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Are there different 'types' of MDF?

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  • Are there different 'types' of MDF?

    I finally have an appointment to get my new oval track CNC routed next weekend. I'm buying the 1/2" MDF at a nearby Home Depot and delivering it to the shop.

    The Home Depot I'll be going to has 3 listings for full sized sheets of MDF. They are all the same price so perhaps they are identical, but I'm not sure.

    MDF Panel (Common: 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.; Actual: 1/2 in. x 49 in. x 97 in.)
    Model# M31240849097000000A
    $26.52

    Common: 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft., Actual: 0.500 in. x 49 in. x 97 in. MDF Panel
    Model# 1118659
    $26.52

    1/2 in. x 49 in. x 8 ft. Trupan MDF Board
    Model# 4002200-ZC0030
    $26.52

    What is Trupan MDF? Anyone know if I should look for one of these by Model # over the others?

    Thanks for any and all comments.

  • #2
    Yes, there are 3 types of ‘MDF’. LDF-low density, MDF-medium density, HDF- high density.
    http://sppd.pl/en/mdf,-ldf,-hdf.html
    Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

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    • #3
      I've never heard of Trupan MDF, but judging by the dimensions it's an inch shorter than common MDF, which measures 49" X 97" (one inch longer on the width and the length than 4' X 8').

      Not that this matters, but I was short one sheet when I built SlotZuka and ran to Lowe's to get one because it was closer to the track. The MDF was a slightly darker shade and seemed just a tad bit coarser than the MDF sheets I purchased at Home Depot. Made no noticeable difference in the look of the track once painted, and made no difference to the performance of the cars either.
      Team SCANC
      Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
      OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
      Leadfinger Raceway

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      • #4
        After reading the description of each product, I've come to this conclusion: just pick one, you probably won't see a difference between them.
        It's like you'll be choosing between - San Pellegrino Mineral Water, Trader Joes Sparkling Mineral Water or Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water

        Ultimately, why don't you have the Master Carpenter who's going to be making the track decide?

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        • #5
          There is a difference. LDF is softer, MDF next, and HDF is harder. Usually, but not always, HDF is a darker color. You will notice a difference when routing for sure. Lower density board will cut like a hot knife through butter, will soak up sealer/paint, and will also appear to leave a rough surface, chunky. HDF will throw out a fine dust when cutting/routing. And sometimes, not always, paint will not adhere to HDF as well as the others. My recommendation, go with MDF.
          Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

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          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback guys. When selecting MDF looks like I'll employ the Goldilocks technique - not too hot (high density) and not too cold (low density). If I can feel or see any difference I'll look for the one in the middle that's just right.

            If the weights of sheets was listed in the specifications I'd use that to select the one in the middle, but only the size dimensions are shown.

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            • #7
              I used medium and it banked easily and was easy to rout. It has a very smooth finish and was easy to paint.
              Matt B
              So. In
              Crashers

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              • slothead
                slothead commented
                Editing a comment
                I hope it's easy to pick out and they have at least 2 sheets.

            • #8
              Looks like Trupan is a brand: https://na.arauco.com/en/c/products/ct-mdf/br-trmdf .
              Looking at the tech sheet for the standard panel, it looks like specs vary with where the panel is manufactured. I find that a bit odd.

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              • #9
                Medium was the only kind in stock at my Home Depot. You can run a finger over it and it is nice and smooth.
                Matt B
                So. In
                Crashers

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