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  • Help with rounding out edges on MDF!

    I have finally started on center console #2. The first one was to awkward, to square and just didnt match my car.

    I built the new one based on the 2009 rear center console, but mine is bigger and will be more geared towards my interior. Here are some pictures:




    Here is the bottom:



    As you can see its very square with all edges being square. I was wondering what I have to do to make all the edges rounded? Keep in mind this is MDF, can I sand it the same way I would regular wood? I am very lazy and want to take a electric sander to it, but dont want to mess this thing up. Does anyone have any dealings with working on MDF?
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  • #2
    I'm pretty sure you can just use a router or jigsaw for making the edges rounded and then sand down with a sawing motion....
    I'm not expert carpenter though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
      I was wondering what I have to do to make all the edges rounded? Keep in mind this is MDF, can I sand it the same way I would regular wood? I am very lazy and want to take a electric sander to it, but dont want to mess this thing up. Does anyone have any dealings with working on MDF?
      Regular wood tools work fine with MDF, but they dull much faster. Carbide bits and blades are best, and are used by cabinetmakers who use MDF.

      To make corners round, you could use a sander, but routing works well to remove a lot of material relatively fast. Practice on some scrap, like your old console. Before you use the router, be sure all the joints are glued well, and take out the metal fasteners so the blade doesn't try to eat them.

      If you want large radius corners, you can glue a triangular corner block on the inside of the corner; that gives you the ability to make a huge radius, more like the radii in the rest of your vehicle.

      If you don't have a router, hit Harbor Freight and get a cheapy; spend your money on a good router blade the shape you want. Go slowly with the router so you don't tear up the bit or the workpiece, or burn out the cheap router's motor.

      Be sure to use goggles. The router will throw little MDF chips everywhere, and those little buggers are hard and hot. Eyes don't like 'em. If you have hearing protection, that's good too. The router makes a helluva loud whine.

      But you won't whine at the result. It'll be sweet.
      .
      If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

      2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
      .

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rdholtz View Post
        Regular wood tools work fine with MDF, but they dull much faster. Carbide bits and blades are best, and are used by cabinetmakers who use MDF.

        To make corners round, you could use a sander, but routing works well to remove a lot of material relatively fast. Practice on some scrap, like your old console. Before you use the router, be sure all the joints are glued well, and take out the metal fasteners so the blade doesn't try to eat them.

        If you want large radius corners, you can glue a triangular corner block on the inside of the corner; that gives you the ability to make a huge radius, more like the radii in the rest of your vehicle.

        If you don't have a router, hit Harbor Freight and get a cheapy; spend your money on a good router blade the shape you want. Go slowly with the router so you don't tear up the bit or the workpiece, or burn out the cheap router's motor.

        Be sure to use goggles. The router will throw little MDF chips everywhere, and those little buggers are hard and hot. Eyes don't like 'em. If you have hearing protection, that's good too. The router makes a helluva loud whine.

        But you won't whine at the result. It'll be sweet.
        MP3Car is acting up, darn thing didnt tell me that someone replied! A router most def sounds like the way to go. I still dont understand the triangle block thing!
        Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
          MP3Car is acting up, darn thing didnt tell me that someone replied! A router most def sounds like the way to go. I still dont understand the triangle block thing!
          He means that you can sand away more metarial than the width off your mdf.
          The bigger the pice of mdf you glu on the inside, the more metaral you kan sand off.

          This is my subcasing, also of mdf, and i did use the traingel pieces. (sory, don't have a picture of the inside.

          Cold weather mobo list: Copy the list and add your board
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          • #6
            Always wear a mask when working with MDF indoors. That fine dust will make you really sick.

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            • #7
              How you can reinforce corner, and then make a bigger circle radius of edge.


              Round corners you achive profiling cutter head.
              For single time usage this one will do:


              Profesional



              Advice: Go to you local hobby shop and ask them if they can help you with roundig of edges, with some profesional cutter machinery and blades.
              Slovenia, Europe
              best on-line radio

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              • #8
                Originally posted by miko55 View Post
                How you can reinforce conrner, and then make a bigger circle radius of edge.

                Round corners you achive profiling cutter head.
                Advice: Go to you local hobby shop and ask them if they can help you with roundig of edges, with some profesional cutter machinery and blades.
                In the first image, look at the triangular piece labeled "corner block". Now imagine a solid piece of wood that's much longer, not just a 1/2 inch deep, but instead running the full length of the joint. We could cut away much of the outside of the corner and thus make it round.

                The cutter head you pictured is fine, but it's more complex and expensive than necessary; that's a universal profiling head capable of all sorts of intricate work. For corner rounding, we can use a simple router bit with a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch radius, depending on how round we want the corner. Such bits -- with carbide blades for MDF -- are available at hardware stores and Home Depot.
                .
                If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

                2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
                .

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                • #9
                  get yourself a router with a bullnose bit

                  or buy this tool called the fastbreak My dad invented it. Its a sander in a V shape and it has sandpapper on the inside and you run it up and down the edges of 3/4 inch mdf

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                  • #10
                    Tools on pictures are semi profesional or profesional. They were ment as guideline.
                    Slovenia, Europe
                    best on-line radio

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by miko55 View Post
                      Tools on pictures are semi profesional or profesional. They were ment as guideline.
                      I apologize if that came across as a negative comment. I just wanted to be sure they knew that hobby-grade tools would work as well. The pro and semi-pro tools are very nice to have around, and they're what I'd recommend, too, if they're doing much of this work.
                      .
                      If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

                      2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
                      .

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                      • #12
                        No apologize needed.
                        Slovenia, Europe
                        best on-line radio

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                        • #13
                          UM, well I dont know how professional or the regular ones work, lol. I think on most of the console, im going to use foam pieces to build it into a shape. I think the only part that has to be smoothed is the back with the screen, amd maybe a bit of the front.
                          Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                          1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                          4X MK808b
                          3x Perixx Touchpads
                          3x 7 inch Screens
                          1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                          1x Win 7 PC

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                          • #14
                            Regular have a blade permanently attached to body.
                            Profesional have removable blades.

                            For rounding edges you will need this tool shape:
                            Slovenia, Europe
                            best on-line radio

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                            • #15
                              Dont know if you've found your answer yet but i do alot of fiberglass work for car audio projects and i needed a cheaper smaller tool then a big clunky router and i found this (its local here in daytona) but is available on there website.

                              http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44914

                              its a trim router but its basically a rotozip on steroids but i took the plastic base off and cut a larger opening to allow a standard router bit fit it works like a charm for me rounding edges of speakerboxes/ports and other projects.




                              i used it to round the edges of my port and amp rack pieces on my project

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