Cabinet grade plywood


I decided to build kitchen cabinets case from 3/4" hard maple plywood. I called several places and only one carries A-1 grade maple plywood. Others only B-1 grade and they tried to convince me it is perfectly suitable for furniture making. What grade do I really need? What other characteristics (i.e. number of plies and face veneer thickness) do I need to consider beyond grade? 3/4" plywood will be used for case side, bottom and top, 1/2" or 1/4" will be used for back. I will also probably use 1/2" or 3/4" plywood for drawer bottoms, all drawer sides will be solid maple. Also can anyone point me where I can buy inexpensively hard maple plywood?
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Alexander Galkin wrote:

IMO for kitchen cabinets it would be perfectly adequate--I prefer working w/ lumber core but veneer core will work, just more of a pita. More plys <==> higher cost/nicer working properties.
As for where you'll find it "inexpensively", you can't even find construction ply inexpensive these days...
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I just finished building my Kitchen cabinets...cases only as I'm having the maple doors built by a shop. I went with a prefinished birch that is very complimentary to maple and the big bonus that it's ready to go, no finishing. Comes in 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4. Finished on two sides except for the 1/4 is only on one side.
Matt
On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 10:14:29 -0500, "Alexander Galkin"

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Did they show you the difference between A and B grades?

1/2"
1/4 will be adequate. >I will also probably use 1/2" or 3/4" plywood

Most people would use 1/4 for the bottoms. If the drawers are really wide, you might consider something thicker. Also can anyone

Dream on... Jim

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http://www.statesind.com/market/zipcode.html
That's the dealer locator for States Industries, the maker of Appleply, a premium cabinet grade plywood. They will almost certainly be your best source for quality goods from other sources as well. In the SF Bay Area, I use www.pals4wood.com. No affiliation, etc.
What the other poster said about buying prefinished makes a whole lot of sense to me as well, particularly for the interior parts.
If you want inexpensive, you can hang out at the Borg, and wait for a rare sale on 3/4 maple ply, and then hope to purchase the correct number of sheets, before they are all picked over, dinged up from shuffling and warped from the stress of their very existence. I bought six sheets that way about 18-20 months ago, for less that $35 each. There are 1.5 or so left. That's not how I would go about buying material for my wife's kitchen remodel, however.
Patriarch
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Depending on where you are PALS is great (as another poster mentioned) if you are in the SF Bay Area.
Also, you might consider A-4 (if you can find it) or at least something lower than 1 for the back side. You can save significantly for the parts of the carcass that only need one good side.
BW
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1/2"
plywood
First thing I would tell you is that, IMHO, 3/4" is overkill for the cabinet carcases, and 1/2" is definitely overkill for the drawer bottoms. I built some cabinets recently with 1/2" for the whole cabinet and it worked out fine. One benefit (if you put the cabinet together with dadoes) is that you only have one setup for cutting the dadoes. That is, as long as the plywood is a consistent thickness. On the cabinets I made, I bought 1/2" meranti plywood from my local hardwood dealer. My only complaint about it was that the sheets varied in thickness, and I don't mean by a little bit. We're planning a new kitchen right now, and I'm angling to build those cabinets myself. (I don't think SWMBO is quite on board just yet). If I build them, I'll be sure to make sure they are of a reasonably-consistent thickness. One other suggestion...go with about 1/2" on the drawer sides. Without thinking, I went with 3/4" on my shop cabinets, and they just don't look right.
todd
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cabinet
built
out
For Euro hinges, etc., you will need to use 5/8 or 3/4 for the carcases.
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In addition, the price difference between 1/2 and 3/4 is not that much and since you're doing a rather limited run (1 kitchen's worth), it shouldn't be a big deal $wise.
Renata
On 28 Mar 2005 17:01:07 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@surfree.com wrote:

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A quick price check shows 3/4" to be 40-45% more than 1/2". Figure that a standard 24" wide base cabinet made completely with 1/2" will take almost an entire 4'x8' sheet. With the way plywood is priced these days, I'd think a whole kitchen might add up. I'd also throw in that it's 50% heavier than 1/2", which makes it more difficult to manage around the shop, especially full sheets. But hey, I'm not telling anyone not to use 3/4"...I just think for most kitchen cabinets it's over the top.
todd
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wrote:

OK. I hadn't priced ply in a while and didn't realize the price differential had grown so significantly. And I agree that 3/4's overkill but when the price difference wasn't significant I went w/ the 3/4".
But, 1/2" probably woulda made my struggle with those large wall corner cabinets a whale of a lot easier (the corner's weren't square (so much for french cleats), the walls were masonry w/furring strips, etc. They are now so securely fasted w/lags that they'll help support those corners while the rest of the house would fall down around them ;-)

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cabinet
Agree generally - am finishing up my first carcase where I used 1/2". The cost differential, here, is zip - so no advantage there. It is lighter - so some advantage there. But I did notice that the screws in my euro epoxy drawer slides went all the way thru the 1/2" Doh!
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