Wood Grain Finish on MDF????? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 07-22-2013, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I am building an enclosure for my 15" Ultimax and I would like it to match my Polk RTI12's which are black wood grain with a silver front. The silver part is easy as there is no texture but I am at a loss on how to get the black wood grain look on the rest of the enclosure.


Any Suggestions??



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post #2 of 48 Old 07-22-2013, 10:24 PM
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Partsexpress sells black ash vinyl.
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post #3 of 48 Old 07-22-2013, 10:32 PM
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post #4 of 48 Old 07-23-2013, 09:38 AM
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When buying MDF, make sure you do NOT buy the type that has a polished, smooth feel to it. Wood glue will not adhere to it as it needs to penetrate the surface to bond well. I made this mistake once and the veneer would not stick to the MDF.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #5 of 48 Old 07-23-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

When buying MDF, make sure you do NOT buy the type that has a polished, smooth feel to it. Wood glue will not adhere to it as it needs to penetrate the surface to bond well. I made this mistake once and the veneer would not stick to the MDF.

You could always just sand it a bit. I have read bad things about wood glue and veneer unless you have some type of press, I used contact cement for my veneer.
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post #6 of 48 Old 07-23-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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You need to veneer the cabinet, and then stain it black. This is how the polks are finished

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=2217&site=ROCKLER

http://www.amazon.com/Minwax-22718-Finish-Interior-Stain/dp/B000C027V8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_1

If you can mitre the edges of wood you could always buy something like one-sided plywood like this http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-HD-Maple-Plywood-263012/203600599#.Ue63ctKyDSs and then just stain the wood. It would be much cheaper and easier than veneer. This one I linked might not have enough grains for what you want, but I'm sure you could find something like this that would have the grain you want. This one looks like it has grains just like the polk's. http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-C-3-Red-Oak-Domestic-Plywood-165956/100046409#.Ue634NKyDSs
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post #7 of 48 Old 07-23-2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWagstaff View Post

You could always just sand it a bit. I have read bad things about wood glue and veneer unless you have some type of press, I used contact cement for my veneer.

I sanded the MDF with 120 grit before applying the veneer... that did not help at all... i ended up painting the MDF after applying shellac primer.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #8 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 05:38 AM
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Has anyone ever used some of that 1/4" Birch or Oak, from Lowes, as the outer veneer for the purpose of have a smooth, nice, wood grainy surface to stain?
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post #9 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 05:49 AM
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Here's a very good example of 1/4" veneered board over MDF - http://www.danmarx.org/audioinnovation/tc3000.html
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post #10 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rlj5242 View Post

Here's a very good example of 1/4" veneered board over MDF - http://www.danmarx.org/audioinnovation/tc3000.html

That does indeed look very good, but I am not sure how it was applied. I wonder if the edges are mittered or but joints? It seems to me that it would be very difficult to miter the edges due to it only being 1/4" thick.

Can you or anyone else tell me if it is possible to miter those edges with a typical table saw?
I am new to the whole woodworking hobby, and I am still trying to figure out how to measure the panels that are either mitered or angle cuts, so beat with me! I just bought a new table saw too!
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post #11 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 06:16 AM
 
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you'd have to mitre the edges of the 1/4" but there would be no point of doing that over 3/4" because it's much easier to mitre and then you don't have to glue anything extra on. But joints would be ugly. You can easily do miter joints with a router table and a miter bit, but I'm sure you could set up some type of rig that would hold the wood at a 45 degree angle over a table saw to cut. Would be a bit tricky though. I'd check youtube for vids on how to do it I'm sure there's something.
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post #12 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 06:32 AM
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You can certainly do miters on a tablesaw but it is challenging to get them straight enough for the joints to mate up well, especially with limited woodworking experience.You would be much better off building the cabinet with butt joints and veneering over them. If you don't want to mess with the real wood veneer, staining, finishing etc, you could try some of the Parts Express vinyl mentioned earlier.
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post #13 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

When buying MDF, make sure you do NOT buy the type that has a polished, smooth feel to it. Wood glue will not adhere to it as it needs to penetrate the surface to bond well. I made this mistake once and the veneer would not stick to the MDF.
What glue did you use what method to ensure a good bond?

