Sewing Cabinet with Inlaid Metal Tile Accents #2: Materials

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Blog entry by Ron Stewart posted 09-05-2021 09:36 PM 367 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introduction Part 2 of Sewing Cabinet with Inlaid Metal Tile Accents series Part 3: Case Construction »

I had originally planned to build the entire cabinet from solid maple, but high lumber prices (soft maple is $7.50 per board foot at my favorite supplier) pushed me to use plywood for the case and doors and solid maple for the face frame and trim. I was also a little worried about warping and expansion problems with using solid maple for the slab doors.

In the end, the plywood probably caused as many problems as it solved.

For starters, it was very difficult to find in my area. I had to wait for one of the local Home Depot stores to get it in stock, and its quality is just okay. Most of the sheets in the store had obvious flaws on the good face, and most were slightly warped. We selected the best of the lot and hoped for the best.

Another problem with the plywood is that its color didn’t match that of the solid maple lumber, which caused us some angst related to finishing, which I’ll discuss more in a separate post.

The last problem was that the door slabs aren’t perfectly flat. One is slightly warped. I didn’t find a solution for that, but I was able to tweak the Blum inset hinges to compensate, so the warping isn’t too obvious on the finished cabinet.

I wanted the cabinet to have a 1/2” thick back panel, but I couldn’t fine 1/2” maple plywood, and I didn’t feel like buying a full sheet of birch (similar enough to the maple for the back). I ended up buying a sheet of 5.2mm Sande Plywood and laminated two pieces for the back. This plywood is absolute junk (soft and unattractive), but it was good enough for this use. I also used it as a filler panel for the cabinet top’s underside to match the plywood inner panel’s thickness to the trim’s.

-- Ron Stewart

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