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Plywood choice on built in cabinets

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Forum topic by amkirkland posted 03-20-2017 02:33 PM 717 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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amkirkland

4 posts in 152 days


03-20-2017 02:33 PM

I know variations of this question have been asked multiple times, but I didn’t find anything specifically about built in cabinets. I’m planning to use 3/4 maple ply from Lowe’s. I understand many woodworkers have significant reservations about their plywood for cabinets, but most of these reviews have been done in reference to other types of cabinets. Each section of my built ins will be built separately with the 3/4 on sides and back. I’m painting, not staining. I haven’t finalized the design, but there will be 10 total sections over a 12 foot span, the lower half will be 15 inches in depth and roughly 2 feet high, the upper half will be 12 inches in depth and roughly 5 feet high. Shelves will be dadoed and permanent. My thought it that there is a lot of wood in this project, with each vertical section being essentially 1.5 inches and even with the lower quality of Lowe’s plywood, it should be sufficient, what are your thoughts?

Of note, I got a sample piece before investing in the whole project. No significant voids found, has stayed straight in my humid basement, and I took a 2’ x 8’ section, spanned it across a couple buckets and it held 170 pounds with no problem. Not very scientific, i know


16 replies so far

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EugdOT

199 posts in 272 days


#1 posted 03-20-2017 03:42 PM

I use home depot purebond plywood and lows has a cabinet grade plywood all the time, especially if you are painting it you can hide any imperfections, just make sure that that you use a hard wood face frame for it, it should holdup no problem.

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JBrow

1202 posts in 637 days


#2 posted 03-20-2017 04:13 PM

Amkirkland,

I believe Lowes or Home Depot ¾” hardwood plywood would be work fine for your cabinets.

I am building kitchen cabinets which are clear coated. I found the hardwood plywood from Menards (a Great Lakes regional home center competing with Lowes and Home Depot) works fine and about at half the cost of that from my local hardwood plywood dealer.

I have used some ¾” walnut plywood from my local hardwood dealer for certain components as well. I found the plywood from both sources seam to behave the same, although the more expensive higher grade of plywood from the hardwood dealer offers fewer and thicker poplar core plys. There is some slight bowing of the plywood from both sources, which I think is unavoidable. Since I join the plywood boxes with tongue and dado joints, these slight bows disappear if I am careful when gluing up the boxes. I have yet to find any significant voids in the home center hardwood plywood.

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dday

124 posts in 1147 days


#3 posted 03-20-2017 04:50 PM

Yes, I use the Top Choice Blonewood Birch ply from Lowes and it works great. It has few if any voids and one side is already primed if you’re going to paint.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2626 posts in 1706 days


#4 posted 03-20-2017 04:52 PM

You do not say where you are. If in the Midwest, Menards has Aruaco plywood. I used it for cabinets and it has very few voids and a good face.

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TheFridge

7458 posts in 1203 days


#5 posted 03-20-2017 05:04 PM

I wouldn’t use maple ply unless it’s cheaper than birch where you’re at.

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

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amkirkland

4 posts in 152 days


#6 posted 03-20-2017 11:40 PM



You do not say where you are. If in the Midwest, Menards has Aruaco plywood. I used it for cabinets and it has very few voids and a good face.

- Redoak49

Thanks, I’ve looked at that too. I am in Ohio, so I can get to Menards.

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1562 posts in 2582 days


#7 posted 03-21-2017 12:10 AM



You do not say where you are. If in the Midwest, Menards has Aruaco plywood. I used it for cabinets and it has very few voids and a good face.

- Redoak49

I have used Aruaco plywood from Lowes and it is quite good.

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

15820 posts in 1574 days


#8 posted 03-21-2017 12:16 AM

Menards also has prefinished plywood that is great for cabinets. Insides are already finished and then use whatever you want for face frames.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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joey502

502 posts in 1235 days


#9 posted 03-21-2017 12:36 AM



I use home depot purebond plywood and lows has a cabinet grade plywood all the time, especially if you are painting it you can hide any imperfections, just make sure that that you use a hard wood face frame for it, it should holdup no problem.

- EugdOT

I agree that the purebond birch from depot is a good choice. It has been my first home center option since i discovered they stock it.

View liamtoh1's profile

liamtoh1

41 posts in 218 days


#10 posted 03-21-2017 02:31 PM

Can someone post the SKU or item number of the 3/4 plywood mentioned above for Lowes and Menards?

The “Top Choice Blonewood Birch” is not available in SE Michigan area Lowes.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1202 posts in 637 days


#11 posted 03-21-2017 11:30 PM

liamtoh1,

According to the Lowes website, ¾” Blondewood birch plywood is Item # 520360 Model # 520360.

The Menards web site shows an impressive array of the hardwood plywood; greater than offered by Lowes. I find that only about half of the listed plywood is stocked in my local store but, according the site, all are available with free shipping to the store. When you click on the plywood product, the SKU is listed.

http://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/panel-products/specialty-panels/hardwood-panels/c-13334.htm?searchTermToCategory=hardwood+plywood

View liamtoh1's profile

liamtoh1

41 posts in 218 days


#12 posted 03-22-2017 12:03 AM

JBrow,

Thanks for the information. But as I said, the item 520360 is not available at Lowes near Detroit Metro area.

I like Menards but buying sheet goods (they even have baltic birch in 1/2” or 3/4” but again only as special order items) in that store is a big problem for me for 2 reasons
1. Any sheet goods (full sheets) not in-stock at your local Menards incur a charge of nearly $14 for “free” ship to store.
2. They do not offer any cuts in their store which will allow me to carry it in my mid size SUV.

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Redoak49

2626 posts in 1706 days


#13 posted 03-22-2017 12:22 AM

What I really like about Menards is they store the sheets flat. HD and Lowe’s store them on racks with arms and they have a set to a lot of the sheets.

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MT_Stringer

3061 posts in 2948 days


#14 posted 03-22-2017 01:29 AM

Your options may vary since you are a fair ways from me (Houston area). For painted cabinets, I prefer the Birch plywood from Home Depot. I build them with the good side inward.

Good luck.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View amkirkland's profile

amkirkland

4 posts in 152 days


#15 posted 03-24-2017 10:54 AM

I decided to go with the Lowes Birch hardwood plywood. So far it’s been great, but I have noticed that the width actually varies quite a bit from piece to piece.

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