On 24 Nov 2006 19:55:23 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@HOTMAIL.COM wrote:
Cabinet-grade plywood will work. Actually, most hardwoods will be
fine, try to avoid softwoods as they will not stand up to hard use
Can you tell us why you think 'u' is a word in the English language?
Thanks for all the help so far and sorry if I almost started a flame
war Brian. My garage is climate controlled so humidity is not an issue
here. Gonna go to Home Depot Monday I think and look at the cabinet
Brian Henderson wrote:
It was interesting when our Home Depot first opened and I was building my work
shop their prices on construction lumber was on par ( a bit lower ) with the
local lumber supply places but the quality was FAR superior. HD was selling an
Alberta product that appeared to be at least a grade above the competitions BC
The HD 2x6 and 2x4s were perfect.
But few months later their lumber quality went down hill and now appears to be
of worse quality than the stuff carried by other local suppliers.
Right now Home Hardware has the good stuff. I actually found a lift of 2x4 and
1x6 spf that actually had pine and fir in the lift.
The yard guy let me hand select my 1x6s but would not allow me to hand select
the studs. Studs could only be refused if they were defective because
customers were ripping stacks apart for the fir.
So I came home with a lot of great almost clear 1x6 pine and some fir at
construction grade prices.
The thing is, there are two kinds of lumber yards, softwood yards and
hardwood yards. Home Depot is a softwood yard (to the extent that it's a
lumberyard at all)--they have a limited supply of hardwoods at not very
attractive prices--this is not specific to Home Depot but generally true
of softwood yards. Find a hardwood yard and you'll find hardwoods at a
lower price and with vastly better selection. They also are not
culturally uniform--some are set up mostly as wholesale yards, others are
mostly retail, some cater to specific fields, and so on. Generally they
sell lumber and plywood and not much else. They also tend not to have Web
sites, although this is changing--your best bet for finding them locally
is the Yellow Pages.
I'd not even call it wood, just a composite board. It has a place in life,
but not for cabinets. Over time it can sag, war, hinges pull out, etc.
Plywood, or low cost wood like pine is OK too. Or a combination of the two.
I'd use plywood. It is stable, strong, readily available, easily worked and
can be finished in a variety of ways.
MDF produces too much dust when you cut it and its corners and edges are
susceptible to damage after small bumps. Ply will not disintegrate when
small amounts of water are spilt on it.
A quick note, aside from wood you have to consider what you intend on
using them for. If you're using them for multiple tasks (storage,
workbench) then you may need a combination of materials. If you're
using them to store solvents or flammables you may even need vented
metal. You may need drawers or the ability to add drawers or shelves
to them. A good 'look before you leap' assessment goes a long way in
ensuring you have something that gives you the most bang for the buck.
You may be able to get away with some Pine 2x4's, nails and MDF tops or
may need something much more elaborate. I think the reply, MDF not
being a good material, is really with the understanding of it as a
vertical support material and it's screw holding ability (which it
sucks at for both), it's difficulty in milling (easily milled aside
from the handling weight, but the dust is potentially hazardous to your
health and really stinks up the garage). Also, when it gets wet it's
useless (i.e. dimensionally unstable) and if you spill anything on it
like oil it looks terrible.
On the other hand, for a solid flat surface it works well when covered
up with something like hardboard or laminate. I wouldn't span it over
to great a length because it's weight will likely make it sag. In most
cases, a good 3/4 ply or 3/4 ply + pine combination works well, is
inexpensive and easy to aquire as well (Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.). The
only trick is knowing how to work with sheet goods. Typically a good
cutting plan will help as you can get most home improvement stores to
make a few cuts for free.
If you intend on building cabinets that may also double as workstations
I'd consider reading Danny Proulx's book, 'Building Workshop
Workstations' (which I found very helpful/insightful) or other books
you might be able to check through at the library.
Hope this helps.
Today's MDF is much better than 20-30 years ago. If your furniture's are
going to be stored or used in a control environment where the temperature is
ambient all the time MDF is fine. However if your are going to build
cabinets for your unheated garage and intent to keep them for a long time I
do not recommend this material. Unless, after the cabinets are completed
you first prime them and apply a good quality paint. The longevity of this
material is subject to where you reside. I live near the Eastern coast and
the humidity and temperature vary a lot in my unheated garage. The top of
my radial arm saw is made with MDF and stored in my garage. Not a big deal
but after 15 years the top is starting to disintegrate and needs to be
The room cabinets that I have build for my three children 20 years ago with
MDF are fairing out good. Only the unpainted area of the MDF located in the
back and sides of the cabinets are starting to show sign of disintegration.
Let put it this way It will not hold a wood or metal screw too well?
At the time, we had three kids and they needed room furniture and MDF did
served me fairly
Flex your latent woodworker muscle a little. Look into paint-grade
maple plywood. 3/4" is about 15 dollars per sheet more than MDF... at
Home Despot. Finish the edges with a poplar face-frame. Just nail them
on with Titebond III and paint. Fill the nail-holes if you must. (I
suggest a 15 or 16 gauge nail if you're so equipped.. but a 2" 18 gauge
will hold reasonably well in the plywood I'm thinking of.)
With the cost of material around here, that is IMHO, the biggest bang
for the buck. Make a gang of manageable sized cabinets, optimizing the
dimensions you can rip out of a 4 x 8 and create boxes you can move,
filled with stuff, to another arrangement. Go modular. Don't make
really big cabinets.
To make MDF reasonably water resistant, you're doing a whole lot of
sealing, sanding and painting.. and those edges are sponges... You
don't want to go there...besides everything they told you in here is
true..stuff is dusty and heavy and smells bad.
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