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Old 24-12-2014, 08:35   #1
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Teak veneer over MDF?

So the previous owner rebedded the hatch that leaked in the V-berth, but didn't address the water that had already gotten in. As a result, the teak was all water damaged. We removed the teak-veneered panels, and of course found black mold had eaten away all the backer boards, etc.

So we are down to fiberglass, going to replace the backer with Starboard (most likely), and now are ABOUT to apply peel-and-stick (3M product) teak veneer to 3/16 MDF to fabricate the panels.

We bought the materials from a local wood shop that's been around for 60 years, talked with the owner, and he didn't see a problem with the MDF for interior marine applications.

As the teak veneer is EXTREMELY expensive, I am doing my own research. Sure enough, I turn up everything from, just stick it on and go; Sand the MDF to give it some tooth before applying veneer; varnish the MDF before applying veneer; Do not use MDF ever, anywhere on a boat.

Does anyone out there have any REAL, ACTUAL experience with MDF used in this type of application? And if so, what was your experience.

We did soak a piece of the MDF in a cup of water overnight. Yes, it did swell a bit (maybe 1/16 of an inch) but it did not disintegrate, and dried out quickly. Our thinking is, if that MDF gets that wet for that long on the boat, we have bigger issues to worry about!
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Old 24-12-2014, 09:19   #2
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

On the slim chance that you are actually serious...

There is no place on a boat that I would use either MDF or peel and stick veneer.
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Old 24-12-2014, 09:43   #3
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
On the slim chance that you are actually serious...

There is no place on a boat that I would use either MDF or peel and stick veneer.
I was involved in a kitchen manufacturers in Florida.
My advice would be that veneer on a marine vessel will not work too well. (It didnt work for me)

If you really want a teak look without Teak real, then consider Formica spray glued onto marine Ply. It will never come off or cause issues. A kitchen shop can do it for you and edge band as well.

However, Its Formica. Done properly it looks nearly OK.

MDF will swell with humidity and cause issues you will regret immediately.
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Old 24-12-2014, 10:02   #4
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

I've seen what happens to MDF after long-term exposure to humidity, not to mention that it cannot withstand even the least little bit of water intrusion.

Personally, I would not use it.
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Old 24-12-2014, 10:15   #5
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

Mdf in the garage in the Houston tx area swells.......forget it on a boat.


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Old 24-12-2014, 10:31   #6
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

MDF is an excellent material for use on boats as a material for mock-ups and making templates.

That's about it.
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Old 24-12-2014, 10:40   #7
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
On the slim chance that you are actually serious...

There is no place on a boat that I would use either MDF or peel and stick veneer.
NO way should you use MDF in your boat. It WILL swell up and ruin your hard work. Simple Exterior plywood is fine as backer....it uses the same glue as Marine Plywood.
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Old 24-12-2014, 10:48   #8
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

There is a board similar to MDF, that the sign making industry uses, that is waterproof.
I think it is only available in 1/2" thickness but I may be wrong about that. If you're interested, check with a sign maker to find the name of it (damn CRS) and where to get it.
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Old 24-12-2014, 10:54   #9
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

Ooooo….or is it "ewwww?"
If I was looking to buy your boat and saw the warped MDF veneered bulkhead or overhead, I would quickly say "not for me."

Even a small sign of this would be enough to question the REST of the boat.

MDF may not have swelled in your short test, but I have seen what happens to it (and unsuitable plywood) that has water damage and "it ain't pretty!"

I would have a boat that has been "updated" or "renewed" or "refinished" with plain Starboard, rather than a boat that has the dreaded MDF (even with stick on veneer) on it.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:15   #10
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

MDF is no good for that app. When you say the veneer was expensive what are you talking $. If your boat had 1/4" teak ply wood. It is about 2oo$ per sheet ! at least that is up here in Boston.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:33   #11
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
On the slim chance that you are actually serious...

There is no place on a boat that I would use either MDF or peel and stick veneer.
I just used teak peel and stick veneer to repair a small area. It worked out beautifully.

However, if I had gone to the extent of removing the damaged wood, I would certainly source, at the very least, quality marine ply. In fact, I'd go to the extent of sourcing proper Bruynzeel teak-veneered marine ply, which is what the boat was built with, for the bulkheads. The rest is solid teak.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:34   #12
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

If you wan't to be cheap use at least OSB instead of MDF so you can except a few years before building it right.
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Old 24-12-2014, 11:37   #13
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

There is no place on a boat that I would use OSB, either. Especially for a substrate on which to apply veneer.
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Old 24-12-2014, 23:28   #14
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

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There is a board similar to MDF, that the sign making industry uses, that is waterproof.
I think it is only available in 1/2" thickness but I may be wrong about that. If you're interested, check with a sign maker to find the name of it (damn CRS) and where to get it.
It's called Oriented Strand Board or osb. A marine surveyor I know uses it for shelving in boats but nothing else. It is waterproof. No idea if it will work in your application.

As everyone else is saying mdf is hygroscopic and has no place on a boat even below deck.
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Old 25-12-2014, 06:38   #15
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Re: Teak veneer over MDF?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
On the slim chance that you are actually serious...

There is no place on a boat that I would use either MDF or peel and stick veneer.
that about covers it imo
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