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Old 02-03-2010, 11:47 PM   #21
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


My doors and FF's are made from 13/16". It is amazing what that 1/16" does in heft of the door. I use the 5/8" Euro Maple (9 ply, similar to Baltic birch but Maple) just for the labor savings. It is almost as much as solid wood. Latley I have been paying $110 for a 4 x 8 sheet. When I first started buying it it was $77. I've made a few pocket screw drawers, but I find that using dovetails is almost as fast to build.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:39 AM   #22
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


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What about MDF?
For water resistance MDF is not a good choice unless you use an MR version. It also has a tendency to split when driving in fasteners however it does have some redeeming qualities. I use premium grade Ranger MDF for some of my finished ends and I have found that it's tough to beat for smoothness and stability.You can also get it in a class 1 fire rated version (Medite) which is required for some commercial applications.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:38 PM   #23
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


I dont understand some of you guys sarcasm to a PB. I do understand and argue it's superiority.

What I want to know is why do those who build cabinets feel their product is superior because they do 3/4" sides and 1/2" back? For farts sake. Explain overkill to me. Some major brands use 3/8ths side panels with quarter inch backs. I have installed more then 6000 kitchens and never ever had a product failure and never in my life did I install a 3/4" box.

I do agree with whomever above laughed at the thick maple drawer boxes. To me that is a bit overkill too but all the major manufacturers offer it. Half inch baltic birch is just fine but only if you edge band it. Exposed plys is horrible.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:43 PM   #24
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


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I dont understand some of you guys sarcasm to a PB. I do understand and argue it's superiority.

What I want to know is why do those who build cabinets feel their product is superior because they do 3/4" sides and 1/2" back? For farts sake. Explain overkill to me. Some major brands use 3/8ths side panels with quarter inch backs. I have installed more then 6000 kitchens and never ever had a product failure and never in my life did I install a 3/4" box.

I do agree with whomever above laughed at the thick maple drawer boxes. To me that is a bit overkill too but all the major manufacturers offer it. Half inch baltic birch is just fine but only if you edge band it. Exposed plys is horrible.
I guess what I find odd, is that you feel so strongly the need to convince us to change what we're doing that works for us & our clients. I'm glad for you that you've found a product that you're comfortable with & believe so highly in. We're really not that different, cause I feel the same way about the ply's I use to build with. If it's not broke, why fix it?
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:51 PM   #25
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


Well I seen a bigfoot once.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:52 PM   #26
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


Plywood is inherently stronger. Plywood is lighter in weight, most of my clients believe that PB/MDF is "cheap". PB and MDF will deflect more than the equivalent of plywood. Plywood holds screws better, doesn't crumble. If PB or MDF gets wet it will swell, and then never go back. If plywood gets wet it will swell and then go back to its original size after it dries out.

PB and MDF do have benefits. It is usually a flatter surface and doesn't have waves the way plywood can because of the multilayer cores.

I don't like PB or MDF as much as I prefer plywood.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:56 AM   #27
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


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I guess what I find odd, is that you feel so strongly the need to convince us to change what we're doing that works for us & our clients. I'm glad for you that you've found a product that you're comfortable with & believe so highly in. We're really not that different, cause I feel the same way about the ply's I use to build with. If it's not broke, why fix it?
I guess I did come off as trying to change you or others. That was not my intent. My intent was to point out the more modern high quality PB available today but what I said was ignored like it always is. The posts that followed just said the same ol thing as the common belief.

I would like to say that I was here right after Hurricane IKE. 20,000 homes were destroyed on Galveston Island. When homeowners came back home the first thing they did was try and salvage any valubles. The 2nd thing they did was to throw out everything that was soaked and ruined out to the curb for pick up. Let me tell you that there were just as many so called all wood cabinets at the curb as there were partical board ones.

Whatever the case, thanks for chiming in. I would really love to see more from fellow cabinet professionals.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:09 AM   #28
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


You can't submerge any woodwork for any amount of time and expect it to survive. A solid wood floor will buckle and twist with just a bit of water. But after it dries out it is possible that you can recover it. If you had a particle board floor it would have turned to mush.

I would have thrown my cabinets out too if they were soaked with foul water.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:16 AM   #29
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


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I dont understand some of you guys sarcasm to a PB. I do understand and argue it's superiority.

What I want to know is why do those who build cabinets feel their product is superior because they do 3/4" sides and 1/2" back? For farts sake. Explain overkill to me. Some major brands use 3/8ths side panels with quarter inch backs. I have installed more then 6000 kitchens and never ever had a product failure and never in my life did I install a 3/4" box.

