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Old 04-21-2013, 12:19 AM
tofu tofu is offline
 
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Default How much are you guys paying for Baltic Birch?

Cheapest i've been able to find for 3/4" 5'x5' is $50 local. Not so bad considering I paid $68 for 1/2" baltic birch that had voids in it at another lumber yard! Problem is, their other prices seem out of line.

I wanted to use mdf core birch to make some frameless euro cabinets, but the same yard that charges $50 for 5x5bb, charges $60 for 8'x4' shop grade mdf core birch. I guess if I want to make inexpensive cabinets, I need to find a new lumber yard!

how much should i expect to pay for 8x4 b2 3/4" mdf core birch?

They have White (Import) birch for $39, but i'm not sure what that is. probably very low grade? Not even sure what kind of face it has.

I really don't know much about lumber/pricing, and a lot of these lumber yards aren't very friendly to hobbyists, so i'd like to sound somewhat like I know what im talking about when i go in.

-Christopher
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:08 AM
sean9c sean9c is offline
 
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I've not found decent BB for that cheap.
Price of material is all over the place, but usually you get what you pay for. I recently bought a bunch of 3/4" prefinished maple for some shop cabinets that was made in China. It was cheap but it was also poor quality, thickness varied, finish was wavy, veneers chipped easily. OK for my project but marginal for anything you cared about.
You might also look at your layout. I've never been able to get 5x5's to layout very efficiently, so there is a lot of waste. With 4x8's you can get very efficient layouts.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:24 AM
tofu tofu is offline
 
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I could build the cabinets short and wide, so the 5x5 would work out for me, but I do admit I prefer 4x8. They have 4x8 baltic birch, but it's $90. No thanks. These are just going to be storage cabinets for the basement.

Do you know off hand what the general price for b2 mdf core birch or maple is in your area? it seems odd that shop grade over here is $60. From what i read, generally only 85% of the shop grade sheet is useful? I may as well buy the 2 sided pre finished veneer core for $15 more . Now b2 8x4 mdf core would be great at $60.

When i asked for a price list printout for all birch and maple, that's the only mdf core one i saw on it. not sure if they have other grades and he just forgot to put them on my list. I'll give them a call monday. I've been e-mailing them too many questions.

Thanks

-Christopher
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:28 AM
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Philphoto Philphoto is offline
 
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Default Birch face ply

I get some "OK" plywood from Home Depot that is Birch faced 2 sides and is OK sort of. Like sean9c said it is wavy and not the best stuff, but it is about $40 a sheet and better than the plywood the lumber yards sell for home building. Melamine faced particle board is used to build cabinets all the time, and most 32mm Euro style is in melamine 2 faced material. Here the melamine 2 faced particle 3/4" runs in the $40 to $50 range. Melamine particle board is HEAVY and it is 1" each way, oversized for cabinets. There is Baltic Birch and then there is "similar" ply. I have to get my better stuff in an order with my cabinetmaker friends. Helps them reach order size and I get the "contractors discount", which is a route you might try for the future. I pay $85 to $150 for 3/4" ply -- depending on the face --maple is the cheapest, and quartersawn white oak is the most expensive. I have not bought any of the bamboo ply at $200 per sheet, but it is available and a good choice if financial ruin is your goal.

Not sure if that helps, but. . .

Phil
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:58 AM
Jeff R Jeff R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean9c View Post
I've not found decent BB for that cheap.
Price of material is all over the place, but usually you get what you pay for. I recently bought a bunch of 3/4" prefinished maple for some shop cabinets that was made in China. It was cheap but it was also poor quality, thickness varied, finish was wavy, veneers chipped easily. OK for my project but marginal for anything you cared about.
You might also look at your layout. I've never been able to get 5x5's to layout very efficiently, so there is a lot of waste. With 4x8's you can get very efficient layouts.
Do you live in the Puget Sound area (I think it was you who had a project on the San Juan islands)? If so do you know of a place that keeps Baltic birch or Apple ply in stock - some place that sells to do-it-yourselfers? Dunn Lumber used to have it but I think they stopped carrying it . I think Rockler may have small pieces, but I'd rather buy full sheets.

