Through circumstances too complex to recount, I became acquainted with a glass mosaic artist in Binghamton (whose website you can check out here). The substrate upon which she and her students create their mosaics is MDF--medium density fiberboard. My educated guess is that it's composed of sawdust from mills that has been pressed together with light glue. (When one applies a motorized blade to it, the sawdust created is a very fine powder.)
Occasionally this artist's students take on projects whose size exceeds her normal MDF resources. And in the past when she's had to farm out for bigger MDF frames, she has ordered from Rochester or points farther away. But in conversation one day she discovered that I do a little tinkering in the wood shop, and asked if I would be able to craft larger-than-standard frames from MDF for her students. Excited about the idea of the challenge, I told her I would.
Thus over the last year and a half I've done a couple of odd jobs making MDF frames for mosaic art. In doing so I've had to learn how to use a router, and specifically how to rout both a straight line and a (near) perfect circle. I also had to figure out how to transport a 3-foot-by-5-foot frame in a vehicle clearly not designed for the transport of large pieces of art.
It's another diversion from the beaten path, and I end up with some handy scraps of MDF when I'm done. Thanks to Bobby for letting me use the shop, and to Mike for tolerating my sawdust!