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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was just in lowes and noticed a lot of the trim in MDF for same profiles and size is more expensive than the pine stuff.

Has it always been this way? Rarely use MDF baseboards and my mate said get cheapest there was so went and grabbed MDF and noticed its more money!
 

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What are your issues with MDF? Why not for base, typically?

I understand the dents and damage and its high susceptibility to waste issues.

But, you need to hit it pretty hard to cause a dent or damage. And that is easily fixed and you would probably have to do the same with pine.

And long as it's primed and double top coated it would need a lot of water to be an issue. Due to that issue, I wouldn't install MDF base in bathrooms.

But I prefer the way MDF paints over pine. I've installed a decent amount and have never had an issue that I wouldn't have had with pine.

The one issue I don't like, is the mushrooming. But, I work around that and weigh the pros/cons when I feel that may be an issue. I've installed pine due to mushrooming and mixed in MDF when it wasn't a concern.

Just curious of your thoughts
 

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You can get the preprimed MDF in a "pro pack" at HD for 28 cents a lf.By the piece it's something like 78 cents lf.
 

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What are your issues with MDF? Why not for base, typically?

I understand the dents and damage and its high susceptibility to waste issues.

But, you need to hit it pretty hard to cause a dent or damage. And that is easily fixed and you would probably have to do the same with pine.

And long as it's primed and double top coated it would need a lot of water to be an issue. Due to that issue, I wouldn't install MDF base in bathrooms.

But I prefer the way MDF paints over pine. I've installed a decent amount and have never had an issue that I wouldn't have had with pine.

The one issue I don't like, is the mushrooming. But, I work around that and weigh the pros/cons when I feel that may be an issue. I've installed pine due to mushrooming and mixed in MDF when it wasn't a concern.

Just curious of your thoughts
I don't use much pine either. Neither stain & varnish worth a ****. :) If it's paint grade, I try to use poplar, otherwise, it's typically real hardwood stained & finished.

I mainly don't like MDF because it doesn't cope worth a durn.
 

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Since when does anyone use mdf or pine for trim?

I should clarify on the pine, I will use Sugar pine for windows and such, but you aren't getting that at a store.

Radiata pine sucks, mdf for the most part sucks (I use some 1/4" sheet stock once in a while) I can get any 3 1/4 poplar moulding for under .85 a foot. I use more soft maple then poplar though.
 

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Soft maple's good too, but it's hard for me to find it in 16' lengths at the same price as poplar.
 

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I've haven't had the opportunity to do any stain grade trim jobs in quite a while. It seems everyone wants paint grade to me. But, I don't do high-end custom stain grade work either. My skill set is no where near that quality, not by any stretch.

I love poplar! But, I can't find poplar molding and I'm not equipped to make my own. I have looked very hard either, tho. I use poplar for sills and shaker style and stuff like that.

Around here, MDF, and finger jointed pine are the most popular choices. I've used pine for yrs and recently started using MDF. I like the way it looks painted. It has it's flaws and can be very sensitive to a coping saw. I am learning to work around the flaws pretty easily, even using a sharp utility knife to cope the edges to avoid tear-out.
 

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Since when does anyone use mdf or pine for trim?

I should clarify on the pine, I will use Sugar pine for windows and such, but you aren't getting that at a store.

Radiata pine sucks, mdf for the most part sucks (I use some 1/4" sheet stock once in a while) I can get any 3 1/4 poplar moulding for under .85 a foot. I use more soft maple then poplar though.
I do a fair amount of trim work and all I use is pine and mdf. Unless it's shaker, then I use poplar.

We don't really have lumber yards around here anymore. There ones we do have are pretty long drive away. I would love to use better quality trim but I don't know where to get it that would be cost effective. We have supply houses for doors, windows and siding, etc., even framing lumber. But not trim.
 

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When I was using alot of MDF and PFJP the price fluctuated. Sometime MDF was cheaper, sometimes PFJP was cheaper. I prefer PFJP between the two.
 

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Since when does mdf come from SA? Makes no sense to me logistically. Got a trim pack last week and it was all made in Chile? Can't we glue our own sawdust together?

For paint grade I like mdf. long lengths in every width, strait, stable, consistent, unlimited profiles, dirt cheap, paints up great.
 

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I used to have a molder and made all of my own but sold the cabinet shop.I'm fortunate to live about 15 miles south of a Amish community that has a shop that does only molding.I can buy about any species and profile for a reasonable price.They keep lots of profiles in stock and will custom make what they don't.
 

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I used to have a molder and made all of my own but sold the cabinet shop.I'm fortunate to live about 15 miles south of a Amish community that has a shop that does only molding.I can buy about any species and profile for a reasonable price.They keep lots of profiles in stock and will custom make what they don't.
That must be nice. Lancaster is about an hour from here: Amish town.
Too far to go there routinely, but it would be nice to have a shop in the rolodex if the need arose.
 

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Since when does mdf come from SA? Makes no sense to me logistically. Got a trim pack last week and it was all made in Chile? Can't we glue our own sawdust together?

For paint grade I like mdf. long lengths in every width, strait, stable, consistent, unlimited profiles, dirt cheap, paints up great.
As long as I can remember, the MDF has said Made in Chili. That's where the sawdust trees grow.
 

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As long as I can remember, the MDF has said Made in Chili. That's where the sawdust trees grow.
Huh...maybe it's a regional thing. I've usually gotten metrie brand, made in usa, or various brands out of Canada. Its crazy to look at the labels at a jobsite and realize how international the house is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The pine I use is from lowes is from New Zealand. Costs about $17 for a 1x8x8 s4s and its real nice material for lowes.

As a comparison the poplar is $26 and the oak is. $44.

Only reason pine is being used is because it was pine we pulled out on this job. Its on a 100year old collage dorm and we are trying keep everything as close to original as possible. I would normally use poplar or hard maple on nicer stuff as its def nicer. Just hard to find nice stuff around here.
 

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The pine I use is from lowes is from New Zealand. Costs about $17 for a 1x8x8 s4s and its real nice material for lowes.

As a comparison the poplar is $26 and the oak is. $44.

Only reason pine is being used is because it was pine we pulled out on this job. Its on a 100year old collage dorm and we are trying keep everything as close to original as possible. I would normally use poplar or hard maple on nicer stuff as its def nicer. Just hard to find nice stuff around here.
What don't you like about MDF?
 

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But I'm trimming out a house right now with pine. When I was picking it up I was checking prices. 69¢ a foot for 2 1/4 casing but $1.19 for 2 1/2" wtf?
 
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