About ten years ago DixiePly (for our northern friends, they are a manufact
urer and distributor of sheet goods) had a big open house for contractors,
cabinet makers, and anyone else that was interested in sheet goods when the
y opened a new warehouse.
I spent many hours drinking iced tea and talking with different reps about
I saw a LOT of things there that I have never seen or heard of since. I don
't know how much of those products are available, how many are affordable,
or how many of them are in actual use.
I have always been surprised how little the building industry takes advanta
ge of the engineered sheet goods that are available. When I was there at t
he open house, I saw 3/4" plywood that had an aluminum layer in the middle,
one that was made to be cut with a regular carbide blade. I saw 1/2" shee
t goods that were made to be structurally sound for engineered applications
such as framing backer needed when framing to hang equipment, etc.
I saw all kinds of laminations... mind blowing stuff that I thought was goi
ng to change our industry. They showed me a 3/4" chipboard (not an OSB) th
at was going to be used in heavy roof installation such as on concrete tile
s that allowed the rafters to be on 24" centers, so as a structural compone
I saw some excellent cabinet making products that were intended to be very
affordable for the cabinet shops. They had some excellent products that we
re made for today's painted cabinets, and most of them had a high water res
istance coefficient making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. They eve
n had an OSB that was guaranteed not to deteriorate if left uncovered in th
e elements for 90 days that was to be used as decking, framing gussets, pla
Where did all that stuff go? Sometimes when you and Karl post about the av
ailability of products in your area I feel like I am in a third world count
ry down here. I have never seen (sometimes never heard) of the stuff you g
uys come up with, and it is frustrating. I really like the idea of that sh
eet goods MDF you guys were talking about a while back as it would be PERFE
CT for my repairs on roofs. No one around here has heard of it, certainly n
ot my contracting cohorts.
I will be interested in what you think of the MDO. I used some a few years
ago for an outdoor cabinet I made, and then cut a bunch up for a guy that
was making custom signs that were to have backfilled lettering, the fields
stained and then finished with poly. It was a very hard and resinous mater
ial, but it cut like a dream and the cut pieces just felt really heavy comp
ared to plywood.
I am disappointed that we don't have more advanced products here that I cou
ld take fine advantage of in my area of construction/repair. I will be int
erested to hear your thoughts on today's version of the MDO you bought.