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Old 11-22-2002, 08:34 AM
morning glory morning glory is offline
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Tempered vs. Untempered hardboard

Howdy!

I was reading an article in October's issue of the Artist's Magazine. The author, George Goebel, stated that he uses untempered hardboard because tempered hardboard "contains an oily resin that in time could impair the adhesion of the gesso ground." Now, is hardboard and masonite considered the same? Also, I have seen suggestions for both tempered (both sides are smooth) and untempered (one side smooth and the other side rough), but should tempered be avoided? May I assume that no matter which method you use to create canvas covered masonite (hardboard?), the longevity of your creation is questionable?

Thanks in advance for any replies!

morning glory
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Old 11-22-2002, 09:34 AM
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Wayne Gaudon Wayne Gaudon is offline
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Quote:
I have seen suggestions for both tempered (both sides are smooth) and untempered (one side smooth and the other side rough),


side surface has no bearing on tempered .. tempered just means it's been chemically treated to hold up better to extreems in temperature like moisture and heat ..

Masonite is smooth/rough and panel board has 2 smooth sides.

I have always read to use tempered but again, if your boards are for internal purposes then it should not matter if it's tempered or not.

I personally glue canvas to my board and I prefer masonite as it is a better board .. the panel board is more suspectable to damage than the masonite .. it peels like cardboard .. to test it, tape some good strong tape on a piece and leave it sit for a few months .. then take the tape off .. pieces of the board come off with it .. masonite won't do that.

If in doubt, just get untempered masonite, but if you gesso the board then the gesso should lock all things in and all things out .

The above is only speculation on my part so take it as you will but don't hold me liable for anything that isn't totally correct. I am sure someone will advise further if I am off base.
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Old 11-22-2002, 10:45 AM
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cobalt fingers cobalt fingers is offline
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nope

There are lots of old knowledeg out there from Meyers I think. I and my friends use tempered and have had no trouble. The tempering in the 30's may have been oily but not any more. Books like Meyers ought to keep up. They have a duty.

2ndly, untempered boards will seperate and absorbe all kinds of moisture. Others will weigh in one this matter.

I use tempered...it is even dusty when I sand it everything from shellac to acrylic will stick to it.
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Old 11-22-2002, 10:46 AM
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baltic birth

use baltic birth plywood if your worried.
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Old 11-22-2002, 12:42 PM
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For best results always use an untempered high quality smooth two sides hardboard. Masonite is a company. By calling a smooth one side, grid the other side, masonite is like calling a tissue a Kleenex. For all glues and sizing (RSG, PVA), for traditional chalk grounds, acrylic gesso, and (possibly less so) oil grounds, an untempered hardboard is best. If you need to seal the surface before you use it then it's best the artist is in control of what they put on. Tempered hardboard is sealed with an extremely thin coat of tung and/or linseed oil. Removing this coat will help though there will be residual amounts that have soaked in past the surface. Take a piece of masking tape to a smooth untempered surface, right away fibers will stick to it, if it's tempered it won't. If it's the "masonite" it has a wax coat, tape will take a while before the sticky reacts with the wax.

I use Duron untempered hardboard. You can soak it in water, pour boiling water on the surface... if it's a standard size board and you allow it to dry evenly it will not suffer at all. A high quality board is so dense it will sink in water. This stuff is so tough that if you ran out of ebony you could use it in it's place for inlay

Hardboard manufacturers do sometimes add extra tree resins (inside bark) - this is a naturally occurring ingredient in most woods. This is not to be confused with the oil that they apply to the surface.
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Old 11-22-2002, 01:14 PM
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Lino...this is a confusing subject that has been discussed so many times w/so many views...

my last purchase was untempered Masonite with that one side sort of like plastic, so I sanded it good & covered with canvas...

Leo had also mentioned Duron and that will be my next purchase once our Home Depot's construction is complete...does this come in a 4' x 8' sheet as well? Is it smooth on both sides?
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:23 PM
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Cathleen, did you use the hardboard with the melamine type coating on one side? You glued your canvas to the "wood" side, yes?

