What type of plywood? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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What type of plywood?

I am looking at building cabinets for my kitchen. I am wondering what type of plywood you would recommend for this application. Where there would be exposed outside ends I would probably be skinning with oak veneer. But for the other panels what do you suggest?

Also, for shelves for these cabinets would you use solid wood, poplar? or a plywood? I would think solid would be stronger. It seems most commercial cabinets have particle board shelves.

Most everything I've ever built I've just used solid wood for. This will be the first stab at cabinet boxes.

Thanks,

Brad
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werneb01 View Post
I am looking at building cabinets for my kitchen. I am wondering what type of plywood you would recommend for this application. Where there would be exposed outside ends I would probably be skinning with oak veneer. But for the other panels what do you suggest?

Also, for shelves for these cabinets would you use solid wood, poplar? or a plywood? I would think solid would be stronger. It seems most commercial cabinets have particle board shelves.

Most everything I've ever built I've just used solid wood for. This will be the first stab at cabinet boxes.

Thanks,

Brad
Hey Brad,

Whereabouts in northern Wisconsin? My wife and I have a little cabin near Rhinelander. I am going to try my hand as well at building kitchen cabinets up there. Never did it before. I am going to be using a cabinet grade birch ply or a baltic birch ply for what I am doing.

There are a lot of very experienced, knowledgeable and gracious cabinet makers here who will be able to help point you in the right direction.

Tom
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 06:04 PM
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Are you refacing your cabinets or building new?
As for What plywood to use, You mentioned skinning in oak. What are you Skinning and it sounds like you want oak cabinets, Use Oak Plywood. If you are building new cabinets I assume you have a table saw you should use Oak to make the face frames and then use oak plywood for sides. Use the oak ply for shelves but face it with the oak you used for the face frames. Now if you want something other then oak cabinets that would be a bird of a different color.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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All new cabinets. I have built a lot of things, but furniture. Using solid wood. The cabinets will be oak. By skinning I'm talking about a cabinet on the end where there would be an exposed end. If I was using birch plywood or something for the boxes I would have to put a 1/4" layer of plywood to have it match the face frames. Face frames will be solid oak. That part is easy for me.

I guess I'm looking for information as to the type of plywood. Veneer core, mdf core, combination core, particle board core, or whatever may be out there I'm not familiar with.

I know many use baltic birch for drawers, I don't know if I'll go that route or solid wood.

Does that clarify?

Thanks,

Brad
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 09:08 PM
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When I use plywood, I use veneer core A1 grade. I use 3/4" for the cabinet. Normally, I trim the plywood egdes with hardwood lumber where the edge is exposed and can be seen - like shelves. Then I use hardwood lumber for the face frames and make my own raised panel doors out of hardwodd - no plywood.

I do use birch plywood for drawers, but I have a lot of scraps 64" long by 7 inches wide that a friend gave me from a veneer mill. They threw these scraps away or gave them away.

So far, I have stayed away from MDF core. It creeps - sags over time in shelf applications unless you support it very well. By the time you get done messing around with supporting it, you could have used veneer core and been on to other things. For plywood shelves, I try to incorporate some stiffening with the edge lumber making the trim for the edge 1 1/2" thick with a rabbet fit along the plywood.

I did make a bar for a friend that I used ash and made all of the pannels raised panels. I need to get some pictures of it so people can see it. One panel is 8 feet long and has 4 raised panels. One side is 5 feet long and had 2 raised panels. The one end panel is 2 feet long and has raised panel. It was a lot of work, but it really looks good.

I hope this rambling helps.

Rich (The Yooper)
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Last edited by Rich Aldrich; 03-14-2009 at 09:14 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 09:09 PM
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well if your using oak for the face frames then use oak Plywood for the boxes. simple as that.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-14-2009, 10:12 PM
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I would use 3/4" plywood of the species of the hardwood. To save money Birch would suffice, or use lumbercore plywood, also called "blockboard".

For drawers, 1/2" ply works good. I'll use the same hardwood veneer face as the exterior, or edge band maple. Half inch Parana Pine for drawers looks nice, if you can get it in your area.






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post #8 of 8 Old 03-25-2009, 07:25 PM
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just a thought....

I have built many cabinets for as young as I am, and one thing i can tell you is to use pre finished plywood. I make all kinds of cabinets, from cherry, to walnut and every wood in between. Pre finished ply usually comes in maple/birch and you can get finished on either one or both sides. I never use flake(some call it particle board) for cabinets....you might as well buy stock cabinets at the HD. I always use the same pre finished ply for my shelves and and backs(usually 1/2"). I think the biggest pain in the rear is finishing the insides of cabinets. Of course all of this is just an opinion, but thats what you were looking for. Oh one more point...if your wondering what to do when you make oak cabinets with maple plywood....remember that most kitchens only have maybe 4 or 6 end panels in them. Cabinets butt up to each other so you only need to match and finish a few end cabinets. Alot of other people charge extra for this, but i make solid wood end panels for my cabinets...they basically look just like the doors. Or you could just veneer them, either way works well!
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