Material for Oversize Cabinet Doors

      Plywood is unstable and MDF weighs too much. In this thread, cabinetmakers suggest alternatives. November 11, 2005

I have to make four large plywood doors (approximately 28" x 58") wrapped with edgebanding. Due to the size of the doors, I am concerned that they will warp. I'm looking for opinions on what type of plywood to use. I cannot use a fiber board due to weight. The owner will add glass and/or stainless to the doors after they are installed. Your input is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
It's been more than 15 years since I've come across any type of plywood suitable to use as doors, so I always use MDF (oh, my aching back), but that could be my supplier's fault. If veneer face is not a concern, maybe apple ply? The real stuff, not the generic, which is getting pretty bad, too. Baltic birch used to be alright, but now it is just as bowed as the rest of the plywoods.

Ah, yes... stability, a thing of the past. I agree - plywood gets worse every year, even apple ply isn't flat any longer. Any chance you could use LDF or MDO and apply your own banding and veneer? Also, exactly what is the customer going to do with "glass and/or stainless" after installation?

Finnish ply or apple ply are relatively stable. Avoid Russian or Chinese birch. The doors aren't terribly big, so having three hinges keeps them pretty straight. If you need to use a wood you're not sure of, Hafele makes the Planofit door straightening system, which seems to work well.

Make your own hollow core door. Make a solid wood frame and cut the life out of boards by cutting in from each side about 2/3 the thickness of material, alternating sides all the way around the perimeter. Then skin both sides with 1/4" ply or MDF. Then edgeband with wood type of your choice. Ignore this if door thickness is less than 1". If less than 1", use ultralight MDF and band with solid wood so you can hinge it.

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