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Jim Becker
05-08-2006, 10:43 AM
I caught a blurb in the latest issue of Fine Homebuilding about a new MDF product on the market that is available in 7 colors (http://www.greatlakesmdf.com/pdfs/GLSpectratechMDF.pdf)...the color is through the material so any edges are likewise colored. This is a collaboration between BASF and Great Lakes MDF (http://www.greatlakesmdf.com/spectratech.php) and could be interesting for certain types of projects. FH showed a photo of the product with varnish and it was quite impressive. While I'm not a fan of "MDF everywhere", it is a product that has its place, so another interesting option is always welcome.

Tyler Howell
05-08-2006, 11:04 AM
Very Interesting.

Jamie Buxton
05-08-2006, 12:06 PM
Jim, I'm usually intrigued by new stuff, but I have to admit I can't see a use for this. Colored MDF still is easily damaged by water and stained by oil. At the very least it needs a clear coat, and then you're still looking at MDF. A more-versatile solution is to paint conventional MDF. You get the full range of paint colors.

So maybe this is a question to the august assemblage on this forum... What could you possibly use this stuff for, and why would it be better than painted MDF?

Doug Shepard
05-08-2006, 12:26 PM
Oh boy! I see some sexy looking jigs and spacer blocks in my future.

Jim Becker
05-08-2006, 12:36 PM
So maybe this is a question to the august assemblage on this forum... What could you possibly use this stuff for, and why would it be better than painted MDF?

I can see architectural uses as well as well as artistic ones. As to the advantage over paint...when you do chip it, the color is still there, rather than only being on top. The "texture" of the MDF "grain" also remains visible and that could be an interesting effect.

One thing I'm bummed about is that apparently the closest distributor to me is in MD (Chesapeake Plywood at 410-244-0055) based on a reply to my email about sourcing.

Rick Doyle
05-08-2006, 1:03 PM
any idea if this colored mdf is more expensive than regular mdf + paint?

most of the mdf i use is in my shop - jigs, shelves, cabinets etc. colored mdf would definitely brighten things up that's for sure. so far though, i've never found a reason to paint any mdf.

Jim Becker
05-08-2006, 2:23 PM
any idea if this colored mdf is more expensive than regular mdf + paint?

I just got an email from Chesapeake indicating that it was about $110 for five sheets if concurrent with an order on their truck. I don't know this vendor nor what their purchasing requirements are, however. I suspect they are geared more towards commercial shops as are so many of the plywood suppliers. I almost think that groups of woodworkers in a given geography would be well served to do some kind of informal "coop" for material purchase as it would open up the opportunity for better quality materials and choices!

Wes Bischel
05-08-2006, 2:58 PM
I had caught wind of this as well - and being a MDF user (abuser?:eek: ), I was intrigued. A few years ago Herman Miller (the office furniture people) was using our studio as a beta site for a new furniture system. The finish on the worksurface is what I think ended up being commercialized as Formcoat - a low temp powdercoat over MDF. We had a very handsome red/burgundy transluscent finish on our work surfaces which allowed the MDF "speckle" to show through. From across the room it took on a deep mahagony-like color, but up close it was clearly a man-made product. In Designer speak, it was very "true" to itself and not attempting to fake anything. I have the same opinion of this new product. I would be interested in playing with the finishing - maybe a tinted clearcoat, or using a tinted shellac to tone areas or accents. Could make for some interesting pieces that could be durable as well. Hmmm I've got a 4 year old that's a bit rough on things . . . I think I might need to make a few phone calls.:D

Wes
PS - Jim, thanks for the reminder - it had slipped my mind!!

Ian Barley
05-09-2006, 12:07 PM
One of my friends has used a coloured MDF which sounds like a very similar product. It is quite interesting stuff. I am sure that the stuff he used was waterproof and was used as a backer for some signage. He also made some shelf units. The colour is a bit denser on the faces so a machined edge shows a different shade although well toned with the face colour.