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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys, I'm new to this forum, so apologize if I am posting in the wrong section.

I am planning to build ~70in tall storage cabinets in the garage against the wall. I am building a boxed frame on the floor of 2x4s so it stays off the ground a bit. I am not able to keep it off the ground completely due to spacing with the garage overhead rails. I will be building total of 5 cabinets, 70H, 28W, 22D.

My question is whether if I should use 1/2 or 3/4 in plywood? The prices of the plywood has gone up quite a bit and now I'm wondering if 1/2 inch plywood would be enough? Price wise, it is not a big difference. But the 3/4 plywood runs out of stock super quick and I have been keeping an eye on the stock.

If I end up painting the plywood white to match the garage paint, I will use 3/4in white Melamine with metal strips on each sides so it doesn't sag with the weight. But do you think the 1/2in plywood will hold decent amount of weight, vertically? They will be simple cabinets with doors only, no pull-out drawers. I already have 35mm hinges.

Thanks in advance :)
 

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yacht woodworker
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For the verticals, you can get away with 1/2". I'd use 3/4" on the doors and shelves. 1/4" on the backs. With using 1/2" for the sides, I'd recommend 1-2 fixed shelves per unit if possible to help keep the sides from flopping around.
 

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To save $$ and make it look good use 1/2" but add a face frame piece to the front to stiffen it. It gets rid of the plywood edge as well. If you use 1 1/2" front face piece then cut a 1" piece and attach it under the shelf at the back to stiffen that edge, the two will look matchy-matchy to the eye and the shelf will be stiff enough for paint cans.
 

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Melamine is a very economical way to go, especially if you're planning on painting. 3/4 melamine is pretty stiff stuff. 28" shelves should be fine, you can always add hardwood support strips.

In addition, if you're planning on a full length 70" high door, +1 on the melamine again. Plywood is very subject to warping.
 

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Melamine is a very economical way to go, especially if you're planning on painting. 3/4 melamine is pretty stiff stuff. 28" shelves should be fine, you can always add hardwood support strips.

In addition, if you're planning on a full length 70" high door, +1 on the melamine again. Plywood is very subject to warping.
[/QUOT
Hello guys, I'm new to this forum, so apologize if I am posting in the wrong section.

I am planning to build ~70in tall storage cabinets in the garage against the wall. I am building a boxed frame on the floor of 2x4s so it stays off the ground a bit. I am not able to keep it off the ground completely due to spacing with the garage overhead rails. I will be building total of 5 cabinets, 70H, 28W, 22D.

My question is whether if I should use 1/2 or 3/4 in plywood? The prices of the plywood has gone up quite a bit and now I'm wondering if 1/2 inch plywood would be enough? Price wise, it is not a big difference. But the 3/4 plywood runs out of stock super quick and I have been keeping an eye on the stock.

If I end up painting the plywood white to match the garage paint, I will use 3/4in white Melamine with metal strips on each sides so it doesn't sag with the weight. But do you think the 1/2in plywood will hold decent amount of weight, vertically? They will be simple cabinets with doors only, no pull-out drawers. I already have 35mm hinges.

Thanks in advance :)
1/2" ply is fine for the sides. I agree with others that face frame construction is the way to go. If you decide on 3/4" ply then you can do frameless boxes, but at least 2 locations, usually the top of the cab and bottom shelf, should be set in dado's or rabbets for integrity. A mid shelf would be a plus. For doors I would do simple frame and panel doors. AT 70" high you will need at least two mid rails. For panels 1/4" ply will be fine. If your garage is damp or subject to humidity I would stay away from mdf or melamine products. They do not play well with moisture .For the 2x4 base I would make one base for all the cabinets. That way you can shim and level it perfectly and setting the boxes on the will be a breeze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Melamine is a very economical way to go, especially if you're planning on painting. 3/4 melamine is pretty stiff stuff. 28" shelves should be fine, you can always add hardwood support strips.

In addition, if you're planning on a full length 70" high door, +1 on the melamine again. Plywood is very subject to warping.

Thanks to everyone for all the input. As I was checking the plywood stocking at Home Depot and Lowe's, they are out of 1/2in and 3/4in plywood, again lol.

I initially thought of building the cabinets with White Melamine, but I came to realize that Melamine isn't strong enough to hold pocket hole screws. I know Melamine is pretty stiff; I have made a cooking table for my mom and that thing is sturdy as hell.

Is it possible to make tall cabinets out of Melamine entirely or just stick to Plywood?

Also, since you mentioned that plywood might warp at 70in tall doors, should I up the doors to 3/4, would that make any difference or not at all?

