Plywood for building cabinets

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MotorcycleWriter, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. theDoktor

    theDoktor Husky Racer

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    This, plus a pair of adjustable outfeed roller stands have served me well over many years. Don't recall where I got the stands- either a local Woodcraft or Rockler, but they've held up well and were a worthwhile investment IMHO.
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  2. theDoktor

    theDoktor Husky Racer

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    Agreed. If you keep the cabinet width short and attach a solidly-made face frame with both pocket screws and glue, MDF make OK cheap, paint grade shop cabinets. Almost anything else is better structurally. Melamine is worse than MDF for cabinet bodies and shelves. It is just particleboard covered on both faces with a VERY thin plastic film. Glue won't stick to the melamine, so you have to remove it at joint meeting surfaces. VG20 Vertical Grade cabinet liner plastic laminate is much thicker and performs better. Forget about screw-holding ability in both of these substrates except for straight thru into a support structure- joints need to be glued, with dados or rabets.
    #42
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  3. jar944

    jar944 Long timer

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    Have you considered a track saw and Paulk style bench?
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  4. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    I'd not heard of a Paulk bench. Very interesting! I had designed and built something similar a few years ago and was using it to cut plywood. It certainly wasn't thought out to this level of detail but it's an excellent example of how anyone working to the same constraints is going to come up with similar solutions. I had a few guys over at my house doing some work and they raved about the table. It was far more crude and really only for cutting plywood. I built it because I was tired of fumbling around with cutting plywood sheets on the ground. But it was SO heavy.

    I see Mr. Paulk was using sawhorses and plywood, like so many of us have, and then went to a door, as I mentioned above. I like a lot of things about this table and will probably find a kit that I can just assemble. I'd rather just put together something that has already been precision cut and is using the right kind of plywood instead of doing it all from scratch. I don't really want my workbench to be my project. I have too many projects for that!

    I like the track saw idea as well but I actually already have the exact same saw he is using in THIS VIDEO so I'll give that a try. I'd still have to do something with infeed but that's a simpler problem since, by definition, you only have a single piece going in, not two! The one downside I see to this design just by observation is that it's going to catch and trap sawdust that's going to be hard to get out.

    Thanks for showing me this. I was totally unaware of it's existence but may very well solve my problem. I could store it against my ceiling and even use some clamps to make sure it stays straight when it is up there.
    #44
  5. JeremyB09

    JeremyB09 n00b

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    I have a friend that wants a cabinet for her utility room. She wants the cabinet painted. So I'm here on the same hunt for which plywood would be best for this application. I did some research also and found the recommendations here https://wooddiys.com/best-paint-for-laminate-cabinets .
    #45
  6. MatBirch

    MatBirch Reservoir of useless knowledge

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    07554C8B-755C-4040-86EB-8C321AF11FE8.jpeg 34E47564-E0FB-4276-A0CD-EEABAFEBAA36.jpeg I just finished the last of my cabinets for my trailer. I was stuck what was available locally at Lowe’s and HD. I built face frame cabinets with a Kreg jig where ever applicable.
    As for wood, the 3/4” “pine” cabinet plywood from HD was really quite nice. It does have a few voids, but was manageable. Last trip I got suckered into “revolution ply”. It is absolute crap. Heavy as hell. Has more plies, but still has voids. The surface chips and peels terribly, but the worst is that it has grooves all over the face. Very small, parallel grooves maybe “rolled” into it during processing? It makes it impossible to get stain to look good, and even priming and painting was a chore.
    #46
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  7. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    Baltic birch.
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  8. muddywater

    muddywater Untermenschen

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    Radiata pine?..... product of Chile?

    Use it by the bundle for cabinet cases and closet shelves. Strong, lightweight, thick face plies, reasonably priced.... one of the few things I purchase regularly form HD.
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  9. MatBirch

    MatBirch Reservoir of useless knowledge

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    Ya, I think that was the good one. The Revolution was the crappy one. I just spent the evening trying in vain to get some stain and poly to not look like complete garbage...
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  10. theDoktor

    theDoktor Husky Racer

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    A caution on using plywood (including marine-grade plywood) for cabinet doors : AWI recommends against using plywood for the DOORS and most, if not all commercial millwork shops, will not warranty cabinet doors made from plywood against warpage. See my previous post in this thread.
    Plywood is stiff, strong and lightweight, and can make excellent casework if used appropriately for the right applications. I stay away from melamine plywood for the multiple reasons previously stated in this thread. Baltic birch is great stuff, but expensive. I have purchased it previously in 4'x8' sheets from a local plywood supplier. You are not necessarily limited to the nominal 5'x5' size.
    For serviceability and durability where appearance is not a concern, it's hard to beat Vertical Grade plastic laminate cabinet liner on the interior of your boxes. Remember that plywood of all kinds is hygroscopic- i.e. moisture-absorbing. It will readily absorb moisture from the air wherever it is exposed, and that any kind of laminate, including melamine, is a moisture barrier. To keep surfaces from curling like a potato chip when only one surface is covered with a moisture-barrier, you need to do the same thing or a similar moisture barrier, to the opposing side.
    #50
  11. jar944

    jar944 Long timer

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    Painted inside and out?

    Easiest to get is going to be Columbia purebond birch from home depot. Its relatively inexpensive at 45-55 per sheet. Stay away from the maple, it's not even paint grade.
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  12. jar944

    jar944 Long timer

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    For the price difference it's worth getting slightly better plywood. Radiata pine from HD warps more than it should and typically has a bad B face
    #52