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Children's storage - which wood?

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makeahouse

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Hi,
I am looking to get this storage made by someone locally.
https://pin.it/4eSW5EU
Although I don't want the patterned backboard, chairs etc and want some shallower simple shelving underneath and shelving above too (I think I have more height space than this photo).
Someone recommended normal birch plywood or Baltic birch. The local joiner/carpenter said MDF as the price difference is huge (roughly £30 for a large sheet compared to £58 for birch plywood).
The thing is I like the look of ply. All the other MDF images I've seen are too dark. I'm not a fan of the painted look either but of course the price difference is huge.
Are the recommendations for any other material or should I give in to MDF?
I have about 160-170cm width and 240cm height to work with.
The shelving underneath and above will be 45cm deep whilst the table area will be 60cm deep.
 

marcros

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I can't see the link, but the difference in the price of the timber will be fairly small compared with the labour element to making something. If you dont want it painting, forget MDF.
 

makeahouse

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The labour is low. The birch will cost over £200 more than labour. The mdf only £30 more.
 

spb

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If you're making it for yourself, then the labour calculation isn't about money, but time and effort. Do you want to spend the time making this thing, then see the finished result and wish you'd used the better material from the start?

Unless your budget dictates otherwise, decide on the result you want first, then pick the materials to achieve it. If you want to paint it, then MDF will give you a good result for a lot less money. If you don't want to paint it, then raw MDF is out of the picture, and your options are good quality plywood or veneered MDF with edge banding. Veneered MDF is probably still cheaper than top quality ply (though the gap will be a lot less), but applying the edge banding will add significantly to the effort and make a less robust product.

I'd be using birch ply if I could afford it.
 

marcros

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I thought that the local joiner was making it?

other than that, I agree with the above. decide what look you want and choose the materials accordingly.

without seeing the picture it is impossible to guess at what you are trying to achieve, but if you dont want it painted, then mdf is out of the question to start with. If you could put up with it being painted, then comparing the cost of raw mdf with birch ply is irrelevant and is where the labour element comes in (assuming that you are not doing it yourself)- 2 coats of paint, edge prep etc takes more time than a finish on birch ply. The only way that you will know is by asking the person quoting for a price on both options.

If the budget is tight, IKEA is another option, or adapting something from IKEA if it isnt quite what you need. We all have different budgets for different things, so I dont mean it disrespectfully or dismissively, but IKEA manufacture very efficiently by the thousand, whereas the local joiner makes one item at a time to your exact requirements. The labour element of any bespoke project is a multiple of the mass produced equivalent.
 

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