Anybody in here into Cabinet Building? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: VA
Posts: 2,150
Anybody in here into Cabinet Building?

I have a question for anyone into cabinetry. In my home, we have all oak cabinets. Or at least I thought we did. I've been working on an addition to our house where I'm building several new cabinets. Building the cabinets themselves is not a problem, as I'm reasonably competent with a table saw().

The problem I'm having is with wood selection. I have found that ALL of the 3/4" and 1/4" oak veneer plywood I can find is apparently made from rather small diameter trees, as the grain pattern repeat in the oak surfaces is anywhere between 4" and 6". This can be a huge pain in the butt when trying to match grain from one panel to the next on larger surfaces. Sure you can find consecutively cut panels, but this is not always convenient or practical, especially if you've run out of a particular pattern and need more.

On the other cabinets in our house, most of the larger panels of the cabinets or paneling show a larger grain with much wider repeats; in most cases you don't notice it. There are panels that resemble the ones that I'm buying now, but most of the big ones appear to be a different wood. Could it be that the original cabinet builder used something like birch or pine for the large panels and then trimmed them with oaK? We did all the stain and finishing on the original cabinets, and stained and finished all the pieces simultaneously, and there is no color difference from one piece to the next. It ACTS like the same wood, but it doesn't LOOK like the same wood. It honestly looks more like a birch or pine grain. Would mixing those woods in a cabinet be a common practice?

On a side note, let me comment that the lumber currently available at stores like Lowe's and Home Depot is utter and total crap. You might go through twenty pieces of plywood before finding one that didn't have voids, knots, or hideous dark streaks - and this is in the FINISH GRADE plywood. Almost all of the boards, whether they be hardwood oak or 2x4 studs, look like pretzels. How they stay in business selling this stuff is beyond me.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 2,465
Re: Anybody in here into Cabinet Building?

man, if you were in the UK I could help you but from here... all I can do is feel your pain !

yes, the veneered MDF and finsh grade ply is crap - if I do anything like that myself I normally either:

1. make it from single piece solid (I can get oak up to 650mm wide x 50mm thick x 3.7 metres long) - but singlue piece has its own issues....

2. make it using solid oak 6" boards or whatever suits the project, biscuit jointed together

3. I run the oak boards through the bandsaw and laminate them bookmatched onto 18mm waterproof MDF

I suggest taht you find a better supplier - get some wookworking monthly's - I ususally buy furniture and cabinet making magazine which is awesome and really geeared up for the pro/semi pro shop and has little or no amatuer content - it also has a great list of suppliers in the back
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