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Author Topic: Wood for Cabinets  (Read 2832 times)

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USSEnterprise

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Wood for Cabinets
« on: July 05, 2005, 07:53:13 pm »
I am trying to build my first cabinet, and it needs to be nice and cheap. Can I use flakeboard for the panels as opposed to sheets of pine? I plan on sanding it and lacquering it black.
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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2005, 08:18:15 pm »
I am trying to build my first cabinet, and it needs to be nice and cheap. Can I use flakeboard for the panels as opposed to sheets of pine? I plan on sanding it and lacquering it black.

I wouldn't, but you certainly have other choices than sheets of pine ... plywood, particle board, MDF, etc.

You might want to search on wood, plywood, MDF, etc ... you'll end up with loads of info.

Cheers.
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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2005, 08:40:07 pm »
If I remember correctly, the MDF was $20 a sheet when I built my cab at the end of last summer.  That's not too bad - 3 sheets = $60.   I don't know what flakeboard is or how much $$$, but it can't be much cheaper than $20 a pop?  Besides, the MDF is very strong and has a nice and smooth finish right out of the store.  Another idea would be to build a mini-cab (2 sheets instead of three), or even a tabletop/bartop ( 1 sheet?).  Or, find an old arcade cab someone doesn't want, they might give it to you if you just take it away.

Or sell some more of your stuff to get some more scratch!  8)

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2005, 09:14:20 pm »
I'm trying to sell stuff on the BST board but no one's takin. Flakeboard is around $10 for a 3/4" thick 4x8' sheet. It looks like it is made up of very small pieces of wood pressed together. I dont mind spending a few hours with a sander, so it dosen't matter if its smooth. I really do want to make a full size, and want to build it from scratch.
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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2005, 09:22:52 pm »
I'm trying to sell stuff on the BST board but no one's takin. Flakeboard is around $10 for a 3/4" thick 4x8' sheet. It looks like it is made up of very small pieces of wood pressed together. I dont mind spending a few hours with a sander, so it dosen't matter if its smooth. I really do want to make a full size, and want to build it from scratch.

I have never seen a cabinet made from flakeboard, presumably because it is not rigid enough (without substantial reinforcement, which would cost more), a pain to work with and I would think that it would be impossible to sand flat.

Cheers.

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2005, 09:30:44 pm »
for only 10ish dollars more, i would go for the MDF.  you don't want to have to worry as much about  durablilty, or of moisture being introduced and the wood sucking it up like a sponge...which is practically unrepairable.  MDF also seems to be the wood of choice for people building machines due to its affordabilty.  i would spend the extra 20-30$ and get MDF.

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2005, 09:37:05 pm »
I think what you're talking about is technically called "OSB" -- oriented strand board. It's a more economical board than plywood and is used extensively in the construction business as sheathing for roofs and walls and as a subfloor material.

Although it will hold fasteners well and is strong, it doesn't machine well (worse than regular plywood due to the random orientation of the chips) and it's difficult to get a good finish due to the varying fiber orientations and compositions on the outer surfaces.

I'd use plywood, personally. If you don't mind sanding, go for a lower grade (B-C rather than A-C) if you can find sheets without visible knots on the outer plies. You'll save some $ that way.

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2005, 12:30:36 pm »
If you mean OSB, I'm going to agree with those saying don't do it.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2005, 03:41:38 pm by Avery »
Avery

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2005, 01:38:43 pm »
(In my opinion)

If you think about it in perspective:

This big cabinet is going to be a piece of furniture in your home.

While you may slap one together using rediculously cheap materials, and save as much as $50, in the end you'll have a cabinet with a very poor texture that is even visible under flat black paint.

Also, it takes so much time to make one why not use atleast standard building materials?

The cabinet will be surrounded by your friends and family and they will notice. It may even become an heirloom!

How many Pac-Man machines are still around today after 20+ years? Why should your creation be any different?

I think the best low-cost solution is 5/8" MDF, reinforced (inside) with 2X4's. It'll be strong enough to last (without bowing) and smooth enough to have a nice texture.

Think about the future, if your cabinet is very nice it'll be there.

Dig it?
Craig


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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2005, 03:40:21 pm »
another vote for MDF.  You'ld be pretty much insane not to spend the few extra bucks.  Your cuts will be much smoother and straighter, and the sides will be nice and smooth.  You could sand and prime literally for days and it will never look as good as mdf.  Please trust us!

Wally

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2005, 04:39:24 pm »
I grabbed a piece of MDF for the top of my control panel (which is getting a nice CP Overlay from mamemarquees.com) and I really like this stuff.  It would make a nice painted surface.

I ended up going with a good grade particle board for everything else as I am laminating my cabinet and from with the guy at a large millworks company told me, he said that there is a reason that laminated countertops use particleboard and not MDF.  He said that the glue used to put the two together holds better on the slightly (very slightly) textured surface of the particle board and should yield a perfectly even laying of the laminate.  He said that MDF is nicer for painted items, but if you don't do the glue exactly right, it will get wavey, and the glue doesn't hold well to the top layers of the MDF and will tend to peel over time.  I don't know how long "over time" is, but it makes since that laminate and particle board go well together or they wouldn't make countertops that way.

If you go with MDF, which again, for painted application I highly recommend it over anything else, be sure to research the screws you are going to use to hold it all together.  I have heard that there are right and wrong screws to use with MDF. 

Spend the extra could of bucks and get MDF.

Good luck!

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2005, 04:47:39 pm »
Excellent advice re: particle board vs. MDF, Nick.

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2005, 05:18:03 pm »
Excellent advice re: particle board vs. MDF, Nick.

-- Chris

Thanks Chris.  I just want to share with others what I have learned.  We all had questions about all sorts of things at one point, and if I can help out somewhere, then I am giving back to the forum that has given so much to me in the past.

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Re: Wood for Cabinets
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2005, 09:01:12 pm »
Then it looks like MDF is the way to go, since I plan on lacquering it to the point where it looks like the monolith from 2001. I was just at Lowes and saw that its $22.95 for 3/4", 4x8' sheet. I figure I'll need 3 or 4 sheets, plus some 2x4s to support the monitor. I haven't decided whether I'll get a t-molding or just take a router to the edges. I still have two months. I just need some damn money. I just spent all my Mame money on an Imperial trackball, so I'll have to wait.
Proper capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse.