Bending the Envelope with Bendy MDF and Wiggle Board

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Neatform Bendy MDFAs I am wont to do on Sundays, I was thinking of projects to do that would be outside the box. You know, something the neighbors would be really jealous over. Something that would make the in-laws believe their daughter made the right choice. Something creative. Something different. OK, the cable went out and there was no football. Are you kidding me? Not getting a whole lot of help from Mrs. Beautiful and Understanding, I knew I was on my own. 

Bendable Sheet MDFI looked around and realized that everything in my house was square. Square tables, square couches, square chairs, square TV. OK, I can’t change the TV, but maybe a round table base or an outdoor bar with a radiused front would be cool. Once again, our friend and sponsor Rockler has just what the doctor ordered. They have what they call a “Neatform Bendy MDF” in two foot by four foot sheets for easy handling. It is also sometimes referred to as wiggle board, but more on that below. At a quarter inch thick, it can bend to as small as a six inch radius. You can laminate it with veneer or plastic laminate, glue and bend it around a table base or wall front, and look like a genius in the end. Or you can use it in the raw and just paint it.

deluxe band clampRockler also sells a Deluxe Band Clamp that clamps the whole assembly together while your glue dries. Another application for which I found Mr. Bendy to be quite helpful, was edge banding tables or anything else with a radius. You can stick the veneer or plastic laminate on the MDF in the flat position, rip the widths you need for edging, and glue and clamp it on. Afterwards flush cut everything and you’re ready for the top material.

If you need something more substantial underneath the MDF such as for a bar front or curved wall of any kind you, can use a product called wiggle board. This typically comes in 3/8” material in 4 x 8 and 8 x 4 sheets. The difference is in which way the board bends. I can never remember which size bends which way so call your local lumber yard and get it right before you order.

So my project’s planned, I’ve gone to Rockler and bought the Bendy MDF, and I’m ready to go. What? Cable’s back on? Jimbo, Scotty, and Kasbergen are on the way over?

You know what? Rome wasn’t built in a day. And this project won’t be either. And honey, I’ll impress your parents next month.  They’ve put up with me for this long, what’s another 3 to 4 weeks? Each Neatform Bendy MDF sheet will set you back about $20, and the Deluxe Band Clamp goes for $9.99.

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About Brad

Brad Baker is Vice President of Operations at Miller Woodworking in the Los Angeles area, designers and builders of custom cabinetry and interior millwork for the rich and famous. They make the impossible, and their work has been featured in fancy schmantsy architectural glossies more than a few times. All that high end creative stuff aside, he maintains a strong spiritual belief that the real sign of a good woodworker is all 10 fingers. He and his wife Ann Baker co-write for HomeFixated. Ann is CEO of Publicity Pros, a firm that provides “All Things Publicity” services and training for small businesses. She’s a hopeless nerd who revels in anything and everything having to do with the technology of attracting attention. And, no joke, she loves to bake.

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