Author Topic: baltic birch cabinets  (Read 2209 times)

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 533
baltic birch cabinets
« on: June 22, 2021, 12:04 PM »
If you were building Baltic birch cabinets, would you edge band the doors or would you leave them "natural"?  "Natural" would be faster, cheaper and probably more durable.  And not a bad look.



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Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1489
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2021, 12:17 PM »
Raw edges. No banding.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4171
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2021, 12:22 PM »
If I saw any voids, however small, I would band.  That, or send it back to the supplier.   [mad]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 533
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2021, 12:30 PM »
If I saw just one void on an edge I would be inclined to use wood filler.  More than that would upset me.  Baltic birch costs about twice what veneered birch does locally.

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 307
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2021, 12:33 PM »
Vocation: Real Estate Appraiser
Advocation: Wood Worker

Advice: From Wood Worker-It is your house, make it work for you and the family. It is au courrant so up to-date in the market if not ahead of the market.

Advice: From Appraiser as to resale value: Limited pool of buyers at this time, too ahead of the market, too European. not ready for prime time.

Disclaimer: I am in Montana which some regard as not really comparable with the rest of the country. However, due to the pandemic and the rise in working from home, we are suffering an invasion from North California residents fleeing their State. "Build a wall" is being heard around the state. These folks would regret raw edges surprisingly. They want to return to what worked in the old days.
Clark Fork

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don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 533
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2021, 12:38 PM »
Vocation: Real Estate Appraiser
Advocation: Wood Worker

Advice: From Wood Worker-It is your house, make it work for you and the family. It is au courrant so up to-date in the market if not ahead of the market.

Advice: From Appraiser as to resale value: Limited pool of buyers at this time, too ahead of the market, too European. not ready for prime time.

Good points.  I will keep that in mind.
Disclaimer: I am in Montana which some regard as not really comparable with the rest of the country. However, due to the pandemic and the rise in working from home, we are suffering an invasion from North California residents fleeing their State. "Build a wall" is being heard around the state. These folks would regret raw edges surprisingly. They want to return to what worked in the old days.

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 978
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2021, 03:30 AM »
I live in California and can not leave do to work. The Rest of the Calirats fleeing the problems of their own creation will spread their plague of stupidity. Allow them into you state at your own risk. :) I have lived in California long enough to have seen it go from amazing to a joke. Sad Joke. Do not bother with a wall, those do not work :)

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2021, 05:52 AM »
@Packard

I agree with @clark_fork ...

If you and the family like it and are staying in the house for years to come then fine but not everyone will like those exposed edges and it will only serve to reduce the pool of potential buyers. The corollary of this is that some potential buyer might love it so much that they will pay a premium price.

Peter

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 583
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2021, 07:38 AM »
It's kind of a 50/50 thing around here. Some like the look and others don't mind the idea of the plywood, just not the exposed edges. They say it looks unfinished or that corners were cut.
It is purely subjective and in the eye of the end user,
Working for many years in a commercial cabinet shop, I have seen this design done several times, both on doors/drawer fronts and on the drawer boxes themselves.
I don't happen to have any pics handy, but I just recently did this with the drawers in the kitchen I built for my daughter's house.
I have done countertops with exposed ply edges too. I even did some with edgebanding that mimics the look of plywood edges, with a normal particleboard core.
I have also done a reception desk with applied panels on the outside walls that had exposed edges. That same job had the partition walls and doors in the restrooms in the same style.
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Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 252
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2021, 02:03 PM »
Vocation: Real Estate Appraiser

Disclaimer: I am in Montana which some regard as not really comparable with the rest of the country. However, due to the pandemic and the rise in working from home, we are suffering an invasion from North California residents fleeing their State. "Build a wall" is being heard around the state. These folks would regret raw edges surprisingly. They want to return to what worked in the old days.

Not to hijack this thread, but I recently watched a YouTube video from a Montana real estate company that highlighted things that no one tells you about moving to Montana.  I lived most of my life in rural areas, where going to the store was an all-day event because of the distance, and being self-sufficient was essential.   [big grin]

Online GoodBadUgly

  • Posts: 6
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2021, 05:17 AM »
I am a rookie so pardon if it’s a silly question. Exposed look great but will it be treated to prevent absorption of any moisture, especially in a kitchen environment?
Baltic birch plywood in my workshop (garage) if left for a year, gets rough edges which I presume it is from wicking moisture.