Mike
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post #14 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 08:39 AM
 
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What glue did you use what method to ensure a good bond?

I know gorilla wood glue will easily glue to any part of MDF including the polished smooth part. The glue holds so strong, to peel the glue off the MDF it peels chunks of the MDF off with it.
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post #15 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 11:16 AM
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I have never had an issue getting wood glue to stick to any regular MDF. Tempered hardboard which is like mdf has a slicker surface and that does need some sanding to get a good surface to glue.

Veneering with wood glue has it's issues but so do most methods using other types of glue. Look online for hints to get good results.
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post #16 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 12:18 PM
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I just glued up a bunch of double thick baffles from 1/2" MDF with a very smooth surface, using plain old Titebond Original. Absolutely no issues..
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post #17 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
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What glue did you use what method to ensure a good bond?

I used TiteBond II... After the glue dried, it peeled off like rubber cement on plastic...

I ended up painting it with Zinsser BIN Shellac-based primer. Then painting it over with black metallic enamel.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #18 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 05:10 PM
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Did you clamp the two pieces together? Just applying Titebond and laying the veneer on top will never be enough.

Mike
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post #19 of 48 Old 07-24-2013, 09:51 PM
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Did you clamp the two pieces together? Just applying Titebond and laying the veneer on top will never be enough.

No, the problem is that the titebond could not bond to the MDF, it peeled right off... The MDf was finished with some kind of coating that could not be sanded off. It felt like melamine. wood glue has to absorb partly into the wood in order to work... i have used veneer before with great success. It's just that I noticed this MDF was different from the one I bought previously. Someone told me it was formed with some sort of fire retardant. It is designed to be painted, not veneered...

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #20 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 06:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

No, the problem is that the titebond could not bond to the MDF, it peeled right off... The MDf was finished with some kind of coating that could not be sanded off. It felt like melamine. wood glue has to absorb partly into the wood in order to work... i have used veneer before with great success. It's just that I noticed this MDF was different from the one I bought previously. Someone told me it was formed with some sort of fire retardant. It is designed to be painted, not veneered...

hmm, don't think I've ever seen that type of mdf before. what temperature was it drying at?
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post #21 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by djarchow View Post

You can certainly do miters on a tablesaw but it is challenging to get them straight enough for the joints to mate up well, especially with limited woodworking experience.You would be much better off building the cabinet with butt joints and veneering over them. If you don't want to mess with the real wood veneer, staining, finishing etc, you could try some of the Parts Express vinyl mentioned earlier.

So if a table saw is difficult, or not ideal for the miter joints, what is the most optimal or easy way to miter the edges for a smooth finish?

I am dead set on using real wood veneer and I plan on staining it a nice deep and dark brownish color.

Yesterday I went to Lowes and purchased some 1/4" birch that I am going to play around with attempting to make a nice look on my existing UM15 cabinets that are unfinished. Any suggestions?
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post #22 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 07:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

So if a table saw is difficult, or not ideal for the miter joints, what is the most optimal or easy way to miter the edges for a smooth finish?

I am dead set on using real wood veneer and I plan on staining it a nice deep and dark brownish color.

Yesterday I went to Lowes and purchased some 1/4" birch that I am going to play around with attempting to make a nice look on my existing UM15 cabinets that are unfinished. Any suggestions?

router table and miter bit is child's play http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbJszKqyfBA you can't miter 1/4" though you'd have to get 3/4" one sided maple, oak or birch plywood like this http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-C-3-Red-Oak-Domestic-Plywood-165956/100046409#.UfExY9KyDSt
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post #23 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 07:24 AM
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So just out of curiosity..... How does Jim Salk get those really awesome finishes ok the Salk speakers? What kind of veneer is her using? Is it a roll on veneer or does he use a really high end 3/4" cabinet grade wood?
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post #24 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 07:34 AM
 
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I think it's a really thin wood veneer, like 1/16". like this http://www.homedepot.ca/product/sheet-veneer-24-inch-x-99-inch-oak/967277 I couldn't find it on the US homedepot website. I did a subwoofer with a sheet maple veneer it turned out very nice. It's thin so you can't even see the corners where they meet, its like thick paper.
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post #25 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Face2 View Post

Did you clamp the two pieces together? Just applying Titebond and laying the veneer on top will never be enough.

