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  • Kitchen Cabinet Materials

    Hello

    Redoing my kitchen cabinets and will be building carcasses myself.

    They will be painted and have CNC cut MDF doors.

    Previously done so using plywood for carcasses, but recently built a work station out of MDF and enjoyed how perfect the boxes were (square with nice edges and smoothness) .

    Any experience using MDF for kitchen cabinet carcasses? My primary concern is the weight of the hanging wall cabinets and whether it is more prone to sagging (I.e. shelves or the bottom panel of the hanging cabinets)

    Thoughts are appreciated!

    I did try searching for previous topics on this, but most of the many results came with MDF doors, so feel free to redirect if this has been discussed
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  • #2

    Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

    Not sure about mdf, I guess you have to endup painting them, for that one reason it would be easier to use a melamine covered particle board. I son't think strength benefits of mdf is needed for carcases.
    Steve The Drill Sergeant
    Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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    • #3

      Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

      I have seen many painted MDF doors that suffer paint chips the water gets in and the MDF starts swelling up , MDF around a dishwasher always suffers the steam and swells up any leakage around a sink effects MDF even the raw edge on the floor swells up at the smell of water.
      Shelves are more likely to sag unless well supported, and you know about the weight, then consider the dust factor as you make them.
      bender and callee like this.

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      • #4

        Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

        I'm following this with interest. My daughter and son-in-law are having a new home built and are at the stage of deciding on the custom cabinetry. Their main options appear to be:
        1. Carcasses of MDF, melamine, or plywood;
        2. Fronts of HDF, melamine, or solid wood;
        3. Drawer Boxes of double metal, melamine, or dovetailed solid wood.
        As a hobby woodworker/cabinetmaker, in terms of durability I tend to shy away from MDF/HDF (with paint or lacquer finishes) and metal drawer boxes. Maybe I shouldn't?

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        • #5

          Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

          ...not sure if you have already seen this information.

          http://web.arauco-na.com/_file/parti...r-shelving.pdf

          you will find some answer related to load bearing.

          J.

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

            Originally posted by greatness View Post
            Hello

            Redoing my kitchen cabinets and will be building carcasses myself.

            They will be painted and have CNC cut MDF doors.

            Previously done so using plywood for carcasses, but recently built a work station out of MDF and enjoyed how perfect the boxes were (square with nice edges and smoothness) .

            Any experience using MDF for kitchen cabinet carcasses? My primary concern is the weight of the hanging wall cabinets and whether it is more prone to sagging (I.e. shelves or the bottom panel of the hanging cabinets)

            Thoughts are appreciated!

            I did try searching for previous topics on this, but most of the many results came with MDF doors, so feel free to redirect if this has been discussed
            I've been building kitchens for over 25 yrs. and would never use MDF for boxes. I use good quality Melamine -- not from the box stores and prefinished birch ply -- nothing else. I have had customers that don't like white interiors so I will use the colour of their choice. If they want wood boxes then prefinished Birch or Maple is the way to go. I use all 5/8" stock for boxes including the backs. I just finished a MDF faced kitchen that has 2 pc Shaker style doors done on a CNC then finished with a special 2 part MDF paint that costs about $120 a gallon when you count everything you use.

            11a.jpg


            44.jpg
            22.jpgChoc Melamine.jpg
            Last edited by Wally in Calgary; 09-10-2018, 09:01 PM.
            thawey, Mike in Waubaushene and 2 others like this.

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            • #7

              Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

              Thanks for all the info! PDF I is helpful, and I also use the sagulator (http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/) will have to compare the figures as PDF is PB and MDF specific.

              Wally when you say you use melamine, do you mean plywood or particle board with a melamine finish?

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              • #8

                Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                Originally posted by greatness View Post
                Thanks for all the info! PDF I is helpful, and I also use the sagulator (http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/) will have to compare the figures as PDF is PB and MDF specific.

                Wally when you say you use melamine, do you mean plywood or particle board with a melamine finish?
                Melamine is PB with a high grade Melamine finish on it (see Chocolate coloured drawer) -- if you buy it from a good supplier. The plywood is either domestic or import Birch or Maple with a prefinished coating on it.

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                • #9

                  Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                  Wally,

                  Nice work, as usual!

                  How well do the painted/lacquered MDF fronts stand up to dents and/or finish chipping compared to solid wood, say stained/lacquered maple?
                  What joinery do you use on the melamine drawer boxes? Any thoughts on melamine vs metal for drawer boxes?

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                  • #10

                    Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                    Originally posted by Kenneth View Post
                    Wally,

                    Nice work, as usual!

                    How well do the painted/lacquered MDF fronts stand up to dents and/or finish chipping compared to solid wood, say stained/lacquered maple?
                    What joinery do you use on the melamine drawer boxes? Any thoughts on melamine vs metal for drawer boxes?
                    My drawer boxes are all done with a blind T&G on the CNC. I do use the metal Blum Metabox on my pantrys as they save room and stand up nicely.

                    4.jpg

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                    • #11

                      Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                      Originally posted by Kenneth View Post
                      Wally,

                      Nice work, as usual!

                      How well do the painted/lacquered MDF fronts stand up to dents and/or finish chipping compared to solid wood, say stained/lacquered maple?
                      What joinery do you use on the melamine drawer boxes? Any thoughts on melamine vs metal for drawer boxes?
                      I forgot to address the MDF fronts but if you use the proper finish for them they stand up quite well and would need a sharp implement to damage the surface. The top drawer blanks in my pics are PG Maple and the rest are MDF. There seems to be very little difference in the quality.

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                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                        Wally, thanks for the comments.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                          Originally posted by Wally in Calgary View Post

                          Melamine is PB with a high grade Melamine finish on it (see Chocolate coloured drawer) -- if you buy it from a good supplier. The plywood is either domestic or import Birch or Maple with a prefinished coating on it.
                          So in that picture the drawer box is PB? Do you do full cabinet carcasses out of melamine PB?

                          So I have seen both MDF and particleboard with melamine finish on them....when people typicall refer to "melamine" as a sheet good they mean the non-mdf particle board (ie looks like the attached picture).
                          ?

                          Do you have a brand of melamine you like you can share?

                          https://mcfaddens.com/c-778-melamine.aspx#[PageNumber(0)|PageSize(20)|PageSort(CreatedOn)|Dis playType(Grid)|Section(620,627,632)]
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by greatness; 09-11-2018, 04:49 AM.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                            Originally posted by greatness View Post

                            So in that picture the drawer box is PB? Do you do full cabinet carcasses out of melamine PB?

                            So I have seen both MDF and particleboard with melamine finish on them....when people typicall refer to "melamine" as a sheet good they mean the non-mdf particle board (ie looks like the attached picture).
                            ?

                            Do you have a brand of melamine you like you can share?

                            https://mcfaddens.com/c-778-melamine.aspx#[PageNumber(0)|PageSize(20)|PageSort(CreatedOn)|Dis playType(Grid)|Section(620,627,632)]
                            Yes -- the whole kitchen is built from 5/8" PB Melamine chocolate coloured. A place like Mcfaddens should carry a good quality melamine. You will see very little melamine coating on MDF.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Kitchen Cabinet Materials

                              Hey,

                              Even though Wally seems to have covered this completely, here's my 2 cents. I agree with him 100%. I've been in the kitchen business for 10 years and we have never used MDF for the carcasses of our kitchens. Melamine is for sure the right option.

                              Goodluck! Would love to see pictures once it's finished!
                              Paolo Kokkinos
                              p.kokkinos91@gmail.com

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