Built-In cabinet-material question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-24-2008, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Built-In cabinet-material question

Hi All,

I have a 150 year old house with a nice build-in cabinet that holds all the dishes. recently I started small remodeling project and it looks like I need to rebuild the old cabinet. It was original made out of solid wood. It's 18" wide and about 80" high solid wood panels. I was unable to find anything in store(Home Depot, Lowes) that would be close in size to the old cabinet. I'm considering buying Oak Plywood as a replacement but have no experience with plywood. Is there any special type of hardware I need to buy? I want use pocket holes to attach shelves to the side panels and finish nails for the outside trim.

My questions are:

Is it plywood as durable as wood?

Is it a good idea to use this material as a replacement for wood?

What special hardware do I need?

Any other tips?

Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-25-2008, 06:09 AM
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I guess I would start with asking why you need to rebuild he cabinet?

Are you really going to rebuild or are you replacing? It sounds like you intend to replace. Cannot you repair what is there? It seems a shame to replace such as old piece.

As for plywood, it is very strong. If it is good plywood the face veneer will be sufficiently thick that there should be no danger of sanding through or otherwise damaging the face. In most instances you can use it just like solid wood, with the difference that the edges need to be covered.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-25-2008, 06:11 AM
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miko, the plywood is plenty strong and will be a very stable panel for your vertical pieces as well as your horizontal pieces given that you mentioned your width is only 18". As George mentioned, be wary of the fact that when sanding plywood you have a very narrow margin of error as to how much is too much. Sand too much and you'll quickly be staring at the very ugly substrate underneath the surface veneer.

You mentioned possibly using oak, so I assume you want a natural finish and not a painted finish. Most finish grade plywoods need little more than a quick once over with 180-220 grit sandpaper before finishing with your stain and topcoat.

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post #4 of 10 Old 11-26-2008, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both.

I see if I can find some wider boards and keep the cabinet solid wood.

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post #5 of 10 Old 11-26-2008, 11:49 AM
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You do not need wider boards. Just edge glue boards until you have the width you need.

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post #6 of 10 Old 11-26-2008, 12:10 PM
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Lowes has made up boards up to 24" wide in paint
and stain grade. They are not cheap.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-26-2008, 01:00 PM
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I have used HD glued up panels...they did ok but they are already 5/8" They had thicker ones also like 5/4 but I dont know how thick they were in actuality. All I saw was knotty pine ones.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-29-2008, 02:09 PM
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Plywood with a hardwood egde is a stable and easy solution to your project, if you do go with solid wood glue 2- 9" peices together that will prevent movement issues down the road. If you are going with a painted finish you can brad nail the wood edge the fill it with BONDO it gives once sanded a vey smooth pro look, its all that I use for painted work if you cant find the BONDO use Ready Patch its the orange and black can.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-15-2008, 05:13 AM
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150 year old cabinet shouldn't have plywood. sorry. there are a ton of options all over for hardwoods other than the big box stores. why does it need a new panel? is that which is there beyond glue and clamp if cracked?
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-15-2008, 06:18 AM
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If you want to replace it, go ahead. BUT.......

attaching shelves in a butt joint with pocket screws is not the path I would choose. This is not a very sttrong joint. Dado's in the side panels would be a much better idea. Then you can glue and screw through the sides (assuming that they are concealed as part of the installation). I'm picturing a unit built to slide back into a recess?

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