MDF or Veneer Core?

Hiya Folks, Well I'm showing my ignorance in regards to plywood. I'm building a dresser and was thinking of using ply on the two side panels (set into grooves on the rails/legs) to minimize movement. I plan to have the drawer webs dado'ed into the panels (bout 1/8" or so). Anyway, I called for prices on the ply and they ask me if I want MDF or Veneer core. Well the MDF is cheaper. I searched around and what I see between the two is the MDF will weigh more but the Veneer core will probably take screws better. For only a couple of panels roughly 18x26 the difference in weight seems a non issue to me. I do plan to anchor the webs to the side with a screw through an elongated hole. With that in mind, should I really be considering the Veneer core or does it really matter? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Cheers, cc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Today, when I look at some high priced furniture and cabinets I noticed that lots of manufacturers are using MDF core in lieu of veneer and solid wood. Even when looking at expensive dining table it takes an expert to find that the table top is made with MDF core framed with solid wood. The veneer used in the core of some plywood is questionable and contains lots of void. My preference based on the furniture I have made is solid wood than real hardwood plywood. By using MDF if will give you good results and build up your pride while maintaining your budget. Than when you have more time, tools and money solid hardwood could be the material you like best.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks. I don't mind using solid wood (it would be cheaper than buying a full sheet of ply only to use part of it) but I was hoping to eliminate the possibility of expansion across the panel and messing with my drawer webs. I may reconsider using ply however. I won't glue the dado and a single screw in the middle with an enlarged hole should do the trick I would think. Oh, and maybe spaceballs in the frame. I'm using 3/4" for the panels. Whatcha think? Cheers, cc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I ran into much the same challenge, a while back. My plywood dealer indicated that the MDF core was more consistently the same thickness, generally smoother, and most frequently had better veneers. This on thinner sheets such as those I use for panels in rail & stile cabinet doors.
So I buy MDF for thinner panels, and scratch my head some for the thicker ones, usually coming home with veneer core for 1/2 & 3/4.
Do you have a dealer you can trust? Mine's worth a bunch to me.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

These will be 3/4" thick. Thinking of just doing solid hardwood but don't want the thing to bugger up with expansion. See my response above as to how I may do the solid wood approach. Cheers and thanks for the inputs. cc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For my work, I have to see whether the panels are worth the fussing with solid wood. And for most of what I do, a 3/4" thick panel is overkill, except for kitchen & bath cabinet bodies. YMMV, and likely does. I haven't gotten into the fancy sideboards I;ve seen floating around here and abpw lately. Not yet, at least. Still have a regular job to attend to most days, thank goodness.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Patriarch" <> I ran into much the same challenge, a while back. My plywood dealer

That was the exact same advice that I got from my Hardwood dealer, who is also a cabinet maker, whom I trust.
BTW, the application was also 1/4" panels set into cabinet doors.
-Steve
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Production furniture manufacturers have been using the veneer over MDF for many years. Does that answer your question? Do you want production quality or better quality. The MDF certainly works easily and is stable, until water spills and sets on it. Plywood core will hold up marginally better if you think a liquid may seep through the finish or into a joint.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

1. MDF is glued together sawdust. It is weak. It doesn't hold fasteners well.
2. Veneer core is glued together sheets of thin wood. It is strong. It doesn't hold fasteners in ends/sides well. Core quality varies, depends on what you spec.
3. Lumber core is glued up lumber. It is strong. It holds fasteners well except in the end grain.
All are overlaid with "pretty" veneer (of varying quality) that has been sliced with a microtome :)
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.