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Building material question

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I realize that MDF is used most often, but is there a cheaper, lighter way to built a cabinet and still have it structurally sound?

Cheaper?  Not that I'm aware of. Lighter?  Oh my, yes.  Plywood.

I use plywood specifically because it is lighter than MDF.  The bad news is that it is sometimes more expensive, and it is always harder to work with.  MDF is sort of the perfect material, weight aside.

Particle board is a lot lighter and cheaper, but it is also way less durable.


Particle board, in my expirience, is very durable, nearly indestructable, and holds coarse thread drywall screws great. The edges are'nt durable unless covered in t-molding, but we all use t-molding, yes ?

If I were to try building an arcade cabinet that would have to withstand terrible abuse it would certainly be made of 3/4" particle board.

Unfortuantely particle board *must* be laminated as the texture is so poor. You could laminate it with hardboard, the hardboard covers all the screws and makes the  cabinet look very nice, but that's more work than MDF, and I'm unsure of the weight difference.

Calling and interrogating your local lumber yards/home depots/lowes should help, I'm sure they know the weight of those sheets.

Can you dig it ?

I'm actually glad to hear someone speak highly of particle board.  I'm looking at restoring an original cabinet soon, and I believe it was built of particle board originally.  I have seen so many torn-up cabinets made of particle board that I worry that if I don't replace all the wood with something more durable, then it won't last much longer (since it is already 20 years old).  Your opinion of  particle board gives me renewed hope.



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