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MDF fastening options

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  • MDF fastening options

    I'm in an apartment with cheap kitchen cabinetry. The (sole) drawer rested on a runner that was attached, at the rear of the cabinet, to an MDF panel using what I can only describe as a soft plastic support. That is, it was a 2"x3" bit of plastic stapled into the MDF with a right-angled plastic ledge that the runner rested on. At the front, the runner was stapled to the wood frame; the weight of the drawer and its contents rested entirely on these two points. I use the past tense throughout because, predictably, after years of overburdening by tenants-- including me, it is the sole drawer-- the plastic broke (tore) just above the ledge.

    I removed the broken plastic and decided to attach a small piece of plywood to the MDF and screw the runner into that. Since there don't seem to be any studs to work with, I considered various hollow-wall solutions and decided to go with toggle bolts to attach the plywood to the MDF. Possibly a bit of overkill, but I didn't trust MDF and anchors as the primary load holders.

    Here's my problem: the toggle bolts don't seem to be catching on the MDF. Don't know if it's too smooth, or what, but I pulled the wood firmly towards me and tightened the screws; and all that happened was that the heads buried themselves in the piece of plywood, without the excess thread being pulled through the toggles spread behind the MDF.

    So now I have a small plywood ledge hanging 1.5" inches away from the MDF wall, with embedded toggle bolt heads. I can't get them to tighten, and I can't loosen them either.

    Thoughts on any of the following?
    - How do I complete the tightening of the toggle bolts?
    - Alternatively, how do I remove them? Hit them with a cold chisel until the shafts break?
    - If I don't use toggle bolts, how should I attach the ledge to the MDF?



  • #2
    Re: MDF fastening options

    side cutters, reciprocating saw, dermal tool with small cutting blade, to cut the old toggle bolts,

    Glue and screw, tighten carefully, or they will strip,

    I do not know if you can pull the toggle bolt tight and then screw it or not, my guess is the toggles are spinning and not tightings up,

    if you get the toggle out you could use some dowels in the holes to help make another shear point and connections for the glue to adhear to,
    Last edited by BHD; 11-28-2012, 10:17 AM.
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    • #3
      Re: MDF fastening options

      Liquid Nails is your friend. It needs to be spread in between the new support wood and the cabinet back. Tack the new wood until the glue dries.

      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder


      • #4
        Re: MDF fastening options

        There are also special screws to use to fasten things to MDF. Its something to do with the tread pitch being designed not to split the fibers.