Author Topic: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?  (Read 1852 times)

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Offline vinay

  • Posts: 17
Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« on: October 04, 2018, 07:08 PM »
I'm don't have or use MFT but from reading about it I understand the top is made of MDF and practice is that when cutting, the MFT top is being cut as well.

Doesn't that mean that by design because of that you get MDF saw dust in the air even when using other material because the MFT top is MDF? And MDF saw dust involves more health issues than other types of wood?

What types of other materials that are less of a health hazard are good to use for MFT top (if drilling it on my own).

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Offline tallgrass

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 07:24 PM »
not sure if these concerns are uniform across all forms of MDF. It is my understanding that there are forms of MDF that do not have things like formaldehyde. It is also my understanding that the material that is used in the MFT conforms to the appropriate safety specification.  Now if you are worried about dust....... they have the solution for that.... :) Dust extraction. :)

Offline Sometimewoodworker

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 08:19 PM »
For many people they only have a single kurf so it's only the first time you cut that any significant amount of MDF is being cut.
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
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Offline vinay

  • Posts: 17
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 02:47 AM »
Can plywood or OSB be used instead of MDF? What do I loose/gain by using those instead of MDF?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 02:52 AM by vinay »

Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 581
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 03:12 AM »
I think MDF has a harder surface, so it wears better.  But regular MDF, as far as I know, sags over time as humidity cycles.  A better solution is moisture-resistant MDF.

Axminster make a top for the MFT out of Valchromat (a moisture resistant MDF) that looks good, but I only got mine yesterday, so I can't comment about its longevity:

https://www.axminster.co.uk/ujk-technology-hdf-valchromat-top-for-parf-dogs-102537

Or you could just buy a piece of material, and drill your own holes using the excellent Parf system:

https://www.axminster.co.uk/ujk-technology-parf-guide-system-102278

As another member has said, after the first cut you won't get any significant MDF dust.

Good luck!

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline sylthecru

  • Posts: 43
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 03:55 AM »
The Valchromat is HDF per your link which is the same material used for the mft/3 top.
TS55 REQ, Mini Dust Extractor, OF1400, DF500 Domino, MFT/3, LR32, RO125, Kapex, CT 36, CMS, Carvex

Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 581
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 04:01 AM »
You're correct - thanks for the clarification.

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2018, 05:35 AM »
I’ve seen pictures of MFT tops with tons of kerfs, but mine has one shallow kerf. The dust collection using my TS55 is near perfect except at the very end of the cut. So, the dust exposure is minimal.

What does bother me is having to flip the MFT top over to reverse sag.

If Festool sold a replacement MFT top that never sagged, I’d buy it.
Birdhunter

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1029
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2018, 07:15 AM »
I’ve seen pictures of MFT tops with tons of kerfs, but mine has one shallow kerf. The dust collection using my TS55 is near perfect except at the very end of the cut. So, the dust exposure is minimal.

What does bother me is having to flip the MFT top over to reverse sag.

If Festool sold a replacement MFT top that never sagged, I’d buy it.

That is a simple fix. Add a strip of wood under the top, across the center for added support.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 606
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2018, 08:20 AM »
For many people they only have a single kurf so it's only the first time you cut that any significant amount of MDF is being cut.

I'm going with sometimewoodworker on that. Unless you change the depth of the cut randomly.

You can make a first cut than run a larger dado 1/4" in depth to make sure you do not cut into the MDF anymore.
Mario

Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 581
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 08:29 AM »
For their roadshows, Festool use tops made of phenolic-faced ply, but they don't sell them; if they did I'd have got one.

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 733
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2018, 08:56 AM »
While I understand your concern about MDF health risks, it's important to understand risks are based on exposure, severity, and interactions.  ALL substances are toxic; the dose makes the difference.  Individual susceptibility and interactions with other factors also play a role in whether disease develops.

Unless you work in an environment with many formaldehyde off-gassing materials or have become sensitized to formaldehyde it's doubtable whether the off-gas potential of an MFT top presents an exposure risk any greater than the background levels already present.

