Housewares & Miscellaneous Items


1. Small housewares from MDF


The easy machining and good finishing characteristics of MDF are important requirements for materials used for the manufacture of a large number of objects in everyday use.

Small boxes used for storing cutlery, jewellery, trinkets, cigars and many other items can be manufactured from MDF. The corners may be simply butted together, or reinforced with tongues, comb jointed or mitred. The assembled boxes may be finished by painting or surfaced with wood veneer or decorative foil.

High quality cigar boxes have been manufactured using an MDF box with a cedar wood veneer liner and a high build acrylic or polyester outer finish burnished to a high gloss.

The appearance of wood veneered MDF boxes can be enhanced with exotic veneer inserts with boxwood inlays or marquetry designs on the lids.

MDF panels and machined components have been used successfully for clothes hangers and coat stands. For some of these applications, high stability and the ability to machine complicated shapes are important requirements.

MDF edges exposed by routering or turning can be painted using appropriate sealers without time consuming surface preparation. The availability of MDF in thicknesses ranging from 1.8 mm to 60 mm ensures good utilisation with minimum wastage.

Ironing tables and trouser presses can be made using MDF panels. important requirements are flatness and the retention of high strength and stability when warm. Different thicknesses can be used ranging from 12 mm for well supported panels to 25 mm for the more open structures used for pull out ironing tables. A low formaldehyde grade is recommended for applications where warm or damp conditions are likely.

MDF is often used for tray bases, place mats and plant stands. A high level of surface durability can be achieved by cutting the shapes from general purpose melamine surfaced MDF. Alternatively, specially printed pictures and designs can be laminated onto the MDF surface using melamine resinated glue film and protective overlay. The back surface should also be laminated to ensure flatness. The smooth cut edges of the MDF should be sealed against water ingress by the application of a metallic or other decorative paint.

At a slightly lower level of surface durability, the smooth surface of MDF provides a good base for adhesive bonded or screen applied prints or transfers which should be protected with a heat and moisture resisting lacquer.

The ease of machining cut outs in MDF, particularly if a CNC router is available, creates good opportunities for the manufacture of recessed coin and medal trays and specimen display racks for use in the home or in museums and other public places.

MDF can easily be moulded, turned or cut into small shapes for the manufacture of a wide range of decorative or ornamental items in common use in the home. Table lamps, book ends, curtain rail fittings, and simple sculptures are obvious examples. The surfaces can be finished simply by painting, in plain or contrasting colours, or with one of the many special decorative effects achieved by rag rolling, sponging or stippling. MDF has considerable advantages over other wood based sheet materials by virtue of its smooth surfaces and well compacted edges which are essential prerequisites for the success of these special finishing processes.

In addition to these items, MDF has been used successfully for the manufacture of embroidery and sewing compendiums, book racks, stools and small tables.