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post #1 of 9 Old 01-04-2016, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Plywood recommendation

First cabinet project... very little selection in my area. Cabinets will not be visible on outside (walls on 3 sides next to fireplace)... only inside surface visible. I am debating whether to use unfinished birch or some prefinished material. For unfinished, I have A1 Birch at a couple lumber yards and C3 birch at a couple other lumber yards and also at HD and Lowes. My only source of prefinished is special order from one lumber yard, and they only have birch in 3/4 C2 2-sides and 1/4 B4 1-side... so my cabinet back would be B grade and sides C grade... they don't have 3/4 in B or 1/4 in C... strange.

I guess my main question is... for interior of cabinets, is C grade plenty, or do I want B grade? Seems like paying for A is a waste of money.

If the answer is that C is fine, then is it worth the cost to use prefinished and special order, or should I just go to HD and grab 3/4 unfinished and a spray can of poly for the interior?

I'd appreciate any feedback.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-04-2016, 10:25 PM
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If the plywood won't be seen any grade plywood would be alright. What you need to look for is American made plywood. Any Chinese plywood I've used has a combination problems like thin face veneers and the plywood delaminating altogether. The last kitchen I built using Chinese plywood I had to rebuild two of the cabinet because of the plywood delaminating. The American made plywood made by Columbia Forest Produces isn't without defects. They tend to not repair core veneers and put the face veneer over hollow spots. You have to tap your fingernails all over the sheet to make sure your not putting this defect where it will show. When finished the veneer over a void will wrinkle up and show. You can't see it until you stain or finish it. I don't know about Lowe's but Home Depot sells Purebond plywood which is made by Columbia Forest Products.

Unless all of your parts including the back is pre-finished I don't think that would help you. When working with prefinished material you will need to dado everywhere you will have parts join in order to use glue.

Rattle can poly is alright for small projects but I wouldn't attempt to finish a cabinet with it. Either get a cheap sprayer or brush the finish.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-04-2016, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

For interior I was going to use WB poly. Face frame and doors will be painted.

The interior of the cabinet will be the only side seen. Is C grade OK for this or will I be disappointed with the interior once C grade is finished with WB poly?
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtech1 View Post
Thanks!

For interior I was going to use WB poly. Face frame and doors will be painted.

The interior of the cabinet will be the only side seen. Is C grade OK for this or will I be disappointed with the interior once C grade is finished with WB poly?
What purpose will the cabinets serve? Wall mounted or floor.
For our kitchen, I used 3/4 birch prefinished for the sides and 1/2 inch for the rear. Probably overkill, but they turned out nice. And no finishing needed for the insides!

I have also used the birch from HD for a kitchen. The customer insisted on the birch and he painted them. I think that stuff is C2 (good one side).

The prefinished looks more professional. You may or may not need that look.

Good luck.
Mike

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1) Pefinished inside, stained frame
2) Unfinished birch with painted frame and doors
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 12:00 PM
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jtech1 - you might want to put your location in your profile. A fellow forum member might suggest a good place to purchase the ply you are inquiring about. If you were close to me (just south of Pittsburgh) I would have suggested you check with Brookside Lumber, a local supplier that carries some of the best ply I have found. Unfortunately most folks around here know the name but have no idea the quality ply and hardwoods they stock.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Base cabs. I have NO place within an hour that stocks anything prefinished. And Even though HD and others can order, they claim there is a minimum order. No Baltic birch either. Is C grade PureBond from HD going to be adequate for base cabinet interior? Can can brush or spray on shellac. Should I go out of my way to get B or A grade for better interior or would B/A grade mainly be for exposed exterior use?
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-05-2016, 05:45 PM
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Most folks are not as fussy about the insides of their cabinets as they are the outside. That alone makes it hard to suggest your wood type for you. I have no idea of the look that YOU want to achieve. A lot of woodworking (cabinet building especially) is in the eye of the beholder. Some like knots in their face frames, some want clear. Still others don't care for face frames at all. Some want baby skin smooth interiors and some would be fine with D grade for hidden parts. I've even seen C D ply used for rustic cabinets (not my cup of tea, but...).

Any of what you have proposed CAN make an acceptable cabinet. But no matter which material you choose, examine both sides of every sheet carefully. Some sheets are much better than others on the B or C side. I have scored some fine looking two sided plywood at the big box stores, but I've also had to dig deep to find it on occasion. Take a friend with you.

Cheers,
Mark
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 10:31 AM
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Plywood recommendation

I use 20 mm shop birch for just about all my cabs. Not to bad on the price and the boats aren't to bad to work around. Sometimes the are no boats at all , depends on what they get in. For the back usually a 6 mm maple.

I prefinish the interior with WB poly , I like General finishes Enduro
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-06-2016, 03:53 PM
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I used 20 mm also.
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