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Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 708
baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2021, 07:53 AM »
I usually do 2mm solid birch edge-banding (available commercially on a roll) with plain birch plywood.

On the pictures you showed it looks like melamine-faced plywood, which I would tend to leave un-banded.

If you want to edge-band the melamine faced birch ply with something other than wood, I would ask why you would spend the money for the ply and not just go for MDF?

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2777
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2021, 10:24 AM »
When I build something,  I only care about how much I or my family will enjoy the finished work, never about any added value to my house. Many buyers renovate their newly bought houses before they move in (my new neighbor just moved in after over 7 weeks of renovation -- with some work still going on in the basement). What you like has nothing to do with what your potential buyers may like. We all have different tastes due to our age, background, etc. Oak built-in cabinets were common in the old days, now everything seems to be white, or black.

So if I were to build the baltic birch cabinets, I decided first how important cost and speed of completion were to me relative to appearance and being "furniture-like." If the cabinets were for my shop, I wouldn't do any hardwood edge banding. If I wanted them to be a center piece in my, say, family room, I might be willing to spend more money and time.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 10:54 AM by ChuckM »

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 377
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2021, 11:42 AM »
What kind of cabinets?
If they are not in the kitchen, like a tv cabinet or bedroom, etc then the exposed edge is a cool look. I built my girls loft beds out of Baltic birch and left the edges exposed. Looks really neat.

I also used bb on my recent kitchen cabinets build. Those were not left exposed. I did a hardwood face frame on the boxes and hardwood edging on shelves.
Partially, for the more ‘finished’ look, but also for durability. That exposed edge will take a beating in a kitchen. The hardwood will stay looking nice for quite a bit longer, I would expect.

Offline Tom Gensmer

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Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2021, 11:58 AM »
Please note that, while BB is probably fine for the boxes, the AWI standards manual lists veneer core plywood as being not suitable for doors.  You’re going to have a better finished product by using MDF core, face/back veneer of your choice, and if you like the look of BB there is BB edge banding available….

« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 12:10 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 583
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2021, 04:47 PM »
I am a rookie so pardon if it’s a silly question. Exposed look great but will it be treated to prevent absorption of any moisture, especially in a kitchen environment?
Baltic birch plywood in my workshop (garage) if left for a year, gets rough edges which I presume it is from wicking moisture.


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No one ever said these were "unfinished". A raw plywood cabinet door, drawer or drawer front would not only absorb moisture, it would get stained by everything that comes in contact with them, and not just the edges. In my shop, they all get sprayed with a pre-catalyzed lacquer. Exposed is not unprotected
Shop furniture, sure, do whatever. I wouldn't even bother with the more expensive BB anyway, unless I had drop to make what I needed. Regular "shop grade" ply is fine for that. All of the drawers in my area of the shop are made that way.
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Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2344
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2021, 11:45 AM »
Having endured splinters from Baltic birch on the edges when working with it, I’d edge band the cabinets just to prevent that from happening later in a cabinets service life. 
 Voids have never been an issue for me, I guess I’ve gotten lucky with decent sheet stock for BB, other plywood, not so much luck. [embarassed]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 533
Re: baltic birch cabinets
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2021, 08:28 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.  After much thought I have decided to go with Shaker-style cabinet doors.  Which makes this conversation interesting but less vital.

I would note that before Borders Books went out of business they refurnished the local store with new tabletops.  These were made from (probably) 5/4 or 6/4 thick baltic birch.  The edges were cut on an angle with the cut edge exposed to the top.  These tops had a fairly heavy satin clear finish.  The edges looked nice and I liked the look. 

The table tops proved durable with frequent daily wipings with a wet cloth over 2 - 3 years at which time all the Borders stores closed.  It certainly stood up better than the Starbucks baltic birch table tops where the finish got soft after less than 6 months.  The local store hired me to refinish the tops.  I used Minwax oil-based finish and the finish looked excellent after 9 - 10 years (Starbucks remodels every 10 years).