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So I'm building a cabinet for some audio visual equipment and I'm on a tight budget. It will be painted and I'm wondering what's the cheapest wood or ply I can get away with that will still be solid?
Also what's a alternative material for raised panels? Thanks in advance.
 

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mdf is an option but not significantly cheaper than construction grade plywood, at least in my area. I'd use plywood, personally. It will be lighter, easier to work with (in my opinion) and provide better results for joinery and any hardware that needs to be screwed into the cabinet such as hinges for doors or cable holders etc.

I use a lot of "low grade" plywood and sand the surface carefully with 200 grit paper and it looks fine. Especially when painting it's the choice I would go with every time.
 

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I prefer GOOD MDF over cheap plywood. Cheap plywood can warp and delaminate. Cheap MDF on the other hand... don't get me started haha. But yeah I pay more for good MDF then average plywood.
 
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