Substrate for Laminating Cabinet Doors

Plywood cores are not recommended for laminate cabinet doors (MDF, particleboard, or plywood-core MDF are better). July 26, 2010

I just want to make sure that we're manufacturing laminate cabinet doors like everyone else. Here's our process: First we use two sided 3/4" ply, laminated both sides. Cut them to size, edgeband all edges on our Brandt bander. Then we belt sand (by hand) the outside of the door to receive laminate. Apply laminate and use a trim router to trim rough edges, then use a trim router to trim even closer. Then we have to spend a lot of time filing the edges down. Finally we hinge the doors. Is this the common method for laminating cabinet doors?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor B:
I don't recommend plywood for cabinet doors. AWI doesn't allow it in their quality standards either. We use particleboard, MDF or plywood that is laminated with MDF (Beaverboard) on the faces - depends on the customer or specs. If you are using color match PVC edgebanding, you can laminate your doors first and then use your edgebander to edge the doors. But if you are doing laminate edgeband, in my opinion, you should edge first and laminate after. You really need a wide belt sander to sand doors properly, but if a belt sander is what you've got... that's it. We just make one pass with the laminate trimmer and then file.

From contributor J:
I agree with contributor B - nix the plywood unless specified. We use a particleboard or MDF core layup both sides so it's balanced, cut out on the CNC, then through the bander. If we have to use HPL for banding we use V-grade. There is a black line, however, if you band first then lam the face, chances are when you file, you see a small black line on the face anyway, depending on how heavy you file. When the doors come off the bander they go directly to the Grass machine, get bored and hung.

From contributor I:
We get particleboard pre-laminated with laminate both sides from suppliers who do this cheaper than I can buy just the materials. We then cut the doors and use PVC edgebanding, which matches the face laminate, to edgeband. Much faster and therefore cheaper than the system you describe. When we can't get the PVC, we still cut the pre-laminated stock, then use 1/32" laminate for edgebanding.