Sheet material recommendation

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

ObservantGround28

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2017
Messages
88
Reaction score
10
Location
Sutton
I need to build a few cabinets and drawers for the workshop.

Does anyone have any recommendations on which sheet materials to use in order to keep costs as low as possible?

Thanks!
 

robgul

Barry Bucknell is my hero
Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
838
Reaction score
513
Location
Stratford-upon-Avon
If cost is an issue it's often cheaper to buy cheapest the B&Q/Wickes kitchen units - rather than the materials, hinges, fittings etc. - OK you don't get the build pleasure but they do work.

My workshop is a couple of custom made benches and about half a kitchen's worth of s/h base and wall units.

To answer the question - cheapest is MDF but not that durable unless painted/sealed and fitted with some sort of edging.
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
2,704
Reaction score
1,524
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
That’s posh doctor Bob, to save cash do as Robgul says and buy them ready made, even better, people often advertise to get rid of their old kitchen – sometimes free, check the noticeboards in supermarkets and newsagents.
Ian
 

TheUnicorn

Established Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
802
Reaction score
279
Location
South West
...buy them ready made, even better, people often advertise to get rid of their old kitchen – sometimes free, check the noticeboards in supermarkets and newsagents.
Ian
I do a lot of freecycling, and I agree kitchen units and the like do come up a lot, however instead of physical noticeboards, I would recommend freecycle.org, freelywheely.com, gumtree freebies section and local sales sites on facebook
 

ObservantGround28

Established Member
Joined
14 May 2017
Messages
88
Reaction score
10
Location
Sutton
This is extremely low priority (considering the other projects around the house) so I'll keep an eye out for cheap or unwanted kitchen units and in the meantime figure out better and more cost efficient ways to organise/get rid of the tools and materials I have.

Thanks all!
 
Last edited:

HamsterJam

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2018
Messages
387
Reaction score
178
Location
Warwickshire UK
If cost is an issue it's often cheaper to buy cheapest the B&Q/Wickes kitchen units - rather than the materials, hinges, fittings etc. - OK you don't get the build pleasure but they do work.

My workshop is a couple of custom made benches and about half a kitchen's worth of s/h base and wall units.

To answer the question - cheapest is MDF but not that durable unless painted/sealed and fitted with some sort of edging.

I used cheap kitchen units in my garage. These are OK but not really strong enough so I have had to reinforce the shelves in the base units and wall cupboards despite placing only modest loads on them.
 

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
1,394
Reaction score
637
Location
Wiltshire
I agree about using kitchen units. You can get an entire kitchen for peanuts on ebay or gumtree. Even if you just use some of it as is, and use the rest for materials.

I also like large wheeled cabinets. On ebay there are some great mechanics type tool chests in stainless steel. With 40mm beach tops some are very long. They seem a bit expensive but if you think how much they hold and how quick it is to install its actually a good price.
If I move my workshop I would just get a couple of those.
Quick and easy.



Ollie
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,740
Reaction score
823
Location
North West
poplar plywood is reasonable cost and can be very good quality, pine is my choice for cheap material although it's not so cheap anymore since lockdown.
 

smackie

Established Member
Joined
1 Oct 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
52
Location
Kendal
As an add-on question to this thread, does anyone have any preference for what ply to use in garage/unheated workspace applications? I’m planning to build a bunch of 500mm custom cabinets for systainer storage racks with extra bracing for the weight. Both cabinets will be about 6’ high (to fit the space).

As we’re in Cumbria and my workspace is like a meat locker, I was seriously considering making them from 18mm marine plywood. Is that absolute overkill? 😬
 

robgul

Barry Bucknell is my hero
Joined
13 Feb 2020
Messages
838
Reaction score
513
Location
Stratford-upon-Avon
As an add-on question to this thread, does anyone have any preference for what ply to use in garage/unheated workspace applications? I’m planning to build a bunch of 500mm custom cabinets for systainer storage racks with extra bracing for the weight. Both cabinets will be about 6’ high (to fit the space).

As we’re in Cumbria and my workspace is like a meat locker, I was seriously considering making them from 18mm marine plywood. Is that absolute overkill? 😬

I'd be inclined to try and find some lower-grade Birch ply (can't remember the letter combinations for quality - timber merchant will know) and make sure that edges of the stuff you make are either lipped or well sealed with varnish.
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
2,704
Reaction score
1,524
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
The last time I looked 18 mm marine ply was just short of £100 plus VAT a sheet, so yes it is a bit overkill! Is your workshop so wet? I’m sure the far eastern stuff will be ok. Ian
 

smackie

Established Member
Joined
1 Oct 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
52
Location
Kendal
Is your workshop so wet?
Well, the entire space was under 3’ of water during Storm Desmond in 2015 so I’m not totally discounting the occasional submersion. 😬

In all seriousness, I’ll probably just try to find some decent grade ply to build it from and mount it on a solid wood plinth to protect the bottom edges.
 

beech1948

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2004
Messages
2,147
Reaction score
65
Location
Crowthorne, Berkshire
I have used Chinese Hardwood ply at 18 mm and 12 mm. My supplier takes great care about what he stocks so there is some likelyhood of a fair bit of quality ply. I like this stuff as a lower cost alternative for not so important spaces. Not as good as birch ply but I think good enough.

Be aware that there is Chinese Ply and "Chinese Ply". Take care Al

PS...Last sheet I bought was £32.
 

Jameshow

Established Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
2,855
Reaction score
1,600
Location
Bradford
About 5 years ago I brought some wisa spruce plywood and made my 5yo son a boat shaped sand pit.
I panted it red and black exterior paint perhaps 2 coats. It's been out in all weathers and never rotted or delaminated. The black paint has checked slightly in the sun light but the plywood is still strong.

If you can find it cheap enough wisa ply us good stuff.

Cheers James
 

Latest posts

Top