You're not kidding it's a confusing subject, I know a fair bit but I'm still not the expert though a good friend of mine knows this stuff like the... and he'll even say it's a mess of grading and knowing what your getting out there. Home depot is the last place you would find Duron unless it's by accident or cheaper for your local HD to get it in. I bought mine in bulk from a supplier, the sheets were untempered 3/8"x 4' x 9'. (I used the 3/8" because I used to use a traditional gesso). Very smooth both sides fairly dark, very subtle small pattern can be seen (not felt) on the surface.
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:28 PM
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cobalt fingers cobalt fingers is offline
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cutting

lino when I cut through the tempered it's all the same all the way thru-all the same color etc. I think this modern stuff is made tempered all the way thru yes? I see and sense no oil at all anywhere. What say you?
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:50 PM
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Tim, I think I understand what your asking... sometimes your words put my mind a spinning

Typically Tung oil is applied to the tempered hardboard when it has just come out of the press and heating (might have the order messed up there) it dries so fast that the sheets are piled on top of each other right away. There will be a small transference of oil to the bottom side of each hardboard. The initial coating is only about 1/100th of an inch, very small. When an untempered harboard is made the oil is not applied but because of the high pressure and heat natural resins will come to the top and create a super thin sheen. It is virtually impossible to tell if your holding tempered or untempered hardboard in your hands without tape testing it or unless it's properly labeled.

Hardboard is just like real wood since the lignin rejoins it's natural although differently aligned bonds in processing. The quality of a high end hardboard with or without the thin oil coat could be characterized as tempered. Tempered as defined as strengthened through pressure and heat, but the industry labels tempered hardboard as surface treated with a drying oil.

Tim, maybe your looking for those old exterior Masonite boards that were treated (soaked) with tar and oil... mmmm good stuff Though didn't the Masters use tar...
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Linoxyn
Cathleen, did you use the hardboard with the melamine type coating on one side? You glued your canvas to the "wood" side, yes?

Home depot is the last place you would find Duron

Lino...the Masonite I refer to and btw the only one this lumber yard carried, has one side rough and the other a greenish patterned looking plastic like almost, but not{what the heck did I buy?}on the side I adhered my canvas...sanding roughed it up good...

I just checked my notes & had written Leo had said Duron could be found at a lumber yard in 4'x8'sheets...is this just another brand of hardboard? Since I live in a fairly small town, it may be difficult to even find...
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:57 PM
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more baltic birch

Certain woodworking stores sell baltic birch plywood in what they call "scroll saw packs". The one I bought had 10 pieces at 12 by 12 in the following thicknesses - 4 at 1/8 inch, 2 at 1/4 inch, 2 at 3/8 inch and 2 at 1/2 inch. This cost 10 dollars and I found it at the local Woodcraft store.
Has any one tried medium density fiberboard or MDF?
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Old 11-22-2002, 03:58 PM
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cobalt fingers cobalt fingers is offline
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MDF

MFD is good stuff, heavy but lovely-you must be sure to seal out moisture from all sides.
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Old 11-22-2002, 04:42 PM
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Leopoldo1 Leopoldo1 is offline
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DURON, pretty yummy stuff! Makes a glorious support that should last into eternity. Extremely dense and indestructable, no problem with chipped corners (unless you play frizzbie with it and miss), both sides the same, smooth.... I am sure Home Depot wouldn't get it for you, to much of a problem for this giantic retailer. Ask you local smaller lumber yard to order it for you, definitely not a stock item. Comes in 4X8 sheets and have them cut your desired sizes for you on their table saw. I like the 3/16 inch thick stuff..........L


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Old 11-22-2002, 09:55 PM
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X marks the spot...

Thanks Leo! No frisbee for this gal...what IS the purpose for this Duron...as in Duron what? Remember this is the boonies...
Even a picture...you're the best!
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Old 11-22-2002, 10:04 PM
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Re: X marks the spot...

Quote:
Originally posted by artbabe21
Thanks Leo! No frisbee for this gal...what IS the purpose for this Duron...as in Duron what? Remember this is the boonies...
Even a picture...you're the best!

Thanks for the correction on the spelling of frisbee! Duhhhhhhh!

The first three letters are an acronym for................. durable?????!..

Even in that beaufiul state that you live in (that lacks a ocean) I am sure you can place an order for it, you are still in the lower 48!.......L
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