Author Topic: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions  (Read 23467 times)

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Offline FestoolMike

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Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« on: March 13, 2009, 10:44 AM »
I am in the planning stages of putting some cabinets together for my basement to house all of the toys and junk that kids have accumulated.  I am thinking I will do most of this out of sheet goods, making a bank of them 8 feet high and 2 feet deep w/ shelves and whatnot.  I was considering using the white laminated melamine for the carcass and MDF for the doors.  I will either pain the doors or spray them with a tinted poly.

Should I be concerned with the humidity in the basement considering the MDF doors?  Or the melamine for that matter?  I want them to be able to last for some time.  The kids beating the heck out of them, that is another story. 

What would you experts recommend for the materials?  Not looking for the gold plated option.  Something that balances the durability and the cost considerations.

Thanks in advance,

Mike

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Offline Steve-CO

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 10:57 AM »
Something different might be to make the panels on the doors coated in chalkboard paint, then the kids could add their "art work" to the cabinets and personalize them.

http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=103

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 11:24 AM »
I would never use melamine whether in my own home or a clients, some people like it though. You can decide for yourself.

Just remember the stuff is weak and hard to work woth, it can break under its own weight. For the same or not much more money you can use many other products I think are better. I like to work with with veneer cores and solid wood only.

Here is a nice thread on Wood Web with both points of view

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Melamine_Cabinet_Boxes.html
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 11:25 AM by nickao »
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Offline Notorious T.O.D.

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 11:49 AM »
I would go with 3/4 birch or oak ply for the boxes and poplar for the trim and doors if you want to paint or solid oak if you want to stain.  Of course you could also do heavy duty flat doors out of 3/4 birch ply and paint them too.  In the long run it doesn't cost that much more to go first class with materials and it will make the work more enjoyable too.

I would also think about if you really want them 24 inches deep.  That is very deep unless you are going to have full extension slide out drawers or shelves. I would go 12 to 16 inches deep max personally for such units...

Best,
Todd

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 12:01 PM »


Mike,

Personally, in place of the white laminated melamine I would use pre-finished baltic birch with a ply core.

Especially when your kids, "Mr Bubbles" opens up in the cabinet......

let's see the melamine survive that after you only noticed it 3 days later!


(blue as in the color of water)

or the ice hockey boots that somehow never got dried out before being tossed into the bottom section.

These are kids,  what about the hide and seek of a snow ball?  opps.

.........shall I continue?


anyhow, I would also buy it from your local plywood vendor rather than from a big box store.

Usually better quality, better for keeping your local guy there.

As to the mdf, if you are using it on your doors, I wouldn't go with the "lite" version,

go with the high quality denser version. (definitely avoid the big box store on this)

I like the chalkboard paint option that Steve suggested,

On a design note, if you go that route......

I would raise the bottom of your cabinet a couple of inches and within the kick-board -

build in a shallow pullout drawer that comes out just 6".

Basically a pullout kick-board.... to catch all the   most of the chaulkcrumbs / paint as they fall /drip.

(they could store their chaulk in there as well)

Make sure that the bottom of the faceboards of those wide drawers almost touch the floor......just in case  when they push down on it.

As far as suggestions to train your kids to use it,

I'd ask Nick........I don't have kids.

Just a very stubborn bulldog.



Roger


ps. If you do use  chalkboard paint on the outside be sure to seal the inside of the door a well. (that's if you don't want some rather large pretzels.)






« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 02:19 PM by Roger Savatteri »
Los Angeles, California

Offline bruegf

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 01:01 PM »
I've got a sysport I made out of box store melamine.   Definitely not the highest quality material, but it is more than adequate for the purpose.   

I've also made laundry room cabinets out of white melamine.   Euro style with full overlay doors also from melamine.   I used Fastcap white self adhesive edging and they are holding up fine.   

Most recently I made some garage wall cabinet carcases from left over melamine.   Used some scrap pine for face frames and fir plywood doors I kept after doing doors and drawers in the kitchen of my last house.   No problems w/ the melamine, even in the temp and humidity extremes I get in the garage.

I know a lot of members don't like melamine, but I feel there are times for my personal use where its "good enough".   You just need to make sure that you never expose them to direct water.

Fred
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 01:05 PM by bruegf »
Fred

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 01:29 PM »
Well he specifically said for the kids. Just last week my kid was actually in a cabinet pressing with all his might against the sides, then he started kicking. They also use the drawers as a ladder and have even broke(very slight crack)some Oak cabinet face frames by putting all their weight on the doors when open, which would pretty much pull the entire door right out of the melamine carcass, with the melamine with it .

