Eliminating the "fuzzies"

Thanks for that link, Allen. My store actually shows it in stock, so clearly I wasn’t looking in the right place. I’ll go on a hunt after work. :slight_smile:

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it’s in a rack of “Project” boards. 2x2 and 2x4, and they really mark it up.

My local sells 4x8’s in 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4

No kidding, you can get a full 4x8 sheet for the cost of two of the smaller cut sheets. Plus HD will cut the 4x8 sheet into 2x2 or 2x4 sizes for free. So it is way cheaper to get the 4x8 and have them cut it for you.

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yes, I think up to 4 cuts are free

My store never charges for cuts no matter how many, but your milage may vary.

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Duly noted. :slight_smile: But it’s worth reminding that I get problems with the “fuzzies” in MDF as well, but not nearly as pronounced as in plywood.

I have found Red Grandis is a very nice wood to carve also. It is pretty cheap if you have a hardwood location that carrys it. I did the pineapple fruit tray in it from the Vectric monthly to get some points with the wife. It is supposedly the cheap mans mahogany. Supposedly it gets darker with age. Time will tell I guess.

I’ve done well getting custom sized hardwood from ebay vendors. Many of them will work with you to get custom sizes and cuts.

Try this guy: http://www.ebay.com/usr/monitorseller

I’ve had good luck with the quarter-inch MDF project panels. They’re a lot more expensive per square foot than a full sheet… but how often do you NEED more than a 2x4 piece at a time? And overall project times and costs make the additional material costs pretty nominal for me, anyway.

Both Lowes and Home Depot will cut them for you, normally for free. I get 12x12 squares made of MDF and ply quite often.

My local Lowes is hit or miss on having the 1/4" MDF in stock. When they have it, I usually buy a stack of the 2’ x 4’ sheets so I have them on hand.

I really appreciate all the advice. You folks have been great in helping me learn how to best use my x-carve. I’ll poke around more for some thinner MDF panels. One of the issues I’ve had with MDF, however, is that it’s not very durable for the way I use it. That’s another reason I’ve resorted to using plywood on some things. Even though it has its own “issues,” I find it tends to be fairly sturdy even when carved down to only 2 or 3 mm thick. But when I carve MDF down to 2 or 3 mm, I find it to be fairly fragile, almost like cardboard. Then I put it in casting sand and pound the heck out of it with a hammer to make a mold. More than once I’ve gone to retrieve my MDF carving from the sand and found it busted up. For those that don’t know metal casting…that means you start over. :slight_smile:

MDF is cheap, get 3/4 inch thick stock so you have plenty of material behind the carving.

Another cause I noticed for the fuzzies, is the wood moisture level. I found this when I tried milling treated lumber for an outdoor sign. Ended up using untreated with MUCH cleaner results

A while back someone mentioned the scotch brite polishing wheels. I’ve been using them since November, and they’re great at getting the fuzzies. May not help much with plywood, but it works well with MDF and regular woods.