View Full Version : Production shaping/planing of MDF

dennis veatch
05-17-2007, 11:38 AM
I'm designing a new speaker and am looking at the semi low production run tooling possibilities for taking flat panel material and shaping a ~16" radius along 8" of width. I have tried:
- Laminated layup press of 1/4" mdf (too labor intensive and time consuming)
- Laminated vacuum forming (again, too time consuming and messy)
- CNC 3 axis stair stepping with a ball end mill (too much machine time)
- Premade plywood forms (expensive in a production capacity and inconsistent core material)
Is anyone familiar with planar or joiner type production equipment that could form the face of raw plank material? I've been looking at WoodMaster products and am attracted as it has quick change heads and looks like a pretty beefy machine, any input?
Dennis V.

Phil Pritchard
05-17-2007, 1:26 PM
Hi Dennis

One problem of shaping MDF this way is that you will end up with a surface which is very fluffy and difficult/time consuming to finish. have you toughtt about CNC machining 2in MDF sheet to procuce your components, bonding 4 together than glue bonding a layer of 1/8in (3.2mm) MDF onto the surface? The way to control glue ups is to use only the right amount of glue and to cure quickly by adding heat or using radio-frequency to cure the glue. With the right equipment time in press would be minutes.

Other than that the right machinery to use us actually an automatic shaper, either a rotary table type like the Rye or Ekstrom-Carlsson (Lobo do an import) or a straight line type such as the Ballestrini. With an industrial spindle moulder (shaper) the job could be done on 4in MDF blanks using a ring fence and template jig in two passes then bonded together.