In other words, I wouldn't worry about it.

http://elcosh.org/document/2098/d001086/Medium+Density+Fiberboard+(MDF)+Safety+for+Carpenters.html?show_text=1

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2018, 09:37 AM »
What Kodi said, plus, their are many wood species whose dust is considered unhealthy. We use them anyway. Many plywood has dust that is considered unhealthy remember the plys species and the glue that holds the plies together. Melamine uses a glue that could be considered toxic yet is a standard for new kitchens.

All of which is why Festools dust extraction is very a important reason it is important to have. I also use a air filter to help clean and circulate the air in my shop.

Bottom line is everything we as humans do including drive a car has unhealthy elements to it.

So I dont stress over stuff like MDF dust. I do what i can to prevent exposure but here in Calif everything is considered toxic even walking into a Mc Ds has warning labels

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 87
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2018, 11:07 AM »

So I dont stress over stuff like MDF dust. I do what i can to prevent exposure but here in Calif everything is considered toxic even walking into a Mc Ds has warning labels

I agree.  This is one of the reasons I have been buying Festool tools, that is, for the dust collection.   I can’t stand to use my older tools.

Regarding the California regulations, it has gotten insane, basically everything causes cancer.   Whatever sense it made when they created the rules is long gone due to too many lawyers.  There is no point now.   
Bob

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 214
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2018, 06:15 PM »

So I dont stress over stuff like MDF dust. I do what i can to prevent exposure but here in Calif everything is considered toxic even walking into a Mc Ds has warning labels

I agree.  This is one of the reasons I have been buying Festool tools, that is, for the dust collection.   I can’t stand to use my older tools.

Regarding the California regulations, it has gotten insane, basically everything causes cancer.   Whatever sense it made when they created the rules is long gone due to too many lawyers.  There is no point now.

Keep in mind it's not the state of California saying everything causes cancer, it's businesses who put the sign up out of fear that if something there was ever to be found to have cancer causing something in it, they could be held liable. The state isn't putting the signs up or telling people to put them up. Its fear on the part of the businesses. Purely a Cover Their Bums situation from their lawyers.

The laws had merit, but fear causes it to be massively mis-applied when it comes to signs.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2018, 06:27 PM »
But the bottom line is dont stress over the MFT using MDF.


Offline TrackTubesGuy

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2018, 09:12 PM »

Keep in mind it's not the state of California saying everything causes cancer, it's businesses who put the sign up out of fear that if something there was ever to be found to have cancer causing something in it, they could be held liable. The state isn't putting the signs up or telling people to put them up. Its fear on the part of the businesses. Purely a Cover Their Bums situation from their lawyers.

The laws had merit, but fear causes it to be massively mis-applied when it comes to signs.

Actually CA Prop. 65 requires the warning ... however, it may be overused by some out of fear.

Offline gunnyr

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2018, 10:36 PM »
I have found life to be hazardous to ones health. 8)  To the best of my knowledge none of us are going to get out of this thing alive.  I hope to come to a skid at the end saying "WOW!  What a ride!"

That said, I wear safety glasses, steel toed boots, and hearing protection when using machinery.  I wear a respirator when spraying finishes.  I wear a helmet, use head and taillights when riding a bicycle (both day and night).  I even wear my seat belt when driving!

My point is that I take reasonable measures to reduce my risks.  I try really hard to worry less and have fun more! [big grin] 
Semper Fi,
Jeff

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Offline Kodi Crescent

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Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2018, 07:42 AM »
The misunderstanding of risk assessment often scares people because they don't understand how to interpret the level of increase that's communicated.  News media and political groups often use this misunderstanding to "scare" people towards a preferred course of action.

The headline "squeezing blood from a turnip was found to increase the risk of skin cancer by 25%".  Many would proclaim "Oh no!  I must stop squeezing blood from turnips!  I'll get skin cancer!"  Fear and panic ensue, and hopefully, many cease engaging in this juiceless endeavor.

If the background risk level of developing skin cancer is 0.005%, a 25% increase in risk brings that level to 0.0063%.  Still not a cause for alarm, in my opinion.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3603
Re: Using MDF as MFT Top - health risk?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2018, 10:53 AM »
Good point @Kodi Crescent !