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?
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...
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.
On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 10:14:29 -0500, "Alexander Galkin"
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.
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.
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
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.
On 28 Mar 2005 17:01:07 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
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
But hey, I'm not telling anyone not to use 3/4"...I just think for most
kitchen cabinets it's over the top.
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/
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
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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