Question:How to bend MDF?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by TheBushmaster, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. TheBushmaster

    TheBushmaster Active Member

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    Hello folks,
    I decided to make a Kroenen costume and i have some certain problems about the armor itself.
    I have the templates for the armor but i couldn't figure out to which supply is the best for it.First of all i planing to made it out of MDF its easy to shape but, i need a good way to bend it without deform it.Is there a good way to do it?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Supa troop

    Supa troop Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    why would you want to use MDF ?? which is essentially a wood based material.

    why dont you use Sintra or something similar which will be far easier to form.
     
  3. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    Isn't MDF just woodchips and glue? I don't think it could handle anything more than some slight flexing, without crumbling. Plus, the weight and stiffness would be terribly uncomfortable, I would imagine.

    Might want to talk to the foam armor guys, in the costuming section. I think they use things like fun-foam and foam gym mats for armor. Way more flexible, pretty convincing as metal and way lighter than wood.

    -Fred
     
  4. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You can bend MDF by applying ammonium hydroxide. But Ammonia fumes are highly aggressive, so unless you have the right equipment and can work in a very well ventilated area, best would be outside, you should not go that way.

    For thinner sheets of MDF you could also try soaking the piece in water.

    But as has already been said, using MDF is not the best idea to start with. It is very heavy and might even break when it´s too thin as armour.

    As has been pointed out you should use other materials such as

    - Sintra / Forex (sheets of hard PVC): IMO the best and easiest solution. You can cut it with a knife and form it with a heat gun. I think another member made his armour (which was for sale in the JY not too long ago) out of sintra and did the detailing with hot glue.
    - foam mats: advantage of being flexible and easy to form as well
    - card board: cheap, can be covered with plaster that is hardened with wood glue, or paper mache, or reinforced with resin and detailed with body filler. See the pepakura build threads
    - paper mache on chicken wire: see paper mache


    Lots of options that are less dangerous and toxic and heavy tha MDF.
     
  5. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    I agree with...I guess everything that has been said before.
    but if you REALLY want to use MDF, I think I have once seen that a plank (but I don't think that it was made of MDF) was made bendable by cutting grooves into the backside. Dunno if that works with MDF though
     
  6. Holluba

    Holluba Active Member

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    I must agree with everyone else that MDF is not the material that I would even option to work with on your project, the alternatives that have been listed for you are what I'd give serious consideration to.

    If you really feel more comfortable with MDF, then why not use Bendy MDF? Here in the UK it is very common and has many applications, I just don't think it's suitable for what you have in mind, but it could very well work.

    Bendy MDF

    Read through the site above, they have lots of information for you to read.

    Holluba
     
  7. Pro Mod

    Pro Mod Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Flexible MDF is basically a standard sheet with a series of parallel cuts machined in the rear face.
    It will only form in one direction and requires fastening to a former to enable it to keep its shape.
    This site is useful Bendy MDF
    They describe it as 6mm thick, but I've only ever used 12mm - which, like all MDF is heavy!
     
  8. TheBushmaster

    TheBushmaster Active Member

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    Its very hard to find sintra in Turkey i wish i could find some, so it seems the best choose is mdf :(
    Maybe i go for cardboard and resin it would be more easy for me,
    Thanks for help guys :)
     
  9. Pro Mod

    Pro Mod Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  10. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    MDF is a terrible choice of material for this project to be honest. You're creating a headache for yourself by using the stuff and it's highly lightly that it just won't work.

    If it were me, I'd make the basic structure from leather then sculpt some panels in clay and cast them in resin.

    I don't see how you could add the detail on the armour parts by any other method, unless you just painted it on?
     
  11. TheBushmaster

    TheBushmaster Active Member

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    I find a supplier in Turkey for sintra, so i contacted them for pvc boards, what size do you recomend for this project? 3 mm or 6 mm?
    Also im plaining to add the details with clay and then cast them in resin.I hope start the project in few days :)
     
  12. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    Sounds like a good idea.

    I was in Turkey just a few months ago, in the Fetihye region. Great country, amazing cultural heritage.

    I'd perhaps go for the 3mm as it's easier to shape, and as you are casting these in resin anyway it won't matter later on.
     
  13. TheBushmaster

    TheBushmaster Active Member

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    Thanks buddy :) If you come to Turkey again let me know :D
     

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