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 Post subject: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:09 am 
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King of Pompous
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Got this and the pics from SoundDomain.com. Thought it was cool so I thought I would share it here. The guy who wrote this is called "Kit Audio" over there. All credit of this should go to him. This technique does work. I did it a long time ago before I was playing with fiberglass and it works great. As you can see from the pics you can do some pretty cool stuff like this.

Bending Wood 101

No install will ever be perfect...but bondo will help hide any imperfections.

Today...we'll be working with just MDF.

Unlike other types of wood...MDF is non-elastic. The yield point of MDF is very low hence it's very fragile. In addition, we must treat MDF like cardboard...it can rip at thin areas. So becareful when handling.

Creativity is the absolute most important factor. This is not only with the design but even with equipment. For example: If you're lacking a certain type of equipment...be creative and find an alternative method. The best install, cosmetically, I've ever seen has been completely customed using a jig saw. Don't depend on what a tool can do for your install...but rather what you can do with that tool.

Bending Wood is not difficult. However....it takes practice to get it done correctly. So, let us practice:

2D Bending:
Practice:
1. Get a small piece of MDF 12" x 12" or bigger.
2. Adjust the table saw to a depth cut roughly of 5/8" of an inch. You're trying to make a notches in the MDF, not cutting through the entire thickness completely. (if you don't have a table saw...use a circular saw and adjust depth of cut.)
3. Now, make some sample slices roughly every 3/4" from each slice..
4. Test by bending the MDF. If the MDF is not bending...try making the notches deeper. You can also adjust the spacing between
each notch. Spacing will effect the bend. Bigger spacing is easier to work with...but more fragile.

Actual Project:
1. Precise bending will require a template to keep consistent and accurate. Ex: of a template can be a round mdf ring where we can bend around.
2. Be sure to use wood glue between each notch before nailing or screwing the bent mdf into place.
3. Once dried, the glue will be just as strong as the MDF itself.
4. If the bend is a part of a high power subwoofer enclosure, fiberglass should be used to re-enforce and strenghten the bend.
5. Use a 4 oz fiberglass mat and cover the inside of the bend entirely. (Remember to use liquid nail or silicon in every corner.)
6. To futher enhance strenght and cosmetic appearance....use a razor blade or chisel to open up the outside of the notch.
7. Now fill the opening up with bondo.
8. Let it dry, and sand it to desired appearance.

3D Bending:
Practice:
Steps are same as 2D with some additions.
1. Make notches in both vertical and horizontal directions.
2. Make a V-shape cut of 90 degree into the plate. (Steps 1 & 2 can be switched, depending on convience)
3. Hold the 2 corners of the V and bend the plate together to form and 3D bend.
Note: You'll find that minor adjustments must be made to make the corner fit perfectly. Trial and error and be "creative." Remember...bondo is your best friend.
In my example: I cut a U shape into the plate to make bending easier. With this type of cut...I could possibly put a digital capacitor in the corner or simply fiberglass for any other creative usage.

There are many different types of approach to bending mdf. Play with it...and you'll find the easiest method that suits you. Practice makes perfect...and be *creative*.
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Enjoy

Andre

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2001 11:55 am
Posts: 2595
Location: Calgary, Alberta
If it ever broke, I'd be pissed. :) Another fine example of how little I know about playing with wood or something like it.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:15 pm 
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Location: ajax, ontario, planet bullsh**
this procedure is not meant for speaker enclosures, no way. it's cool but it's gotta be for amp racks or things like that. with that very thin extra bit of mdf there where it's bent at I'm pretty sure that if you used it as a sub box it would break when then sub compresses.


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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:20 pm 
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King of Pompous
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Location: Ottawa ONT.
150dollarcar wrote:
this procedure is not meant for speaker enclosures, no way.




Because I'm sure you've used this technique before and have volumes of experience to back you up on this yes?





Didn't think so... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:15 pm 
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alright, I haven't tried it before. but it doesn't LOOK suitable for enclosures. I haven't bent it before, but I've used it plenty. I know how it reacts to flex.

how about I ask instead of state.

application?


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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:18 pm 
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King of Pompous
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Application is anything you need it for...whether enclosures, panels, whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:36 pm 
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you said you've done it. what did you use it for? did you have to brace the bent corners?


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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:35 pm 
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King of Pompous
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I used it for a home theater enclosure. Bracing was not needed in the corner but I still used bracing along the flat runs. The glue adds a huge amount of rigidity to the corners and the bend just increases even more. Enclosure was built with 1" MDF. You could brace the bends but they are inherently more rigid because of the glue and shape. All a matter of preference really. I suppose if it was a gradual bend you could add some though.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:46 pm 
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nice. thanks for the info! I've heard of wood bending, think I've seen little blurbs with pics before, but never tried it. you said you stuff it with glue at the bends?


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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:14 pm 
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King of Pompous
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I use a brush and wood glue. The gaps need to be saturated so that the glue takes up any kind of voids. If you really want to go hardcore use epoxy resin.

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 Post subject: Re: How to Bend MDF
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:37 pm 
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Location: Florida
It is a vary easy way to reduce port noise on a vented enclosure


looks like this when done.

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