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Thread: MDF Rings

  1. #1
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    MDF Rings

    I had posted this sometime ago to see if there was any interest, and this will serve as the follow-up to that thread.

    I decided to try and see if I could make the rings I needed for less then the cost of purchasing them through Select products. Before you say that should be easy, keep in mind I'm including the cost of the tools used. A pair of 10" rings and 6" rings from Select is $37.90.

    Tools and material used:

    Trim router from Harbor Freight 12.99
    1/4" straight bit from Home Depot 6.99
    2 X 4 sheet MDF 7.50
    2 X 4 sheet Hardboard 4.50
    Misc hardware (screws etc..) 1.70
    ---------------------------------------------
    Total 33.68

    As you'll see I used a 1/2" bit that I didn't include in the cost because you can do the work with just the 1/4" bit, plus if you shop around you can get both bits and still come in under the target.

    1. I cut a 16" * 16" square out of the MDF. Next I found the center of the square and installed a screw as you can see in the picture.

    2. I glued a piece of non slip material to the board. I didn't add this into the cost because it is unneccessary, but it was only $2 anyway.

    3. I cut a strip of the hardboard 3 1/2" wide by 11" long to serve as my circle cutter. Then I attached this to the router and made the hole for the bit.

    4. I cut 2 11" x 11" pieces of MDF and drilled a hole through the center. Then I marked were the recess cuts were and the through cuts. Then I marked the circle plate and drilled the holes I needed.

    5. I dropped the MDF pieces over the screw and then the circle jig over the screw that protrudes out of the work piece and used the 1/2" bit to cut the recesses on the front side of the MDF.

    6. I switched to the 1/4" bit and set the depth to 1/4" and made the first of the through cut passes. Then lowered the bit and additional 1/4" and made a second pass.

    Finally I flipped the piece over and set the bit 1/4" depth and made the through cuts working from the outside to the innermost cut. The rings turned out perfect.

    I have more Pictures, but I'm limited to five for this post.

    Good Luck, there very easy to make and you'll have plenty of mdf left over.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
    Nic
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    good writeup thanks
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  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate mbuchman's Avatar
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    I never used non-slip stuff for my holes/rings. Just clamp the ring right onto the table, and move the clamps as you go around (or just screw it into the base). Then you dont have to flip it over, and can get it done a lot quicker. And I just used scrap MDF for the router jig and table. Whenever I make a box for anyone, I keep the extra materials, which is handy when you need a quick table or jig.

    Cool that you got done under budget though! I personally prefer to make my own stuff too, just so their is no compromising.

    Matt

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    HF trim router is only 12 bux - wow
    1/2" bit is too hard on one of those anyways.

  5. #5
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    The trim router really isn't that bad. It is 29.95 and regularly goes on sale for 19.99, you may have to wait quite a while until it goes on sale for 12.99 again. They also have a set of straight bits 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4" for 6.99. As far as the 1/2" bit, it works well when your making the light passes for the recess, but I wouldn't try a through cut. I used the non-slip mat for speed so I didn't have to clamp anything. Turning the piece over is only so I don't have to cut all the way through and into my jig. With the screw sticking straight up from the jig, flipping it over takes less than 1 second. I wasn't really clear on this point, the hole in the center of the work piece is 1/64" larger than the screw so it just slips over, it is not screwed on. I would not normally use the 1/2" bit for the recesses, I only did for this project to stay on budget. I have a rabbeting bit with different size bearing for the recesses, but that bit is more than the budget, plus it won't fit the trim router. By the way, even though I have the other tools to make this easier, I only used the ones I mentioned to be true to the goal. It took a little time to make the jig and plate, but cutting the rings took about five minutes each.

  6. #6
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
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    I will have to second what Nic said. Thanks for the write up. It's good to actually see progress shots of how it's done.
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

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