I'm very new to woodworking, so I have not come across the idea of adding face-frames. I will need to check out how to add those things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Disregard me mentioning using Melamine to build the cabinets. It won't hold the screws properly and if I mess up, it'll ruin things.

What things can I do to prevent tall plywood doors/walls from warping? Would the paint both the inside, outside, and the end grains help? Any recommendations for the type of paint? or Stain? Which will have better quality or extend the longevity of the plywood?

I was thinking to add metal battens on the shelves and the back end of the plywood grain which will be facing against the wall. Will those help from preventing the plywood from warping?
 

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Smart and Cool
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Disregard me mentioning using Melamine to build the cabinets. It won't hold the screws properly and if I mess up, it'll ruin things.

What things can I do to prevent tall plywood doors/walls from warping? Would the paint both the inside, outside, and the end grains help? Any recommendations for the type of paint? or Stain? Which will have better quality or extend the longevity of the plywood?

I was thinking to add metal battens on the shelves and the back end of the plywood grain which will be facing against the wall. Will those help from preventing the plywood from warping?
I've built a lot of cabinets out so Melamine with screws, what are you doing that would cause the screws not to hold?
 

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Thanks to everyone for all the input. As I was checking the plywood stocking at Home Depot and Lowe's, they are out of 1/2in and 3/4in plywood, again lol.
I ran into the same problem last week. I needed 20 sheets of 3/4" plywood and all of the Mernads/Home Depot/Lowe's around me didn't have any. I checked with my local lumber yard and was able to fill my order. If you have any non-big-box stores around you give them a call and check their inventory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've built a lot of cabinets out so Melamine with screws, what are you doing that would cause the screws not to hold?
I am trying to build 70in tall garage storage cabinets. I wouldn't mind building with Melamine, if possible. It is at half the price of plywood. Plus, it would save me a lot of hassle of painting since I have White Melamine readily available.

My plan is 70 in tall, 21-22 in deep cabinets. Each one 28 in wide. They would be on the ground. My plan was to have them rest on a frame of 2x4s on the ground, but was told and read online that I can't use pocket hole screws with Melamine as it doesn't hold screws that well. The shelves aren't a concern. Just how well will melamine hold screws and how can I make the base stable.

My only concern is the bottom portion and for them to be stable so it doesn't shift to either side.

Another option I thought of was to include the base frame of 2x4s on the inside of the cabinet and let the Melamine touch the ground. That way, I can screw from the outside of Melamine to the lumber frame sitting on the inside. And I can use plywood panels for the back support and have good strength with screws and attach a 1/4in sheet to close it up.

Another concern with Melamine I have is the door hinges. The screws with the hinges are pretty small. I can attach 4 hinges per door. I have Full Overlay Frameless soft-close hinges. I bought the 40 piece package and it ran me only $75. Total of 5 cabinets = 10 doors = 40 hinges. Each hinge has 2 screws. I bought them from Amazon and it doesn't have their load capacity listed. I am providing the link below:

I also might add a reinforcement brace/bracket running from the back of the cabinet to the wall studs to keep it in place. With the cemented base on the wall, I will have a gap between the cabinet back to the wall stud of ~2.25 inches, so I will need a reinforcement brace/bracket that long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Forgot one more thing haha.

Due to the push and pull the doors will receive, will the hinges screws get lose over time in Melamine? I mean at 70 inches tall, the doors will be pretty heavy. Each door is to be ~13.75 inches wide and 70 inches tall.
 

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Smart and Cool
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I wouldn't use pocket holes on melamine either, screw through the sides, or the bottoms, counter bore the holes slightly and fill the screw holes with white silicone.

Same thing for attaching to the base, screw through the bottom into the base, fill the holes with white silicone.

Do not put the melamine onto the concrete, it doesn't do well if the cut edges get wet.

Hinge screws will work fine, you might consider pre-drilling the screw holes.

A "brace" or nail strip at the top at least would be needed to affix the cabinet to the wall. If your shelves are fixed then you could have multiple strips supporting the back of the shelves.

How do you plan to edge the front, cut edge of the melamine?

A pic of where you are installing would be helpful...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wouldn't use pocket holes on melamine either, screw through the sides, or the bottoms, counter bore the holes slightly and fill the screw holes with white silicone.

Same thing for attaching to the base, screw through the bottom into the base, fill the holes with white silicone.

Do not put the melamine onto the concrete, it doesn't do well if the cut edges get wet.

Hinge screws will work fine, you might consider pre-drilling the screw holes.

