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Old 11-10-2004, 12:01 PM
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MDF or

I am making a custom dashboard from fiberglass. I am doing the frame right now and I had some questions about the wood I'm using. I know that most places use MDF but it's kind of expensive and it seems like it's pretty heavy compared to other woods. Could I use something like LuAnn, or regular plywood or does it have to be MDF?

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Old 11-10-2004, 06:52 PM
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If you think that MDF is expensive then wait til you start buying fiberglass materal. Here in SC is costs $21.00 for a sheet of 3/4 MDF. And to answer your question...Yes you can use other materals but on long flat surfaces you will get warpage with thinner materals. If you are planning to remove the wood after you glass everything then you can use whatever you like as long as it is strong enough for the curing process. MDF is just nice stuff cause it is nice and flat, Doesn't warp as easy, and soakes up resin nicely. When I go a glass box, I use MDF and fleece together. when I am done the MDF soakes up so much resin that the fleece becomes one with the wood. One thing though....MDF isn't really that strong. You usually need to use T nuts to mount things to it. If you were to make a sub box out of MDF and install some monster subs in there with screws, one day you will find the screws stripped out. So when you make the dash don't screw right into the MDF cause sooner than later you will have a floppy dash. And I know some people are going to say to me...What about when you build a box and screw two walls together. Well remember...The glue (wood glue) holds them together not the screws...The screws just hold them together until the glue dries.
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:44 PM
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It's not that MDF is that expensive but it is more expensive than a lot of other woods and I have a lot of plywood around our shop so I thought maybe I could use that. Somebody told me that it doesn't really matter what kind of wood I use as long as I make enough ribbing to make the frame strong enough to hold up against the curing process. As far as making the supports, I thought that I could just use wood glue to hold it all together. No matter what kind of wood I use, should I use some type of screw or T nuts to secure the frame together? I don't wanna "floppy" dash, so if I have to screw it then glue it thats fine with me. Also, I'm putting in a set of speaker rings for a 6 1/2 inch component system in the dash, and so I want to make sure that the dash is as sturdy as possible. Appreciate the info.
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