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post #1 of 10 Old 03-13-2009, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Built in cabinetry question

I am a hobbyist woodworker, so I don't pretend to know about professional cabinet making. I recently ordered a very expensive built in entertainment unit for my home with a paint finish. I was very surprised when the unit arrived that it was composed solely of cabinet grade plywood and veneered MDF. I was under the impression that high end cabinetry was made of solid wood. Is there truth to the argument that painted finish is better on coated MDF for wear and tear?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-13-2009, 02:46 PM
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cabinet

I think most of the guys would say, Yes, most (if not all) HIGH END cabinetry is made from solid wood (and some ply). As far as the veneer goes, I don't know why they would veneer something that was to be painted, but mdf is used as a veneer core a lot because of it's stability. Any good painter can end up with as good a job on wood as on mdf, but mdf does paint better on the average. Russ
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-13-2009, 10:22 PM
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Very expensive is relative. Most mass produced products are made this way. MDF is a good paintable surface, but it is not very strong.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-13-2009, 11:47 PM
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Mdf has its uses; the builder should have explained what you were going to receive. I like poplar for anything with a load on it, and mdf for just ascetic panels. If it is a door with glass in it, I use maple.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-14-2009, 02:13 AM
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Scribbles,

Why do you like maple for glass doors?

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-14-2009, 12:10 PM
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I have had bad luck with delicate doors with there muttons and such sagging with the weight of the glass in them, no such problem with maple. It is just much stronger, takes abuse better, and it is so clean it paints beautiful.

Truth is it is probably overkill, but is jut one way I try to distinguish my work from the herd. I have a ton of competition out here in nor-cal.


I do the same thing on handrail; if I have a pg span over 10' I use maple for the rail, no wiggle over time.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-15-2009, 09:03 PM
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Thanks Scribbles,

I figured it might have been for the finish you can get on it spraying lacquer. The only glass doors I've done were for built-in china cabs and medicine cabs for painting by brush. I used poplar because it takes glue so well and I like very, very narrow muntins which don't leave much area for glue.

Hopefully, none of them have broken loose , but I'll never know since none of them were for me.

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post #8 of 10 Old 03-15-2009, 11:56 PM
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By the way i love your corner clamps. What do they use to grab? teath or just friction? I need to get a couple sets.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-16-2009, 11:04 AM
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They use teeth. But two on each side can be removed for hardwood in high visibility areas, like stairway landing windows where your eyes are a few inches from the casing edge when coming down the stairs.

The main objectives were speed and pressure.

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-16-2009, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docleon View Post
I am a hobbyist woodworker, so I don't pretend to know about professional cabinet making. I recently ordered a very expensive built in entertainment unit for my home with a paint finish. I was very surprised when the unit arrived that it was composed solely of cabinet grade plywood and veneered MDF. I was under the impression that high end cabinetry was made of solid wood.

WELCOME TO THE FORUM

Since you ordered the unit painted, I'm surprised that there was plywood at all. In some circles, "high end" may just be a reference to cost and not referenced to construction or the materials used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by docleon View Post
Is there truth to the argument that painted finish is better on coated MDF for wear and tear?

I'm not sure what you mean by "coated". Generally speaking, if finished properly, MDF will provide a good surface for painting or veneering. A painted finish can be damaged by being scratched or abrasions.






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