A "brace" or nail strip at the top at least would be needed to affix the cabinet to the wall. If your shelves are fixed then you could have multiple strips supporting the back of the shelves.

How do you plan to edge the front, cut edge of the melamine?

A pic of where you are installing would be helpful...

So you are saying to drill pilot holes and put white silicone in the pilot holes before putting the screws in? Not sure if I am understanding that part correctly.
Yes, I forgot about that part that if water gets in thru the edges, it will not end well.

I might do a few cabinets with fixed shelves and a few with removable shelves. Just to have some flexibility in case I have a large item to store. And for the shelves, I might use lumber strips as support for the shelves on each side for extra stability and weight-bearing capability.

Edge the front? Not sure if I'm following that question. But I will use the edge banding melamine tape to cover the edges. Or is there a better way/option available?

I have attached the pictures for the location of the installation.

Also, regarding my 3rd picture, that is another option I thought of to use melamine and build two bases lol. The bottom stained piece that you see will be on the bottom so that melamine doesn't touch the floor and the edges are concealed. I can use 1/4 in plywood as a "floorboard." Then let the melamine sit on top of that floorboard panel and install the frame of 2x4s on the inside walls of melamine, so I can insert screws from outside of melamine into the lumber. And I can use some clear silicone around the base edges of melamine to the 1/4in plywood base so no water gets in the edges.
If that makes sense what I'm trying to display in the pic? lol

I would have a total of 5 cabinets. I have a tool cart, floor jack, pressure washer, etc to store as well. So my setup is as follows - starting from the door (right of the pic) towards the garage (left):
Having 2 cabinets then leave roughly 50 inches of empty space for my tool car, washer, etc, and then have 3 more cabinets reaching the garage door. And will place a sheet panel on top acting as "bridge" so I can store things like empty cardboard boxes, luggage, etc.

I have exact measurements written down and drawn on a paper.
 

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Smart and Cool
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So you are saying to drill pilot holes and put white silicone in the pilot holes before putting the screws in? Not sure if I am understanding that part correctly.
Yes, I forgot about that part that if water gets in thru the edges, it will not end well.

I might do a few cabinets with fixed shelves and a few with removable shelves. Just to have some flexibility in case I have a large item to store. And for the shelves, I might use lumber strips as support for the shelves on each side for extra stability and weight-bearing capability.

Edge the front? Not sure if I'm following that question. But I will use the edge banding melamine tape to cover the edges. Or is there a better way/option available?

I have attached the pictures for the location of the installation.

Also, regarding my 3rd picture, that is another option I thought of to use melamine and build two bases lol. The bottom stained piece that you see will be on the bottom so that melamine doesn't touch the floor and the edges are concealed. I can use 1/4 in plywood as a "floorboard." Then let the melamine sit on top of that floorboard panel and install the frame of 2x4s on the inside walls of melamine, so I can insert screws from outside of melamine into the lumber. And I can use some clear silicone around the base edges of melamine to the 1/4in plywood base so no water gets in the edges.
If that makes sense what I'm trying to display in the pic? lol


I would have a total of 5 cabinets. I have a tool cart, floor jack, pressure washer, etc to store as well. So my setup is as follows - starting from the door (right of the pic) towards the garage (left):
Having 2 cabinets then leave roughly 50 inches of empty space for my tool car, washer, etc, and then have 3 more cabinets reaching the garage door. And will place a sheet panel on top acting as "bridge" so I can store things like empty cardboard boxes, luggage, etc.

I have exact measurements written down and drawn on a paper.
No, drill pilot holes, screw case together, fill visible screw with silicone(if it matters to you).

For fixed, or adjustable shelves you will likely need support at the front and rear sides to keep the melamine from sagging.

Edge banding will work fine, you could also do traditional face frames if you wish.

I would build the base, set the box on top of it, and screw through the bottom of the box into the base, fill the screw holes with silicone if it matters to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
No, drill pilot holes, screw case together, fill visible screw with silicone(if it matters to you).

For fixed, or adjustable shelves you will likely need support at the front and rear sides to keep the melamine from sagging.

Edge banding will work fine, you could also do traditional face frames if you wish.

I would build the base, set the box on top of it, and screw through the bottom of the box into the base, fill the screw holes with silicone if it matters to you.
Got it. No, it doesn't really matter if the screw heads are exposed. But I might change my mind on that later. Not a priority atm.

Yes, for the shelves, I was thinking to add metal battens on the front and back to prevent sagging.

I don't think I will be adding a face frame. It'll become more complex for me lol.

