How to finish wood (not MDF) for flexy?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Kim, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Second Unit

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    Hi!
    About a year ago I made a flexy rack with MDF wood. I painted them black and while it works, I never really liked the black finish and did not like how it displayed all the dust it picked up!
    I'm thinking of replacing the shelves using some kind of "real" wood instead. However, I'm not sure which wood (pine, etc) to use in this case and how I go about finish the wood.
    I'd appreciate any help on what kind of wood to use and then how I would go about finishing it.
    Thanks!
    Andy
     
  2. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Given that you're essentially building large shelves you'll probably have to use some type of plywood for this.
    There's lots to choose from, plus advantages and disadvantages to each. Here's a few you may want to check out.
    Oak - Usually runs 45 - $60 a sheet, has good density, medium color. The draw back is you'll have to cover the exposed edges with either a strip of hardwood or edge tape.
    Maple - Sometimes called Apple-ply. Extremely strong comes in different layer amounts. 3/4 13 layer is the most but runs around $120 a sheet around here and sometimes can be hard to find. Is light in color and doesn't require edging. You can leave the layered edge exposed, it looks really nice. Plus you can do a round over or some kind of decorative edge with a router.
    MDF - which is what you obviously have had experience with. Believe it or not MDF can look quite nice. Just finished with a clear coat. It's kind of industral looking. best of all requires no edging and you can route it or whatever.
    There's other types too but these are what I've had the most experience with.
    As for a finish I'd recommend a polyurathane finish. It's quite durable and easy to apply. You can get it in clear or many different wood colors. You can also use a colored stain (blue ,red) if you'd like a certian color and then use a clear poly fihish over that for protection.
    To get good results from a poly finish: Sand the wood with 220grit paper. Apply the finish. Once it's dry, lightly sand with 220 again. Do it 2 or three more times. It will come out quite smooth.
    If you want to see what Apply-ply looks like, I made an entertainment center and and Sonosub end caps out of it. You can see pictures in the DIY section at my website, just click on my signature below.
    Good Luck,
    -EJ
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    my HT site
    [Edited last by Eric M Jones on October 06, 2001 at 02:08 PM]
     
  3. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Second Unit

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    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for the advice.
    Wow, when I saw the entertainment center that you made yourself, my jaw dropped. It is beautiful...I'm a carpenter wannabe, I've always like working with my hands on DIY projects but was never really that good at them. That center is soooo nice.
    The wood you used is exactly the kind and shade of wood I want to replace my black gloss MDF boards with. That Maple wood sounds expensive though...I recall when I bought the MDF's that I was surprise that it wasn't going to cost me too much.
    But I guess you have to pay for what you want.
    Your website too is fantastic...are you a website designer? It looks professionally done.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Eric M Jones

    Eric M Jones Second Unit

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    Andy,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Glad you like the site, I'm actualy planning an update because my setup has changed. I got rid of the entertainment center because it really wasn't setp up for HT. I recently built its replacement. A tv/equipment stand that allows space for a much bigger TV and pair of Adire 281 towers that I'm now building.
    Here's a couple pics if you're interested:
    New setup/stand
    Towers unfinished
    Yep I'm a designer. I do web and UI design.
    -EJ
     
  5. MarkDesMarais

    MarkDesMarais Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are looking at plywood, haul out the yellow pages (or equivalent) and look for building supplies, lumber, etc. I found Allied Plywood (might be nationwide?) local to me- they primarily service builders and cabinet makers, but will sell to anyone. They stock, or can order, just about ANY kind of plywood, including exotics. I found that the prices were very reasonable, not far off home center type places, and for better quality stock.
    You can get maple veneered plywood for about the same as oak. The apply-ply stuff is actually something a little different- it is no-void, and has more layers than typical cabinet grade plywood. Might be all hardwood layers too, but I'm not sure about that part. The advantage is that (if you like the look) you can get a nice edge without having to do anything other than sand and finish. Most other plywoods will need some type of edge treatment- either a glued on strip of hardwood, or an iron-on veneer tape.
    Apple-ply is also pretty much required if you are building speakers (the no void thing).
    Markd
     

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