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Man Made Board for Kitchen Units

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wightprojects

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I'm thinking about building my own kitchen and would be interested in hearing recommendations for material to construct the units with. I'm considering using 18mm birch ply, but - whilst this would be ok for base units - seems quite heavy stuff for wall units and is relatively expensive? I've also considered MDF but have some concerns about kitchen heat and humidity getting to it. I don't particularly like veneered chipboard for the same reason that's causing my 10 year old B&Q units to delaminate, so I really want to build in something of better quality ... any suggestions?
 

Andycase

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Could you not use MR MDF? This would be stable im sure, as long as it wasnt getting wet and splashed. Shouldn't be affected by steam etc, guys?
 

wightprojects

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Yes, that's an idea I hadn't thought of MR MDF ... What's it like at taking a paint finish, particularly on the edges, and does it come in any veneered finishes?
 

Andycase

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Not sure about veneer, but according to a lot of the posts on here it takes paint etc a lot better than normal. The edges are always an issue but like in everything, pay for decent materials and u will get a better finish
 

eribaMotters

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For the last 10 years I have averaged one hand made kitchen a year as a part timer. On all of these the majority of the base and wall unit carcases have been made of 18mm melamine faced mdf, biscuit jointed together with a morticed and tenoned frame biscuited to the front [for an inset traditional panelled door]. On wall units this is 45mm section, on base units 63 x 45 in section with 18 x 18 rebate. Where possible I have used moisture resistant for the base units. Where a higher quality show finish has been required I have used 18mm birch ply with two flood coats of satin acrylic varnish de-nibbed with 400 grit abrasive.
I have taken this route due to having a "tame" local company who would cut to order/my list the mdf for me from there own extensive stock. I would advise finding such a supplier as the accuracy of dimension saw cut material takes so much of the hastle out of such potentially large and heavy work. They have now unfortunately gone bust and at a loss.

In short use the mdf, available in white cream and a nice pale grey. Get the mr if you can, and a company to cut it for you.

Colin
 

wightprojects

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Thanks Colin that's very helpful. I can cut panels down with my table saw having just made a new SLAT for that purpose, which works with enough accuracy for cabinet work. I'm thinking of building the cabinets with housing joints (as I don't have a biscuit cutter). I also want to do build in frame doors. I've worked out and tested my ability to build decent doors and am quite happy with that, but I haven't worked out how to form the frames yet and attach these to the front of the cabinets, so you're information on that was of interest ... Does anyone have a link to a drawing showing frame construction for inset doors on kitchen cabinets?
 

eribaMotters

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I really would advise getting a biscuit jointer for your carcase work. You could easily justify it on the price of your kitchen, what you will save in man hours and the increased accuracy it offers. You don't need to spend a lot, I used a Freud for about 12 years and then treated myself to a Bosch. Putting together your carcases will be a breeze, as will the fitting of your rebated frames to the front of them.

Colin
 

Shultzy

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I'm building our new kitchen now. it's 19mm oak faced mdf for the carcases and oak for the shaker style doors. I'm going to use pocket-hole joinery for the carcases as they are not visible and don't need any clamps in the glue-up (maybe one to keep them square). You could use pocket-holes for the face frames.
 

Chems

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I'm looking forward to your WIP shultzy when can we expect it?
 

sancho

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Hi guys, Im new to this site and a little background info on me. Im one of those peasky yank woodworkers. I live in Fullerton Calif. I ran across this site. Since Ive recently been buying a lot of festoons, I became more and more interested in the european methods, which really there isnt much difference wood working is woodworking right?

The material I like best for kitchen cabinets is 19 mm birch ply.

I cut the pieces to size and screw the boxes together with # 7 screws 2 1/2- 3 inches in length. I use 5 screws each side for the base cabinents and 3- 4 screws each side for the uppers.

In my opinion using screws rather then buying a new tool, biscuit jointer/ domino offsets the cost of the ply.

I like the birch ply because though it is more expensive MDF and melamine turn to mush when they get wet.

Again thank you for letting me join in.

Ron
 

RogerM

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Welcome to the forum Ron.

Birch ply is a great material for kitchen cabinets, but pretty expensive this side of the pond. We tend to use moisture resistant MDF (MR MDF) which machines and takes paint far better than ordinary MDF, or a good quality melamine faced chipboard (MFC) which is also pretty moisture resistant. This isn't the same as the melamine faced "Conti Board" that is sold in the "DIY sheds" and which resembles plastic covered Weetabix, and which soaks up moisture like a sponge, expands and disintegrates. We have a kitchen in melamine faced chipboard which has lasted 20 years and which would last another 20 if we weren't about to rip it out as part of our kitchen extension.

FWIW, i think the advice to go down the MR MDF or MFC route but buy a biscuit jointer ( or if feeling flush - a Domino ) is good based on what is available here.
 

mbartlett99

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I've just started on kitting out the workshop by making my first set of cabinets out of melamine faced mdf. Was surprised by two things. First how difficult it was to get hold in the colours I wanted, to say nothing of the edging strip coming in only 150m (yes you read that right). Secondly how heavy the stuff was, machining it up solo was a major pain in backside, and back and knees ...

I did find one company online www.cuttosize.com that would cut and edge it but the cost of delivery etc made it a little pricey for me.
 

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