil, and as such will stay wet indefinitely. That means the bowl could leave an oil spot on a tablecloth, and also that when subjected to soap and water, the mineral oil will wash off, making it only a temporary finish. – Editor


“I have been receiving the eZine for a while and just wanted to say thank you to you and your staff. The wood plans cover a great many different projects, and I have saved most. I unfortunately do not have a work shop or a lot of tools at this time but still enjoy reading the eZine. I just wante to say thank you.” – Joseph Axelrod

You are quite welcome. We are glad we could be helpful. – Editor

Thinning Shellac

A discussion about thinning shellac with slower solvents elicited this suggestion from a reader. – Editor

“Just a simple word of caution when using isopropyl alcohol. The stuff from the drugstores often has oil and water mixed into it. I found this out the hard way while using it to clean glass. Check your label.” – Ric Evans

Quite true, Ric. Usually such a product is labeled “rubbing alcohol” in the drug store, but thanks for the reminder that it is always critical to read labels. – Editor

Typo Corner

Here’s where we celebrate the funny foibles of our flying fingers by chuckling appreciatively over those typos to which we are all prey. – Editor

“It’s a chester drawers.”

Is that a “slipper the fingers,” or furniture made for the 21st President? (Don’t bother to google it. Our 21st President was Chester A. Arthur.) – Editor

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