I do agree with whomever above laughed at the thick maple drawer boxes. To me that is a bit overkill too but all the major manufacturers offer it. Half inch baltic birch is just fine but only if you edge band it. Exposed plys is horrible.
Would you feel that you had a superior product if someone came in here extolling the virtues of 1/4" end panels and 1/16" backs? Well,it's the same thing. If you think that 3/4" is overkill,why then do you think that the AWI lists it as a minimum thickness for cabinet components for any grade.


I am glad you haven't had any failures with your products yet but it only takes one to potentially put you out of business and that is a risk I am unwilling to take.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #30
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


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I would have thrown my cabinets out too if they were soaked with foul water.
Especially when your insurance company is offering to buy you new ones
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:56 AM   #31
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


Especially when they are gonna buy you new ones.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:41 AM   #32
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


Jimmy is right that technology changes, so maybe some PB is better than it used to be. I haven't investigated it. But I bet it also costs more than the cheap PB we are all used to seeing, and I'm certain that all cabinet manufacturers have NOT changed to only the best quality stuff. Most that are positioned to be cheap use the cheapest stuff they can get by with.

Reality is if you know the details of some of the brands you can upgrade to plywood on some brands for very little difference. One brand we carry is Armstrong. To price we take list price x our multiplier, which varies depending on which particular cabinet we are pricing. Usually the upgrade to "Allwood" is 1 point more. (For example, 43% for PB, 44% for plywood.)

And Jimmy is right, not all plywood is equal. But if you are buying plywood cabinets who are getting their plywood for the sides on their cabinets from Lowes or HD I bet you have bigger problems.

I'm with the people in his client base that think I should have him doused with holy water if he tells me to buy PB cabinets. If there is enough water damage anything is going to fail. But too many times that screws have wallowed out of particle board to make me feel good about it. Personally, if I'm going to invest the money in a new kitchen, what's maybe 1/2% more on a job to do plywood?

Let's say you are doing a $14,000 kitchen remodel. To upgrade from PB to plywood on Armstrong cabinets might be as little as $150 to a customer. I usually actually eat it and just upgrade them without even telling them except to let them know they are getting an "Allwood" cabinet.

Now let's say it's a $40,000 remodel and the upgrade might be $300 to the client. Wouldn't you do it? Granted, a lot of brands really jsck up plywood sides. That's why you need to work with someone who knows details on products to gived the pros and cons.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #33
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And before you tell us that PB and MDF are real wood, let me just say it isn't wood unless it has grain and fiber direction.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:52 AM   #34
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


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Would you feel that you had a superior product if someone came in here extolling the virtues of 1/4" end panels and 1/16" backs? Well,it's the same thing. If you think that 3/4" is overkill,why then do you think that the AWI lists it as a minimum thickness for cabinet components for any grade.


I am glad you haven't had any failures with your products yet but it only takes one to potentially put you out of business and that is a risk I am unwilling to take.
But nobody in cabinetry....fine cabinetry or low cost cabinetry follows anything by AWI. Everyone in cabinetry follows KCMA minimum standards which specify far more then just thicknesses of cabinet components.

Every now and then I would talk to a customer who was told a cabinet had to have 3/4" sides or the weight of the granite would crush it. Since I am most familiar with Merillat brand, the oldest and largest cabinet company on earth, I can tell you they install millions and millions of boxes each year. Their PB side panels are 3/8" thick (upgraded plywood sides 1/2"). Never has one ever failed due to thin side panels by the weight of granite.

In short lengths, using proper cabinet joinery and a combination of hot melt glue and staples a PB box carcus is just as strong as any plywood box. And it is more stable then a plywood box. We have sent back cabinets with wood sides that were warped. I can say back up....those who assembled those boxes should have discarded these warped panels or I can say this problem never happens with PB. Maybe the plywood panels warped well after assembly and during delivery.

Whatever the case I'm glad to hear your other views on this topic.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:12 PM   #35
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


Nice to see opposing points of view, i personally prefer plywood for all the reasons already listed here, the general public, for the most part associates PB with crap, and rather than educate them since i prefer plywood, i most often use it, dont get me wrong, there is a time and place for PB, but IMO cabinets are not the best place to use PB.GMOD
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:25 PM   #36
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Nice to see opposing points of view, i personally prefer plywood for all the reasons already listed here, the general public, for the most part associates PB with crap, and rather than educate them since i prefer plywood, i most often use it, dont get me wrong, there is a time and place for PB, but IMO cabinets are not the best place to use PB.GMOD
Thanks Gene. So true that the public sees PB as junk. The public also seen the use of plastic on automobiles back in the 80s as cheap junk. Today plastic is very accepted and never called cheap. Because it is superior to metal. Do you think the day will ever come when the public accepts PB as a superior product? I doubt it like the rest of you but I feel a responsibility to educate the consumer as well as offer them as many options/choices as are out there.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:32 PM   #37
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Re: The War Of Plywood VS Particle Board


I still cringe at the amount of plastics used on the exterior of the vehicles today. On the interior it is fine because you can mold it to the intracate shapes required by the designs of today's cars.

