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    mklett33's Avatar
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    Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Kerfing 101- UNDER CONSTRUCTION

    What is Kerfing?
    “Kerf” by definition means “width of a saw cut”. This is the width of the actual saw tooth itself as opposed to the width of the blade as a saw tooth flares out and away from a blade. “Kerfing” is a term that many woodworkers have adopted to define the process of making several cuts within a piece of wood to achieve the removal of material. Often this removal of material will allow one to then bend the wood stock making a nice professional and appealing curve that can be incorporated into the project.

    Kerfing and Car Audio:
    What can Kerfing do for you in your quest of car audio domination? Well first of all it is important to note that in any ported subwoofer box hard corners are the devil. They do not allow efficient air flow which can result in less output and more port noise. Kerfing your port will allow you to maximize efficiency and create the most non-turbulent flow for the air moving in and out of the enclosure.

    Secondly Kerfing can be used to make an enclosure or other part of your build more appealing to the eye. You could use it for corners of an amp rack, or to make a custom arm rest more smooth. Kerfing is a process you need to learn to take your builds to the next level.

    What you need:
    This is outlined in the video but you will need the following (* means you don’t HAVE to have it but it is recommended):
    • Circular Saw (Or table saw but the process will differ from the video) Disclaimer: My Saw blade is 1/8” wide. I recommend the same width!
    • T-Square (Or table saw fence)
    • MDF
    • Wood Glue
    • Safety Glasses
    • Tape Measure
    • Marker/Pencil
    • Clamps
    • Fiberglass Resin*
    • Fiberglass Chop Mat*
    • Body Filler*
    • Sand Paper*

    The steps:


    Watch the video! Once the kerfed section is made load it up with wood glue and clamp it in place. Finish with fiberglass resin and chop mat and for that added professional touch apply body filler to the area and sand!

    The Math:
    I go through the math in the video but in case you are having a hard time understanding this should help. Please note this is used for slot porting applications so when I reference “diameter” I am NOT talking about a circular port, I am talking about the curve of the kerf if you were to look at it along its cross section. See the photo below:



    Step 1: Determine the diameter of your curve. Note I said “Diameter NOT radius” if you have your radius just multiply it by 2 and you now have your diameter).

    Step 2: Find the circumference of a circle using this diameter. The equation is:



    Step 3: You should now have a value for your circumference. Take this value and divide by 4 for a 90 degree turn or 2 for a 180 degree turn, this will give you the “length of kerf”.



    Step 4: Record your value for the length of the kerf. This is how much material along your mdf “linearly” must be used to make your curved kerfed section. This is the value you want to “mark off’ for your kerf on the mdf. (Note that this method can also be used to find the “length” of this part of your port so that you can build your port to the target tuning length. Instead of using the diameter of your kerf arc, use the diameter of the arc that is the centerline of the port).

    Step 5: Now that you have marked off where your kerf will be on the mdf you are going to take your “length of kerf value” and divide it by 12. This will give you your length between cuts.



    Now in the video I show a trick for making these divisions perfect. That way if your value is something like .6384 you don’t have to guess on a tape measure. My method is also much faster as it doesn’t require this steps math. Once you have marked out all the distances between cuts you can proceed with cutting and making your kerfs!

    Other notes: These are other notes that have been brought up on other forums and I feel are helpful.
    • I made the mistake of wearing gloves in the video. Never wear gloves with rotary tools!
    • It is not recommended to apply screws in the kerfed section of the mdf, it will likely split, instead use clamps (or heavy objects) and wood glue.
    • If you are blade in not 1/8 you will need to do some math to determine how many cuts to make. I generally remove an inch and a half of material, so if your blade is smaller, more cuts, wider, less cuts. Note that fewer cuts will lead to a rougher curve and more a smoother curve but with less strength.

    Pictures:

    Design of an enclosure using a Kerfed Port:


    Box with Kerfed Port:
    (Picture to come)

    Box with kerfed port and kerfed exit of port:
    (Picture to come)
    Last edited by mklett33; 12-28-2011 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Making this a better post



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Very nice video!




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Very nice, would like to see this stickied.

    I like your trick for spacing the cuts, seems like a great time saver. My only question is about the number of cuts, I would think for larger diameter kerfs you might want more cuts to provide a smoother curve, no?




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Great video. This woulda been a lotta help when I was trying to figure out the best way to do my kerfs lol

    Whereabouts in Michigan do you live?



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbagumper6 View Post
    Very nice, would like to see this stickied.

    I like your trick for spacing the cuts, seems like a great time saver. My only question is about the number of cuts, I would think for larger diameter kerfs you might want more cuts to provide a smoother curve, no?
    Yes. More cuts for a smoother curve but its harder to not mess up.



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    nice tricks good video !



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    very good job.yes this needs to be stickied




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Yes, very nice video and the only one I have ever seen that was this detailed. It seems as if folks were scared to share their secrets before. Thanks



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nut Hair Trick View Post
    Yes, very nice video and the only one I have ever seen that was this detailed. It seems as if folks were scared to share their secrets before. Thanks
    Never scared ( I don't use them a lot anyway), more like there are several ways to do it. This is a similar method to what I use though.


    Very nice video, seen it over on SSA the other day. Looks great and well thought out.




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Quote Originally Posted by nom nom View Post
    Great video. This woulda been a lotta help when I was trying to figure out the best way to do my kerfs lol

    Whereabouts in Michigan do you live?
    i cant take u serious with ur avatar hahahahahahahahaha dat lama




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    nice vid


    isnt it easier to do it with router?




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    table saw is easier I think




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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Quote Originally Posted by Imtjnotu View Post
    i cant take u serious with ur avatar hahahahahahahahaha dat lama
    dat lama srsbznz



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-rabbit View Post
    Never scared ( I don't use them a lot anyway), more like there are several ways to do it. This is a similar method to what I use though.


    Very nice video, seen it over on SSA the other day. Looks great and well thought out.
    I wasnt even thinking of you when I made that statement. I've seen builders when asked about Kerfs say something like "well ya know, I have a certain equation I use", then they dont go any further into it. So, to me, the math of it all was the best part because it was so simple. But you're right, there are other ways to do it, and I'm sure I could have very well figured it out on my own. This video really made it simple for people using circular saws that don't have access to a tablesaw.



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    Re: Kerfing 101 - How to Kerf MDF for curved port applications!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nut Hair Trick View Post
    I wasnt even thinking of you when I made that statement. I've seen builders when asked about Kerfs say something like "well ya know, I have a certain equation I use", then they dont go any further into it. So, to me, the math of it all was the best part because it was so simple. But you're right, there are other ways to do it, and I'm sure I could have very well figured it out on my own. This video really made it simple for people using circular saws that don't have access to a tablesaw.
    Very true, and I didn't take it personal at all. Just figured I would offer my input into it.


    I agree though is is a very good video to learn from. I wish I had something like this when I was doing trial and error stuff years ago lol.




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