~ Jeff
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:54 PM
tofu tofu is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philphoto View Post
I get some "OK" plywood from Home Depot that is Birch faced 2 sides and is OK sort of. Like sean9c said it is wavy and not the best stuff, but it is about $40 a sheet and better than the plywood the lumber yards sell for home building. Melamine faced particle board is used to build cabinets all the time, and most 32mm Euro style is in melamine 2 faced material. Here the melamine 2 faced particle 3/4" runs in the $40 to $50 range. Melamine particle board is HEAVY and it is 1" each way, oversized for cabinets. There is Baltic Birch and then there is "similar" ply. I have to get my better stuff in an order with my cabinetmaker friends. Helps them reach order size and I get the "contractors discount", which is a route you might try for the future. I pay $85 to $150 for 3/4" ply -- depending on the face --maple is the cheapest, and quartersawn white oak is the most expensive. I have not bought any of the bamboo ply at $200 per sheet, but it is available and a good choice if financial ruin is your goal.

Not sure if that helps, but. . .

Phil
Thanks, Phil. I really want to avoid melamine, as the outer cabinet sides will be exposed. They do have "flake core" birch for a lot cheaper than shops grade mdf core. Is that the basically particle board with birch veneer?
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:11 PM
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Philphoto Philphoto is offline
 
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Default Maybe

I know that is as helpful as thin air.

It seems that every manufacturer does a song and dance routine to make things more confusing -- it avoids apples to apples comparisons. Gives them an opportunity to play around with the pricing without anyone making meaningful comparisons.

I understand the melamine avoidance. You can get it in colors that are not too obnoxious. White being the most common. Easy to wash and looks like a doctors office and just as sterile. It is however the price conscious choice of many and you will have to change a few jointing techniques -- like conformat screws or KD hardware.

For my shop and other sorts of utility work I use MDO. Marine Density Outdoor plywood. It is used for signs and boat building. Typically it has brownish colored paper surface laminated to both sides of the ply. A little harder to prime so buy it preprimed if you can. It is not cheap, (last load was $80 a sheet 3/4") but it is easy to work with and if it gets wet no big deal. I live on the coast about a mile from the beach, so water is an issue here. Basements do get wet or damp and that is an issue to think about. Utility cabinets can get lots of spills over time and that will be another problem.

Lots of issues to think about and the biggest is where you live. You may not find good choices as every retailer tries to outdo the competition, and prices are held down but something has to give somewhere. Most often the give is in quality.
Hope that helps.
Phil
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:33 PM
tofu tofu is offline
 
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Phil, any knowledge is helpful to me. I really know zilch about wood in general.

Thanks.

-Christopher
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2013, 02:11 PM
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Philphoto Philphoto is offline
 
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Default There is a difference in regions

I know that each region has differing sources of supply and product availability. Your region will determine what you have available and what products sell the best.

I suggest that you read up on the product that you want to build the most. I had need for new cabinets and bookcases. I read up and picked a style of construction that appealed to my taste and then tried to find the best way to build with that style, and materials available. I now have all the tools and materials to make any type of cabinet known to man -- I just lack the skill.

In my opinion the EZ system excels in cabinet making. I am of the opinion that cabinetmaking is a great place for any woodworker to start. Once you learn those techniques the process of building a bed or dresser is just baby steps removed from cabinets. A woodworker can improve his house considerably and get valuable return. Remember -- any wood you put into your house you will get back at sale later. High quality cabinets, and built ins will only improve your chances at sale time. I am of the opinion that you do not want to skimp too much if the product is going in your home. High quality product is easier for the wife to endorse, and if she sees you improving her home she will move heaven and earth to get the things you need to do so.

That brings up another point. If you are married, include your wife in material selection. I have found that my wife knows what will appeal to herself and other women. The key word is "herself" and you can trust me, after 42 years married to the same woman -- it is about "herself" though she may say "women" in the generic sense, that is but a simple deflection of guilt. Include her in the needs assessment. She might like deeper shelves or shorter shelves. Reminding her that her house is worth the best is not hard. If you are looking for "cheapest" selection, that tells her you do not consider her "nest" important -- and that is not a good thing. We have a marriage counselor on this forum if you do not understand that point. We men tend to stick with one way only and that will not help your house stand out later at sale. If you do not include her, it will be a point of divide and you will always be at odds trying to buy more tools and materials. In fact your next tool might be made by "Alimony & Child Support."

Phil
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:12 PM
Lex Lex is offline
 
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Be glad you guys don't live in South Florida. Everything decent needs to be trucked in long distances, so it's very pricey. Cypress and SYP construction-grade lumber is cheap, but cabinet-grade is not. The cheapest that I've found is $88 for maple 4x8-3/4 sheets A-1. Gotta order that and wait--it's not stocked.
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