No, the problem is that the titebond could not bond to the MDF, it peeled right off... The MDf was finished with some kind of coating that could not be sanded off. It felt like melamine. wood glue has to absorb partly into the wood in order to work... i have used veneer before with great success. It's just that I noticed this MDF was different from the one I bought previously. Someone told me it was formed with some sort of fire retardant. It is designed to be painted, not veneered...
Sounds like it may have had a laminate attached as I've never seen MDF like that before, either.

Mike
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post #26 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

So just out of curiosity..... How does Jim Salk get those really awesome finishes ok the Salk speakers? What kind of veneer is her using? Is it a roll on veneer or does he use a really high end 3/4" cabinet grade wood?

If you email him, I bet he would tell you what he does.

Looking at the photos on his website, it looks like he veneers everything except the outer baffle. The outer baffles look like they are either black-finished MDF or solid wood. Underneath the veneers, I'm sure he uses MDF.

If you click on a photo in his gallery, the larger version of the photo usually has a caption at the bottom that tells you what kind of veneer he used. Some of the veneer he uses is quite exotic and, I'm sure, very costly.

Of course, the biggest reason Jim's speakers look so good is that he's an excellent woodworker and wood finisher.

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post #27 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 10:08 AM
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hmm, don't think I've ever seen that type of mdf before. what temperature was it drying at?

I live in balmy Hawaii... The temp was about 80-85 degrees...

I talked to one of my friends who is an avid wooodworker. He says he uses this type of MDF for unfinished tables in his workshop. He puts the MDF on a workbench to protect the surface and works off of it. He likes it because the surface is polished and it makes it a lot easier to move wood over it.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #28 of 48 Old 07-25-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

I live in balmy Hawaii... The temp was about 80-85 degrees...

I talked to one of my friends who is an avid wooodworker. He says he uses this type of MDF for unfinished tables in his workshop. He puts the MDF on a workbench to protect the surface and works off of it. He likes it because the surface is polished and it makes it a lot easier to move wood over it.

Sounds like it would be pretty useful stuff - as long as you're not trying to glue to it :P
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post #29 of 48 Old 07-26-2013, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightp View Post

If you email him, I bet he would tell you what he does.

Looking at the photos on his website, it looks like he veneers everything except the outer baffle. The outer baffles look like they are either black-finished MDF or solid wood. Underneath the veneers, I'm sure he uses MDF.

If you click on a photo in his gallery, the larger version of the photo usually has a caption at the bottom that tells you what kind of veneer he used. Some of the veneer he uses is quite exotic and, I'm sure, very costly.

Of course, the biggest reason Jim's speakers look so good is that he's an excellent woodworker and wood finisher.

What I am trying to figure out is the different types of veneer. I only know of the kind that comes in a roll, or vinyl, or really thin slices of wood like 1/4" or 1/8" that you would just glue on. Am I missing something? What is the best type of veneer if money and time are not a concern?
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post #30 of 48 Old 07-26-2013, 06:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

What I am trying to figure out is the different types of veneer. I only know of the kind that comes in a roll, or vinyl, or really thin slices of wood like 1/4" or 1/8" that you would just glue on. Am I missing something? What is the best type of veneer if money and time are not a concern?

If money is not a concern the best "veneer" would be solid wood :P

I think the best/easiest "veneer" is 3/4" plywood like I linked above, and you miter the edges and you get a perfect cabinet if you do it right.

The next easiest is the roll on veneer or vinyl.

I don't see the point in the 1/4" or 1/8" veneers, as you get ugly lines unless you miter it, but it's relatively hard to miter something that thin.
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