Now, if they built everything out of credit card plastic then those things would be indestructible.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:49 PM   #38
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But nobody in cabinetry....fine cabinetry or low cost cabinetry follows anything by AWI. Everyone in cabinetry follows KCMA minimum standards which specify far more then just thicknesses of cabinet components.

Every now and then I would talk to a customer who was told a cabinet had to have 3/4" sides or the weight of the granite would crush it. Since I am most familiar with Merillat brand, the oldest and largest cabinet company on earth, I can tell you they install millions and millions of boxes each year. Their PB side panels are 3/8" thick (upgraded plywood sides 1/2"). Never has one ever failed due to thin side panels by the weight of granite.

In short lengths, using proper cabinet joinery and a combination of hot melt glue and staples a PB box carcus is just as strong as any plywood box. And it is more stable then a plywood box. We have sent back cabinets with wood sides that were warped. I can say back up....those who assembled those boxes should have discarded these warped panels or I can say this problem never happens with PB. Maybe the plywood panels warped well after assembly and during delivery.

Whatever the case I'm glad to hear your other views on this topic.

Nobody follows AWI specs? Really......I think there are a several thousand architects in this country that would beg to differ. Out of the thousands of blueprints that I have worked off of over the years I have never seen a KCMA spec even mentioned.

Would you be comfortable having your kids play around a 5 x 8 granite island top supported by 3/8" PB cabinets? If your answer is "we do it all the time and we have never had a problem" then I would seriously look at taking out one hell of an insurance policy
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #39
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Nobody follows AWI specs? Really......I think there are a several thousand architects in this country that would beg to differ. Out of the thousands of blueprints that I have worked off of over the years I have never seen a KCMA spec even mentioned.

Would you be comfortable having your kids play around a 5 x 8 granite island top supported by 3/8" PB cabinets? If your answer is "we do it all the time and we have never had a problem" then I would seriously look at taking out one hell of an insurance policy
My answer is yes I have no problem with kids playing around granite supported by 3/8th PB. Over 10 million homes have no problem either. If you have a Pulte home then you surely do since every Pulte home in America has Merillat cabinets and will have for at least the next 18years when the contract runs out.

I believe you are one of those cabinet sales people who are misleading your customer for your gain.

Quality cabinets will get a KCMA sticker. 6000 kitchens and 29 years and I have never seen an AWI sticker. I am not even aware of AWI making any guidelines for cabinet manufacturers to follow. If they do then no one is following their guidelines. 3/4" boxes are overkill and a waste of money for the consumer and a waste of material. All that aside, if I was still installing full time and I came across a product with half inch backs that I had to cut out pipe and outlet holes for I would quickly stop using that product. Half inch backs are even more dumb then 3/4" sides. Why not just do 2" thick face frames? It would make a stronger box.....right?
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:55 PM   #40
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My answer is yes I have no problem with kids playing around granite supported by 3/8th PB. Over 10 million homes have no problem either. If you have a Pulte home then you surely do since every Pulte home in America has Merillat cabinets and will have for at least the next 18years when the contract runs out.

I believe you are one of those cabinet sales people who are misleading your customer for your gain.

Quality cabinets will get a KCMA sticker. 6000 kitchens and 29 years and I have never seen an AWI sticker. I am not even aware of AWI making any guidelines for cabinet manufacturers to follow. If they do then no one is following their guidelines. 3/4" boxes are overkill and a waste of money for the consumer and a waste of material. All that aside, if I was
still installing full time and I came across a product with half inch backs that I had to cut out pipe and outlet holes for I would quickly stop using that product. Half inch backs are even more dumb then 3/4" sides. Why not just do 2" thick face frames? It would make a stronger box.....right?
Do a little research on AWI and I think you will find out that you're very misinformed. I hope the sticker helps with the structural integrity of the cabinet box because it is going to need all the help it can get IMO.

You're also wrong about something else too.....I am not a salesman,I am a cabinet maker. This stuff sells itself

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