Appropriate wood for carcass construction?

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Forum topic by toddbg posted 01-09-2014 12:06 AM 878 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 1035 days

01-09-2014 12:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question plywood

Hi –
I am making a rolling cabinet to place a work table surface on top of (the Paulk workbench).
I’m doing this as part of practice for future built in bookcases and cabinets for my daughters craft room.

Would 0.5” ply be appropriate/acceptable for the carcass of the cabinet (also for the future bookcases) or should I be moving up to 0.75”?

Everything will be quality plywood (baltic birch or the maple stuff at the BORG from Columbia Forest).

Thanks in advance for the tips!

-- -- Todd, Washington

8 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 3510 days

#1 posted 01-09-2014 12:21 AM

If it were me…

I’d go 3/4” ... more mass

I bought a sheet of the Columbia Forest maple to do some projects a few weeks back. It’s the first sheet of ply that I purchased from a BORG that did not transform into a potato chip. It remained very flat. I’m a fan.

-- Nicky

View TheDane's profile


4931 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 01-09-2014 12:26 AM

What Nicky said … I don’t think 1/2” will offer enough structural strength.

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

View RockyTopScott's profile


1184 posts in 2897 days

#3 posted 01-09-2014 12:39 AM

What Nicky said +1,000,000

I have found Columbia Forest products to be high quality.

For my rolling shop carts I always use 2 layers on 3/4” for the bottom as well.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 1358 days

#4 posted 01-09-2014 03:25 PM

Last time I bought ply from my wholesaler, it was from Columbia. This is north of the 49th.

Birch 3/4” I got it home and went to measure the thickness. Darn near had to call 911. It was 3/4 buy tape measure. WTF ??? got the calipers out and it was 3/4. All over.

Great core. Nice faces both sides. I can’t remember the price but it was not bad. No warping.

I will buy it again.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2269 days

#5 posted 01-09-2014 04:17 PM

The challenge with half inch isn’t the lack of strength (assuming Baltic), it’s attaching to the thinner edge. Hence the standard remains 3/4.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2285 days

#6 posted 01-09-2014 04:21 PM

3/4 for my way of thinking.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2263 posts in 1788 days

#7 posted 01-09-2014 04:28 PM

I agree with everybody else. I’m not sure what your fastening/joint approach will be, but if it’s pocket screws, you’ll have more luck finding sizes applicable to 3/4” stock locally than you will for 1/2”. At least around here, none of the big-box stores or local stores carry the necessary screws for 1/2”. Plus you’ll gain more thickness for said fasteners and/or glue.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3067 days

#8 posted 01-09-2014 04:35 PM

what Lee said – I think 1/2” would be plenty strong enough, but jointing those edges, dadoes, and attaching hardware (slides, drawers, etc) to it is more challenging on 1/2” and is much easier done on 3/4”

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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