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2K Poly over glued up panel4/28
I am trying to produce a painted solid-color wood panel. It is for making drawer front and slab doors of a bathroom vanity. My customer really hates MDF and prefers the drawer fronts to be made of solid wood.
The end product should never come apart and the glue seams between the strips should not show.
I am gluing up multiple small strips of solid rubberwood or other cheap hardwoods to make one big solid wood panel. Each smaller strip is 32 inches long and the width of each strip is between 1.5-3 inches.
I will cut the doors and drawer fronts out of this panel. The doors and drawer fronts will be finished with solid-color 2K Poly.
1. Does it matter if I glue the strips up vertically or horizontally?
2. Does it matter if the strips have different widths?
3. Is there a particular kind of glue I should use for this job?
4. What would you do to produce a solid-color solid wood panel that donít come apart or have seams showing?
There is a slim chance you'll get the desired results with the materials and methods you've described. Edge gluing narrow strips of low grade material is unlikely to produce a panel that is likely to stay flat and smooth enough to mimic what you could get much more easily with mdf. That's not to say it can't be done, it just doesn't sound like you have the skills and equipment to do it.
I have the skills and equipment, but I still wouldn't try to do what you're proposing. It will take 10 times longer to make your panels than it would to cut a sheet of mdf or medex (moisture resistant mdf). You'll likely have grain telegraphing through your finish, and first time somebody takes a long steamy shower, your doors are going to warp and look like potato chips.
I would try to educate your client on benefits of using the right material for the job. If they won't take advice, I'd turn the job down. Otherwise, this will likely be an expensive lesson for you.
1st thing you need to inform your client of is the price increase because of the use of wood. It's more expensive to begin with. It cost much time to glue and sand. And it won't be as stable as an MDF panel. The grain will likely telegraph through in a wood panel, pretty much can't be helped unless you treat it like something that you are trying to do a grain fill with. A normal level coating of paint will show some grain at a certain angle.
It's likely glue lines will show. To prevent glue lines from showing you need to glue up your panels, let them sit for at least 3 days to let the moisture come out of the wood from the glue (using water based glue) before you sand them.
and thank you Leo and Duster for your input
Is what I am attempting to do any different from making the center panel of solid-wood 5-piece construction doors? And any different from making a cutting board and finishing it with solid-color 2K Poly?
I actually saw some people selling one-piece cabinet doors out of Rubberwood strips (see attached photos). Any clue what they did to achieve this?
Glue up then CNC would be my guess. Hard to believe that would be a stable door. Does the door feel a lot lighter than it should?
My guess is that the picture was taken during the 25 minutes after the finish dried and before it started warping.
There is simply no way that door can be stable as constructed in general.
Constructing it out of rubberwood just makes it near impossible.
Rubberwood has a very strong tendency to warp and twist while drying out, so if it ever, in the history of the world, got moist, it would turn into a potato chip very quickly.
Could always add battens to the back of the doors. :(
When i was younger we used solid wood raised panels and painted them. After looking at jobs years later even the best doors would show creep glue lines, and if the finish didn't have a hairline fracture there would be telegraphing of the glue line. Have a customer leave the A/C off during a heat spell and see where those doors go.
Since than we have used premium MDF and not a problem, doors do not warp and more importantly no finish problems. We spray ML Campbell CV and follow the directions.
Since you still challenge the opinions of most I suggest you proceed with your process. You may well succeed and congrats or learn lessons that the others have experienced.
Explain to your customer the merits of MDF and what a superior finish they will have for years to come and the sleep that you will have knowing that a callback may not be a phone call away.
Good Luck and keep us informed.
Hi Scott, LeoG, DannyB, rescraft and everybody here,
Thank you all for telling me your experience.
What I am going to do is to make 2 sets of doors. One with MDF center panel and the other set using the 1-piece solid-wood construction.
I have explained to my customer the merits of MDF and why most cabinet manufacturers make painted doors with MDF. At the end, my customer still wants solid-wood doors so he has decided to purchase both sets of doors.
If the solid-wood set cracks/warps or have finish problems, I will replace them with the MDF set.
I also plan to put some extra solid-wood doors in my bathroom to see if they warp and how much do they warp. I will paint them Dove White and see if glue line shows. I guess I will make the most out of quarantine and turn this into a science experiment. :)
I had a customer that I went back and forth with MDF vs Solid Wood. He was adamant that he wanted wood and I told him it causes more problems than it's worth in a painted cabinet.
In the end his big condo project started costing him more money than he planned and the $600 savings from solid to MDF convinced him.
He emailed over a year later and said they were doing great and he was glad he decided to go that way. I was too.
You can use plywood and glue hpl on both sides, edge band it and sand with 400 grit then finish it. No mdf.
Totally the last thing I would build or recommend for a client. I've had good friends who are woodworkers demand solid panels even for shaker doors. Nothing but trouble. Soon as the weather drys out you get shrinkage and the panel shows raw wood and those two jobs were both stained. A pigmented finish would be even worse IMO especially in a bathroom. You'll get micro cracks that'll allow more moisture which will lead to even more wood movement. Just cluster waiting to happen. Or maybe your client wants a rustic look :-)