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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i took a stab at making a custom cabinet for my mancave to simply move my compact refrigerator to 34 inches off the floor. I purchased some 3/4 BC sanded plywood ripped it to size, but am having a heck of a time working with it cause its bowing in the center of the panels.

My question(s) for those of you that build these what do you suggest? Can i use particle board? Would the 3/4 laminate birch/red oak, maple panels be better?

Thanks
Dave
 

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Pretty much all plywood you get from the big box stores will bow. Depending how bad it is bowed you should be able to straighten it back out when you put the back and face frames on it.

Is the plywood pine, that is what the stores around here make sanded BC out of. If it is pine is really bad to bow. Their birch is not very good as the veneer is so thin you can't sand it. Go to a regular lumber store where they keep the plywood in a heated space not outside under a roof exposed to the humidity, they will have the best plywood.
 

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If you cut virtually ANY Piece of sheet goods to make a shelf, support on the ends, and put a mini fridge on it it will bow. Many ways to handle that, I normally use the one given already, a back, sides and a face frame. You would be surprised at the amount that a 2" piece of one bye hardwood set on edge and then glued and nailed to the entire front of the shelf will strengthen the thing. Ron
 

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If you use oak you will have to fill the pores before painting, why not just use birch or maple, it will paint much better and it is strong like oak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Painting OAK was PITA

Thanks for that tip.... Painting the Oak doors was a nightmare... i didnt know anything about sealing...

So if i understand correctly you are suggesting the 3/4 inch Birch sanded plywood correct?




If you use oak you will have to fill the pores before painting, why not just use birch or maple, it will paint much better and it is strong like oak.
 

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Not plywood for face frames. Use solid hardwood. Poplar is well suited for this as it is readily available, fairly cheap, paints well and is one of the cheapest hardwoods.
Yep. Poplar for the face frame. It paints well.

I would make the face frame 2 inches wide. Hopefully the refrigerator will fit through the opening. If the opening is a close one, you can always use a jig saw or recip saw to cut away up to about an inch on each side of the frame after it is glued and nailed in place. I have seen it done, and done it myself when installing a built in oven in an enclosure.

Also, You could either double up on the shelf or use 2x material laid across the opening and resting on supports on each side. That will work nicely. At least it does on my frig.

Here are a few pics of a recent kitchen remodel. I had to completely open the cabinet, then install new rails and shelves to support a microwave and oven.

Note: I love my helper. Couldn't do it without her. :smile:
 

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Just to mention, if you don't have a pocket hole jig, this might be a good time to buy one. It makes face frame construction a breeze.

In my remodel posted above, I used one that is portable and easy to use.
http://www.amazon.com/Kreg-R3-Pocke...=UTF8&qid=1451959475&sr=1-2&keywords=kreg+jig

For 3/4 inch thick material, use 1 1/4 inch Kreg washer head screws - fine thread for hardwood; coarse thread for soft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to you all! I will keep you posted on my progress! I do have a Kreg Jig... Planned on making the face frame out of some oak i had gotten from the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Another Big Problem i am having is getting the shelves level I should have cut my sides and then laid the pieces out, measured and drawn lines across both at the same time i am always fiddling with an 1/8 inch on one side or the other... My first time attempting this i will be patient... Tips and pointers greatly appreciated!
 

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Best way for level shelves would be to cut the sides to the dimension you want, then dado where each shelf goes. Mark the bottom and top, pick one and always measure from there. It goes quick and once you have your fence set, it goes like a breeze.

Adding some bracing to the back will add substantial strength to the entire cabinet, even 1/4 sheet. And as others have said a face frame will add resistance to bending on the shelf. dadoes and splines are another quick and easy way to attach a face frame. Probably gives a little more strength to the shelf and no pesky holes to fill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks 1 acre, I am not to the "dadoe" level yet... Just learning about pocket hole Jigs since christmas...

OH YA,,,Make sure you have the Depth on the Kreg Jig and Kreg Drill bit set correctly cause if bit is longer then jig you will have extra hole in it! LOL dont ask me how i know this! :)
 

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HandyDave said:
OH YA,,,Make sure you have the Depth on the Kreg Jig and Kreg Drill bit set correctly cause if bit is longer then jig you will have extra hole in it! LOL dont ask me how i know this! :)
We've all been there. I have some Domino-shaped holes in my workbench that reminds me to set the depth on that particular tool ;-)
 
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