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Old 11th November 2010, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Cabinet construction - compare wood types

Quite a lot of wood types out there for cabinet construction. What are your favourites? I'm excluding MDF and concentrating on real wood, plywood and other wood products?

Bamboo looks really nice
Birch play is popular
Spruce ply is cheaper - how does it compare to birch?
Wood - does it need to be kiln dried, or glued in strips?
Any other recommendations to look for?

andy
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Old 11th November 2010, 08:03 AM   #2
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My first question is about spruce ply. Doesn't quite look as nice as birch but my local hardware supermarket (B&Q in the UK) has 8ft by 4ft sheets in 18mm for 26, and they cut it too which makes for quick assembly. Local wood stores charge double that for quality baltic birch.

Should I buy the spruce or go for the birch - any audible difference?

andy
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Old 11th November 2010, 08:09 AM   #3
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Stranded bamboo ply makes a REALLY nice box.

Stranded is made of 3 layers, a block inner core sheathed in some sort of amalgum of bamboo strands. Really stiff.


ASTM D 3043 Method D Flexural Strength (MOE/MOR)
3/4 inch thick, 1-ply, Edge Grain: 179 MOE/11,371 MOR average
3/4 inch thick, 3-ply, Cross Core: 148 MOE/9,109 MOR average
3/4 inch thick, 3-ply, Cross Core Strand: 268 MOE/14,762 MOR average

dave
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Old 11th November 2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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With ply, a lot of the positive attributes come from the number of plys.

The BB we use has 9 in 12mm, 11 in 15mm, 13 in 18mm. The local spruce has 5 in 3/4" (19.1mm)

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Old 11th November 2010, 09:44 AM   #5
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Hi dave

I may start on the spruce as a learning exercise. I went with dowelling in the end as a joining technique. I got the Joint Genie with a long bar of 7 holes of 8mm. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks really easy to use and good for joining right angles over a long side like 4ft. So I expect to be drilling and gluing away with my new toy.

There again, I may just make a couple of utility cabinets out of whatever wood I have stashed behind the kitchen door as a learning exercise and go straight for the BB. You're right - the number of layers makes a big difference to the looks. OK enough to show.

Armed with my dowelling kit I'm eying up some plain timber I have in 144mm wide by 21mm thick. I've heard bad things about wood distorting and splitting, so was thinking of gluing and screwing it onto a backing panel for the front so I'd get two layers and the outer one would be real wood.

What kind of glue or techniques do you recommend for gluing two panels together, one on top of the other for front and/or back?

andy
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Old 11th November 2010, 10:28 AM   #6
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May be some merit in using a soft setting adhesive if bonding panels.

The BBC Research/technical Dept' has archived a wealth of material that can be accessed by the DIYer. There is at least one paper on speaker cabinet construction that discusses the damping of large surfaces etc. Can't place it exactly now from memory so you may need to scroll thru' a few years to find it. 60's or 70's most likely.
Good luck.
Jonathan
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Old 11th November 2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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I did use Evo-Stick for bonding panels and that sounded pretty good. I guess you're describing some kind of bathroom sealant? Like viscous but doesn't set hard?

andy
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Old 11th November 2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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WISA Plywood and Veneer - WISA-Phon N

Interesting - WISA Phon. Birch ply with a soundproofing layer sandwiched in the middle

andy
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Old 11th November 2010, 06:58 PM   #9
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We just use yellow glue, butt joints, clamps, and when going to be covered with veneer, brad nails to hold stuff so it won't slip.

Bamboo takes more attention to detail, dados, and more care in assembly so as to take advantage of the beautiful end grain.

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Old 11th November 2010, 09:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyjevans View Post
My first question is about spruce ply. Doesn't quite look as nice as birch but my local hardware supermarket (B&Q in the UK) has 8ft by 4ft sheets in 18mm for 26, and they cut it too which makes for quick assembly. Local wood stores charge double that for quality baltic birch.
Nothing wrong with using the cheaper stuff. It's all in the execution.
The old saying is: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear" and, although this is true (you need actual silk to make a silk purse), its usual implicatioin is that quality in = quality out. Not always the case. First, one needs to be able to build the purse, regardless of whether it is from silk or a low budget material such as a sows ear. Follow?
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