Hand Tools Archive

Planing MDF

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Lets broaden our thoughts to machining. Apparently it is well known in the trade that MDF "wears" cutters by both abrasive and corrosive wear. This fact is readily revealed by checking the machining MDF literature or consultation with tool makers and tooling coaters. Corrosion resistant coatings prolong tool life. I have wondered for some time why a simple mix of wood fibers and resin (which is not particularly hard and abrasive) leads to a material, MDF, that requires carbide, where the corrosion resistance of the cobalt binder is essential, or coated tool steel to get acceptable edge life.

Could it be that the LV test using MDF was biased toward steel with corrosion resistance, an attribute irrelevant to ordinary wood planing?

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