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Plywood and sheet items for the woodworker

The place MDF excels. These giant doorways and drawers showcase MDF’s strengths. It provides a flat, void-free, secure floor to carry the sequenced walnut veneers.

Synopsis: The array of sheet items available on the market might be mind-boggling. What’s finest to make use of for which job? Right here, veterans of knowledgeable cabinetry store give a rundown of 11 completely different sheet-good merchandise, from plywood to MDF and every little thing in between. With these merchandise you may produce cupboards that vary from conventional Shaker-inspired to smooth and fashionable.

plywood and other sheet goods

Rowan Woodwork is a small crew of design-and-build nerds nestled within the former New York State capital of Kingston. A lot of what we do is cabinetry, akin to kitchens, loos and vanities, wardrobes, workplaces, and libraries. We focus on fashionable European cupboards, which have opened our scope to many various kinds of plywood and different sheet items.

The alternatives available on the market are infinite and consistently evolving and altering. However the ones we current listed below are our present go-to sheet items for cabinetry work. With these 11 merchandise we are able to pull off any look—from Shaker-inspired to smooth, minimalist, and fashionable—and any end, from painted to pure to oiled and waxed. Each mission is completely different, and availability isn’t at all times constant; realizing every product’s strengths and weaknesses permits us to have choices and tailor the supplies to the precise mission, with the purpose being a beautiful finish consequence that may stand the take a look at of time and use.

MDF: Flat, clean, advert secure


As a result of it’s an engineered materials, MDF doesn’t have grain patterns, which supplies it a clean end excellent for paint or veneer, and a constant, secure thickness. An MDF core panel with a pre-applied veneer is the best possible product for cupboard doorways and drawers. Fully void-free, it makes for a really flat floor, and the fibrous core gained’t transfer whereas it’s being lower or after set up.

Identify: MDF, MDF Core (veneered)

Makes use of: Finest for cupboard doorways/ drawers. Painted surfaces. Non-structural veneered surfaces.

Worth*: MDF $65 for a 3/4-in. by 4-ft. by 8-ft. sheet, MDF Core (veneered) $100-$150 (relying on species of veneer) for a 3/4-in. by 4-ft. by 8-ft. sheet

Availability: Most specialty plywood sellers and a few dwelling facilities

Sizes: Sheets are available widths of 4 ft. and 5 ft. with lengths as much as 10 ft., and thickness starting from 1/4 in. to 1 in.

Colours: Accessible in a wide range of veneers.

Professionals: Flat and really secure, simply veneered with any materials, low value.

Cons: Much less structural than veneer core, vulnerable to moisture. Formaldehydebased merchandise are identified to be dangerous. Heavy.

built-in bookshelves
Out-of-the-box MDF use. The shopper particularly wished an MDF core with a linear rift white oak veneer for an ultra-modern look. Usually, Rowan’s designers favor to not make the structural parts of millwork out of MDF, however the design integrated a number of vertical assist and small spans, so the MDF labored superb. It supplied a flat, secure floor and gave the shopper the look they wished.

Medex: A greater MDF


Consider Medex as MDF’s hippie youthful brother. This product has all the nice qualities of fundamental MDF and some extra. Made with recycled wooden and no added formaldehyde resin, it is rather environmentally pleasant. With a listing a mile lengthy of its environmental achievements, it additionally manages to be extra waterproof than different fiberboards.

Names: Medex, Medex MDF, SDF (sustainable design fiberboard)

Makes use of: Finest for painted cupboard faces, trim, or panels. It may be veneered with any materials and makes an ideal, secure substrate.

Worth*: $90 for a 3/4-in. by 4-ft. by 8-ft. sheet

Availability: Broadly out there at specialty plywood sellers.

Sizes: Sheets come 4 ft. and 5 ft. broad, with lengths as much as 18 ft. and thickness starting from 1/4 in. to 1-1/4 in.

Colours: Pure (brown), black, and grey

Professionals: Constant thickness, not a lot motion based mostly on moisture, paints very properly, no core so no have to edgeband if portray.

Cons: Much less structural than veneer core, simply broken, creates a number of very superb mud.

kitchen cabinets painted teal
Excellent for paint. On this Shaker-style kitchen, Rowan used stable poplar for the rails and stiles and Medex for the panels. It’s not solely a extra environmentally pleasant materials than MDF, nevertheless it additionally finishes higher.


*Pricing on sheet items can range extensively by distributor and may change each day.


Plywood and sheet goods for the woodworker spread

From Wonderful Woodworking #295

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