What Wood to use for Cabinets - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-23-2016, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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What Wood to use for Cabinets

Hi guys, my first post here.

I'm an ameature woodworker and I've made cabinets and tables etc but always out of veneered and stained plywood. I want to make some white painted Shaker style cabinets and I'd like to know what type of wood to use ? Also what's the best finish to use?
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-23-2016, 08:19 AM
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It depends on what is available in your area. You could use birch or maple plywood and SPF grade of whitewood at the box store for the faceframes however select wood with very tiny knots. The bigger the knot the more likely it will bleed sap through your paint. A better would would be poplar. It's pretty much free of knots but the knots if solid don't bleed sap like conifer wood does. You just don't want to use a wood like ash or oak that has an open grain. You can still see the grain pattern through the paint unless you do a lot of work filling the grain
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-24-2016, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve, yes I'll be using plywood for the base, I am trying to decide on the wood for the doors. I don't want to use pine for the doors because I think it's too soft, is poplar harder?
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-24-2016, 09:39 AM
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Poplar is a hardwood and I like the color of it - but it can have a slight green tint to it and darker brown color all in the same plank. So are you going to stain or paint it?

The Shakers were not afraid to use pine in their builds - they used whatever was available. Today, unlike the Shakers, we have wood prep solvents to deal with the bleeding of knots. So don't rule out anything although most cabinets are made of the hardwoods.

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-24-2016, 01:01 PM
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Like Steve said - Birch or Maple from the big box store. In my area, I prefer the Birch made by Colombia Products or something like that - made in the USA 3/4 inch thick.

For face frames, I prefer poplar. I use pocket hole construction to assemble the frames.

This latest project is a coffee bar for my mom. I used 3/4 inch prefinished birch for the carcase. She wanted bead board, so after assembling the carcase, I added the beadboard to each end, then trimmed it with poplar. The doors are shaker style with poplar and a 3/8 inch mdf flat panel. The raised portion is on the inside.

Good luck.
Hope you find this info helpful.
Mike
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-25-2016, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to paint the doors and use prefinished plywood for the carcass but probably frameless. Nice cabinet MT, did you spray it or brush on the paint? What paint did you use?
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-25-2016, 09:41 AM
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If yo go frameless you will need to cover the end grain of the plywood. So either use the iron on strips or go with a small frame. I built a country hutch using plywood and pine. The only hardwood are the beaded board in the back and I used cheery flooring boards.
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Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-25-2016, 01:03 PM
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I'm going to paint the doors and use prefinished plywood for the carcass but probably frameless. Nice cabinet MT, did you spray it or brush on the paint? What paint did you use?
Thanks. I brushed it on. Too cold to spray outside.

I used Zinser primer and then a coat of Benjamin Moore Impervo in Satin Finish.

Here are some pictures of the cabinets I built for mom's tiny kitchen. Same paint. These were sprayed with a HVLP sprayer.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-26-2016, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Wow nice work guys!
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-26-2016, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJF View Post
I'm going to paint the doors and use prefinished plywood for the carcass but probably frameless. Nice cabinet MT, did you spray it or brush on the paint? What paint did you use?
Are you going to use plywood for the doors too? Shaker style doors use rail and stile construction and I believe the edge holding strength of plywood would not be enough to keep it all together. The panel part could be plywood or even MDF if painted but the rails and stiles I would make out of maple. Poplar is too soft for the abuse.
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-26-2016, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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No I'm only going to use plywood for the carcass, I was trying to decide on what to use for the doors. I'm going to go with maple and MDF for the panel. I'm looking forward to it because most of what I've done in the past has been all veneered and stained plywood for everything.
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-26-2016, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a few things I've made:
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-26-2016, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
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No I'm only going to use plywood for the carcass, I was trying to decide on what to use for the doors. I'm going to go with maple and MDF for the panel. I'm looking forward to it because most of what I've done in the past has been all veneered and stained plywood for everything.
Maple would be a good choice for the doors. It would be much harder than poplar. Be sure to seal the MDF really good. The least bit of water that gets to the panel and it will ruin the door for you. Also MDF tends to have a high concentration of formaldehyde at the surface. It will paint better if you sand it before putting it in the door. Paint sometimes doesn't like the formaldehyde.
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-26-2016, 07:54 PM
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Love that table!!
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-27-2016, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-27-2016, 08:51 AM
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Nice work AJF - creative use of plywood.

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-27-2016, 02:54 PM
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". . . . SPF grade of whitewood at the big box store.. . .. "

Because the mechanical characteristics and performance of these woods are so similar, we don't make any working distinction. SPF literally means: could be Spruce, could be Pine, could be Fir (Abies sp.)

I can't think of a reliable reason to use MDF for anything in a kitchen. However, in a total demolition reno of a kitchen, the MDF bodies of the cupboards sure came down in a hurry.
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-28-2016, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Ok then, plywood for the panels it is .
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