OSB Cabinet Carcasses

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Forum topic by brianlsu43 posted 01-20-2010 06:59 PM 13434 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View brianlsu43's profile


18 posts in 2471 days

01-20-2010 06:59 PM

I am looking to build cabinets for my garage and do not have much money to spend.

I was kicking around the idea of building the carcasses using OSB. I would use pine for the faces.

Has anyone ever tried this? My plan would be to attach using pocket hole screws.

Anyone have another cost efficient alternative?

Thanks for your help.

19 replies so far

View Alexander's profile


192 posts in 2529 days

#1 posted 01-20-2010 07:10 PM

Another thought is recycle cabinets. I got 3 kitchen unit from an appartment house that was converted to condo. I also got other cabinets that I have used in the garage. The appartment cabinets went into my wood shop and the leftovers in the pole building. The amount of work to be done with used cabinets depends on their shape. I have in my garage better cabinets than some folks have in their kitchen.


-- John at Sugarloft Mountain........Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8087 posts in 2847 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 07:41 PM

IMO, OSB wouldn’t hold pocket screws. OSB is not structural.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 2816 days

#3 posted 01-20-2010 07:46 PM

I built some of my shop cabinets using particle board several years ago and they remain in use today and have been “full” for nearly all of that time. I have no idea just how much weight is in there but I don’t want to try and hold it up.
I used rabbet joints at the corners reinforced with straight-in screws. so far, nothing has come apart. Of course now I am thinking about it so will be listening for that “thud” out in the shop if one of them falls off of the wall…..

-- Tom Hintz,

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#4 posted 01-20-2010 07:48 PM

John’s idea is probably the best and least expensive. I have both. Ones I built and some really nice oak cabinets I got after my son’s kitchen remodel. The ones I built were from chipboard with some kind of Melamin type surface. Got them cheap at a home improvement center. The frame and panel doors were made with inexpensive pine frames and 1/4” chipboard panels I got free which had been used for packing. I made the frames with a mitered half-laps, very strong and look good. They have served me well the last 4 years.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3091 days

#5 posted 01-20-2010 07:53 PM

Recycle cabinets is the best idea, OSB is not strong enough for cabinets.

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2618 days

#6 posted 01-20-2010 07:58 PM

MDF works good for the garage. OSB may be a little too flaky, plus screws don’t hold in it all that well. MDF is easier to work and far less dusty. Another thing you can do, is go around to your BBS’s and look in their cabinet return bins. I have picked cabinets up for my garage for $10 to $15 dollars just because they had a bad scratch or a slightly crushed corner. I picked up one for $5 dollars cause the bach was punched by a fork lift. I had a piece of Luan 1/4” ply in the shop and replaced the back. Like Alexander said, there are many ways toget cabinets for the shop.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Stewy's profile


33 posts in 2509 days

#7 posted 01-20-2010 08:12 PM

Here in Iowa 3/4” MDF is $20/sheet and 3/4” Luan plywood is $25. I prefer the plywood it holds pocket holes and other screws the best. I use standard or better 1×3 “pine for the face fronts as you can pick through the wood. You can stain them or paint them. I have never had any luck on used cabinets at the time I have wanted them. You can build them to suite your needs.

-- Dennis in Iowa "You can have 30 years experiance or 1 year 30 times!!!!"

View TheDane's profile


4930 posts in 3081 days

#8 posted 01-20-2010 11:05 PM

OSB won’t cut it.

If you have a ‘Habitat for Humanity ReStore’ in your area you might check with them. My neighbor picked up a heck of deal on cabinets (base and wall) for his basement at our local HFH ReStore.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View brianlsu43's profile


18 posts in 2471 days

#9 posted 01-21-2010 12:02 AM

Thanks guys. Its good to get some advise prior to starting this and then realize it wont work.

I have been on the look out for used/salvaged cabinets for some time now. Just haven’t been at the right place at the right time.

Thanks again.

View cstrang's profile


1829 posts in 2586 days

#10 posted 01-21-2010 12:23 AM

Try MDF, cheap and easy to eork with. Almost all of my shop furniture is made of MDF and it works great for me and it can take a fair bit of abuse.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8087 posts in 2847 days

#11 posted 01-21-2010 01:53 AM

I’ve made a few shop cabinets that set on the floor and one breakfront for the dining room from MDF. Paints wonderfully, easy to work with, and heavier than H&^%!
Just sides, top and bottom of MDF might not be bad. Luan for the back and pine rail and stile doors with pegboard panels would make it lighter.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View gerrym526's profile


266 posts in 3226 days

#12 posted 01-29-2010 01:16 AM

TomHintz has the right idea. You can get “cabinet grade” particle board at the local big box store cheap. It’s usually just a tad lighter than MDF.
As far as concern about how much weight particle board will support, if your shelf spans aren’t really long you can probably stiffen the shelves with front/rear runners of 1×2’s glued to the underside of the shelves.
To make sure the shelves don’t fall off the walls, use at least 3 inch screws into the studs, or if you have concrete block or brick walls, use tapcon fasteners.

-- Gerry

View BadBob's profile


20 posts in 2931 days

#13 posted 01-22-2015 02:04 PM

OK, Its not exactly a cabinet. These shelves have been in use in my closets for more than thirty years. The shelves are set in 1/8” dadoes and its held together with drywall screws with no glue. In the photo there is more than 170lbs on the top shelf and well over 200lbs total. Is it strong enough? I think you could build cabinets out of OSB if you just thought it through and didn’t try to treat it like ir was wood. If you wand some serous strength build a frame from 2×4s and overlay it with the OSB. A cabinet constructed in this manner will support a 100 gallon aquarium. (1000lb). We are not talking about fine furniture here we are talking about boxes..

-- "The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else." ---Frederic Bastiat

View Halfday's profile


6 posts in 2332 days

#14 posted 01-22-2015 04:54 PM

Brian, the folks boo-hooing the cabinets from OSB have likely never made any. I built my daughter some large base units for her basement jewelry studio and they have worked out real well. I didn’t use the cheap 7/16” junk, but neither did I use Advantech. I used the 3/4 T&G from Lowe’s. Mostly pocket hold joinery. Worked out great.


View MT_Stringer's profile


2818 posts in 2649 days

#15 posted 01-22-2015 06:13 PM

Here’s some light reading for ya.

Much better place to work in. I used 3/4 inch plywood. The shelves are loaded.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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