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Forum topic by Mrkixx posted 01-15-2016 05:34 AM 772 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mrkixx

70 posts in 1554 days


01-15-2016 05:34 AM

So if you were to make a nice pice of furniture and you could not afford to use any hardwood lumber what would be your choice of plywood or would you use MDF, or even a combo of panel type lumber, keeping in mind that that you want it to look and feel, as elegant as a high end pice of fine furniture, what would you do.


12 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

6550 posts in 1061 days


#1 posted 01-15-2016 05:40 AM

Probably veneered ply. So many different kinds.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1716 posts in 1892 days


#2 posted 01-15-2016 05:42 AM

Particle board and whatever striking veneers are in the bargain bin at Certainly Wood. You can get some nice stuff for under $1.00 a square foot.

Veneered furniture is as high end as you can get and almost every piece of furniture that makes it into a museum falls into this category. The cost is in the labor though the genuine high end stuff often utilizes rare, prized veneers like ebony or rosewood.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2330 posts in 1600 days


#3 posted 01-15-2016 08:03 AM

I would be surprised to find veneered particle board in a future museum, since I would be astonished if it would last that long.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4261 posts in 2068 days


#4 posted 01-15-2016 12:18 PM

Good cabinet grade hardwood is very nice, but it is very expensive as well. I prefer the veneer core, though I have some some with a layer of MDF right under the surface veneer and it really makes a nice smooth surface. The stuff I’ve seen uses a 1/8” layer of MDF worked in with the wooden veneer layers.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1944 days


#5 posted 01-15-2016 01:53 PM

I’d use a veneer core plywood. The surface veneer would be up to you. Seek out a reputable lumber yard, not HD/Lowes. I used to use their 3/4” maple/oak plywood for projects, but then I called a local lumber place and found out that for about $10 more per sheet, I can get stuff that is much nicer (thicker face veneer, nicer figure, more plys, zero voids). Good plywood is much less stressful to work with.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1716 posts in 1892 days


#6 posted 01-15-2016 11:29 PM



I would be surprised to find veneered particle board in a future museum, since I would be astonished if it would last that long.

- runswithscissors

It will easily last that long. I’ve got a particle board top on my miter saw workstation that was made from the salvaged top of a dining table that was built over 30 years ago. Despite the exposed edges and the shop environment, it’s holding together just fine. Not one little piece of veneer is lifting either. The trick is using decent materials sourced from a reputable supplier of sheet goods.

It’s the furniture built with older, pre-war plywood and solid wood substrates that can’t handle moisture swings. I’ve repaired many pieces of old furniture where the veneer was laid cross-grain over solid wood.

One can always build out of solid wood to avoid the veneer lifting issues but that won’t increase the lifespan and solid wood furniture rarely gets national recognition. What’s the biggest woodworking competition in the USA that attracts the most high profile artisans? It’s VeneerTech’s annual contest. You can bet the vast majority of those people use either MDF or particle board and it’s equally likely their furniture is being purchased by wealthy clients who tend to be very careful to put money towards objects that retain value over time. Someday those collections will end up in museums.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

979 posts in 1028 days


#7 posted 01-16-2016 03:20 AM

Try jatoba, only 1/3 more than oak and much nicer, Use it for face frame & doors. It won’t just look high end, it’ll BE high end.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7550 posts in 2152 days


#8 posted 01-16-2016 03:30 AM

Baltic Birch

Veneered Ply

Finished Ply saves you the hassle of sealing it up and looks decent.

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

581 posts in 1512 days


#9 posted 01-16-2016 05:47 AM

Really, unless yer building multiples or really large furniture, the cost of using solids innstead of veneer covered plys really becomes comparable. in material costs,

Eg a 2X4’ table top in walnut will require a full sheet of walnut ply, my cost 80+ plus I got 3/4 sheet of ply to store and protect. (and I know it’s gonna be shop damaged before I can use the waste!)

OTOH, even at 10$/bf if I don’t allow for waste, still costs the same

It is equitable.(Less rather than more to be sure) but…

I can sand and resand to my hearts content-on furniture it’s all about finish, I don’‘t have to worry about edge banding, (but do have to worry about warping)

With solids, I can run edge profile as I need. Thin edge baning on ply don’t allow that without using solid edging and creating another design element/

If I FU on the finishing, the costs of recovery with solids are time and effort, the costs with veneer are a likely a total redo. Yep. MDF core gives a quite smooth surface, veneer core on large surface often telegraphs the underlying substrate knot which will undoubtedly flash out in reflected light….

Both materials (plys/solids) have their benefits in particular applications, and I’ve used them all appropriately and (hopefully) learned from my mistakes!

So take home message is for smaller projects, compare the costs of materials (dont forget costs of storage and likely damage), weigh the risks of FU’s and to costs and risks of repairing them; and surprise, the costs of solids seem to come out ahead of plys with all things considered.(small projects)

Just my thoughts

Eric in Calgary

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2959 posts in 2806 days


#10 posted 01-16-2016 06:05 AM


So if you were to make a nice pice of furniture and you could not afford to use any hardwood lumber what would be your choice of plywood or would you use MDF, or even a combo of panel type lumber, keeping in mind that that you want it to look and feel, as elegant as a high end pice of fine furniture, what would you do.

- Mrkixx

What kind of furniture? Do you have any pics or sketches of your project? That would help a lot.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6905 posts in 1725 days


#11 posted 01-16-2016 10:37 AM

A good Baltic birch plywood should be cheap enough to use and is high quality. Sheets of 3/4” would be around the $60-70 range. If that is still too much, I’ve had pretty good results with the plywood at Home Depot made my Columbia Forest Products. $40-50/sheet. They occasionally have a small void though. That’s about as low as I’d go.

I built a murphy bed with a cheaper “shop grade” birch plywood from a lumber dealer that was made in China. Terrible stuff. Chipped out way too easily and the top veneer could be pulled off by hand. Was just under $40/sheet.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2469 posts in 1884 days


#12 posted 01-16-2016 10:52 AM

MDF? As presented by one of our own.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/22158

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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