Anyone any idea how to flatten bowed MDF?

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CynderBloc

Active Member
Not sure if this thread is in the right place.....so please move as necessary

Title says it all, I really hope it's possible or I'm snookered.

The build I'm working on has 2 pieces that can slot together to make one large piece. One piece is fine, but the other is not. Normally I wouldn't mind as the bow is not too extreme (but it is noticable where the pieces join). It's not for me though, so I don't really want to hand over a defective piece...

I don't have time to rebuild the bowed piece so I'm hoping that I can straighten it out enough. I thought maybe by clamping it down on a flat surface and brushing resin onto it, it could hold the bow, resin permeates quite far into the fibres.

Thought I'd ask in here first to see if anyone had a better idea
 

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Best I know of is trying to bow it the other way. Most cheap bookshelves are made of MDF, and will bow under the weight of the books after a while. It's possible to flip them and simply try and bow it back to straight. I don't know how much time you have, but you could try supporting it at either end, and placing a weight in the middle. I can't speak for how fast this will be, or if there's anything you can do to speed up the process though.

Good luck!
 

CynderBloc

Active Member
Cheers for the reply, that was sort of my first thought. I was going to put something under each end and clamp it in the middle to my desk

I'm worried that it might end up bowing the other way though
 

zanderwitaz

Well-Known Member
^ what he said works well. Careful though, it sill simply split with enough pressure. if youre not in a huge hurry, you can just put the sheet under the door mat and insist that your housemates step on it every day. I bent a .25 inch sheet back pretty fast that way.
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, it's not an exact science unfortunately...I would check it every so often to see if it's having an effect, and react accordingly. I wouldn't go too extreme with bowing it the other way, just a little past straight, to begin with. If it doesn't seem to be having any effect after 24 hours then you can maybe go a little more.
 

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CynderBloc

Active Member
Suppose I should have added how long I have. I've got maybe a day and a half, any longer and it would be quicker to rebuild it.

Problem is, I'm pushing the deadline already, I've got a crapload of moulding/sculpting to do down each side of both pieces and I've got a week and a half to finish it. I'm seeing a lot of sleep loss in the next 10 days :(
 

juliet76

Member
The smaller the piece the longer it'll take. Honestly I can't see it happening in a day and a half even if it was an uncut sheet. Sometimes you've just gotta take it on the chin and roll with the punches.
 

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