Could you explain the base and the box a little more in detail pls? I wasn't able to picture the idea, so I got a little lost there. How and what should I use for the base and the box, as per the materials and the size. Thanks.

Or if you happen to show a picture of a similar setup of the base and the box you mentioned, that would be much easier for me to comprehend :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ran into the same problem last week. I needed 20 sheets of 3/4" plywood and all of the Menards/Home Depot/Lowe's around me didn't have any. I checked with my local lumber yard and was able to fill my order. If you have any non-big-box stores around you give them a call and check their inventory.
I did call a few other home improvement locations and either they are out of stock as well or only carry the CDX plywood of 1/2 inch. I know I did ask if I can use 1/2 in, but I might just use 3/4 inch. The cost difference is literally ~$50-70 lol.
 

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Thanks to everyone for all the input. As I was checking the plywood stocking at Home Depot and Lowe's, they are out of 1/2in and 3/4in plywood, again lol.

I initially thought of building the cabinets with White Melamine, but I came to realize that Melamine isn't strong enough to hold pocket hole screws. I know Melamine is pretty stiff; I have made a cooking table for my mom and that thing is sturdy as hell.

Is it possible to make tall cabinets out of Melamine entirely or just stick to Plywood?

Also, since you mentioned that plywood might warp at 70in tall doors, should I up the doors to 3/4, would that make any difference or not at all?

I'm very new to woodworking, so I have not come across the idea of adding face-frames. I will need to check out how to add those things.
It will be difficult to make a perfectly flat 70" door. That said, a door that size will likely be carried by a 4-5 hinges. Being that you are going frameless, most of your good quality hinges (Blum, KV, Salice, Grass) are adjustable in 6 directions allowing you to tweak the door to minimize the appearance of an out of flat door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It will be difficult to make a perfectly flat 70" door. That said, a door that size will likely be carried by a 4-5 hinges. Being that you are going frameless, most of your good quality hinges (Blum, KV, Salice, Grass) are adjustable in 6 directions allowing you to tweak the door to minimize the appearance of an out of flat door.
Adjusting the doors shouldn't be a problem with the frameless hinges. Plus, a minor gap here and there won't bug me. I will end up with minimum of 4 hinges per door. If I go with Melamine, I might add one more and make it 5 hinges per door for more durability. If I end up with Plywood, I think 4 are plenty. My only concern with melamine is the stability from the ground base.

One noob question about the hinges:
The hinges pack came with a small white caps thing. I could not find a use for them. What are they used for? At first, I thought they were screw anchors lol but I still can't come up with any ideas what they might be for. The instructions manual that came with the hinges doesn't give any explanation when and where to use them.
Or are those to cover up the screw heads?
 

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Whoever said melamine doesn't hold screws that is not correct, it is an industry standard to screw melamine boxes together.

Re: pocket screws, FWIW, I've done literally thousands of pocket screws in melamine with never an issue. Put the backs on immediately.

The key is buy commercial quality 3/4 melamine, use coarse screws and do NOT use an impact driver & you'll be fine.

@Roop: If you're going to butt joint and screw, you can cover the screw head with a stick on cover disk (Fast Cap) & it will practically disappear :)

Re: hinges, they sound like ones that press into 5mm system holes (shelf pin holes). They can be removed and standard screws used. What brand are they?

428235
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Whoever said melamine doesn't hold screws that is not correct, it is an industry standard to screw melamine boxes together.

Re: pocket screws, FWIW, I've done literally thousands of pocket screws in melamine with never an issue. Put the backs on immediately.

The key is buy commercial quality melamine, use coarse screws and do NOT use an impact driver & you'll be fine.

@Roop: If you're going to butt joint and screw, you can cover the screw head with a stick on cover disk (Fast Cap) & it will practically disappear :)

Re: hinges, they sound like ones that press into 5mm system holes (shelf pin holes). They can be removed and standard screws used. What brand are they?
Not that Melamine doesn't hold screws well in general, but with pocket holes. I have made a table for my mom for the garage with white melamine and the screws are just fine. I used the drill with low clutch speed, so the screw won't be running free in there. But it won't receive the same beating or movement as the large oversized cabinets/doors. My only concern is how to make the base strong and how do I attach the melamine sheets to the base and how should I build a base? Shoot Summ mentioned above the base and the box - I'm not sure what does that means, tbh. I need to see a pic to understand that concept haha.

I'm not really concerned about the exposed screws. But if I want to cover them, I can either use the cover disk, you mentioned, or apply white silicone.

I did not know that melamine had different grades? I did a google search and could not find any "commercial grade" melamine sheets.

I bought these hinges:
 
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