Material Question - Tempered Hardboard MDF

so I’ve been doing some basic stuff (final sled, laptop stand, plant pot holder, etc) but this is going to be a 2D ‘stencil’ (we’re back lighting it) for a a 4x6 sign for a week-long event, which means I need 10 final signs which is probably 10-12 pieces of 4x8 plywood, which at 3/8" thick is $30/sheet or $360

Given that this is both the biggest thing I’ve done yet and with the price of plywood, I’m balking at spending that much in case things don’t work out. Is there any reason I shouldn’t use something like this:

Which will cost half of something like this:

It’s MDF, I am aware of the fine-dust issue, but will it burn up the bit? Should I reduce the feed rate?

I think I am going to do a test cut at least on the MDF and see what happens, but if anyone else has experience, I’d appreciate your insight.

This is actually not MDF but Massonite. It’s actually stronger than MDF. it’s commonly used for clipboards, whiteboards, chalkboards, etc. it was/is used in children’s games and furniture like doll houses. It’s pretty tuff stuff and I use the thicker versions for router templates and as the top surface for work benches.

My recommendation is to use a carbide bit instead of HSS. It will dull HSS pretty quickly. given how much you are going to cut, it will be worth the cost.

As you already mentioned, have your dust control A-game on.

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