So if the kids are going to be playing by it and storing toys in it Melamine may or may not be the best choice. I have had a flood in my basement and the great thing about good ply is that when it dries up it really does shrink back up and goes back and instead of being trashed may need a little sanding at most. I think the melamine pretty much would have to be trashed. Either way Roger had a good point about keeping the cabinets up 6", especially if it is a concrete floor. I think for the shop Melamine may be okay.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 01:31 PM by nickao »
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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2009, 01:29 PM »
Melamine is one of my least favourites, and I would not use it myself unless for a very specific (and out of sight) task.

It does well for sliding in an out things, fairly scratch resistant so for basement storage, why not? If it is humid enough to spoil the melamine tha basement is too dank to store things anyway.  If loaded heavy melamine would need proper bracing as it breaks too easily.

Doors could be mdf, which holds up well if painted and is easy to shape. I would not go under 16 or 19mm mdf (what is that, some 3/8"?) for the doors or else they might not hold well over time, but no real need to go thicker. For shelves I would not go under 22mm mdf, especially if shelves are up to 600mm and wider. 

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Offline Forrest Anderson

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 01:43 PM »
I would not go under 16 or 19mm mdf (what is that, some 3/8"?)

Henrik

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Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 02:28 PM »


I would   use 3/4" melamine particle core board from  my local lumber yard and build the cabinet with a base of 2 x 4 on edge (3.5"). Joinery would be DOmino with pocket hole to pukk it together for gluing. I use Titebond melamine  glue. For doors and drawer froints, I would use 3/4 poplar. I would use iron on edging for the white stuff or ass a full faceframe of poplar or oak.
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Offline John2532

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 02:33 PM »
Whatever you do don't be tempted by the "cabinet grade" birch ply offered by HD. It looks pretty good in the store but I had a lot of warping after cutting and veneer bubbling after painting. Luckily it was for the garage.

Offline MichaelM

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 03:21 PM »
"Joinery would be DOmino with pocket hole to pukk it together for gluing. I use Titebond melamine  glue."

Whoa, talk about over kill. Biscuits and melamine glue plenty strong. Try breaking a connection made this way, much stronger then the melamine board itself. I persoanlly wouldn't waste my time.

As for melamine it really depends, it will certainly work fine in the application your using it for. All my shop cabinets are melamine, I can't stand painting cabinets. Besides even the best paint will wear off over time. So you end up with another durability issue you have to deal with. For childrens cabinets I definitely would not do painted, they look like trash very shortly...

M

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 03:29 PM »
To me the Domino and pocket screws are strong, but I would use them for the shear speed of it. I bet I can make them faster that way then someone using biscuits.  The pocket screws clamp and I can go on without ever stopping, with the biscuits and glue you need to clamp. The cost is minimal. I think the self clamping of the pocket screws is the reason a lot of people use them in the first place, irregardless of strength. I think Woodshop is probably doing the same thing and using the pocket screws to virtually eliminate clamping.

I actually use pocket screws with T & G(and glue) and I can fly through making them, the reason I hardly ever use my biscuit joiner anymore. If I had a Domino I would use that without hesitation.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 03:33 PM by nickao »
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Offline bruegf

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 04:41 PM »
I agree.   All of my projects with melamine have been with the domino.   No screws though, I just glue w/ Gorilla glue, but I do this for myself only so speed isn't an issue.

Fred
Fred

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 06:43 PM »
I've bought melamine and plywood from the big box stores and also from cabinet suppliers - big difference.  There has in the past been a big difference between Lowes and Home Depot in melamine.  Lowes better than HD.  I recently bought plywood from HDepot at a premium and found it to be absolutely cr*p.  I'd build out of plywood from a cabinet supplier.  Prefinished on one side for the inside and then you can do your stuff on the outside.  I personally would recommend that you come up with a way to isolate the carcass of the cabinet from the floor to prevent wicking up of moisture into the cabinet.  Either build like a conventional cabinet with a toe kick and make the toe kick .75 inches shorter and then use .75 blocks of pvc to shim it up and then finish the toe kick area with a thin facing to hide the gaps but don't let it touch the floor or go european and use the adjustable cabinet feet with the clip on toe kick.

Two cents or worthless - you decide.

Peter

Offline John Stevens

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2009, 11:52 PM »
I've bought melamine and plywood from the big box stores and also from cabinet suppliers - big difference.

Agreed.  My local family-owned supplier sells a melamine-coated particle-board manufactured by Panolam, and it's very nice stuff--flat, and has stayed that way in my very humid basement for about five years.

That said, I've also used MDF for basement cabinets, with a coat of primer and two top-coats of high-quality paint suitable for bathrooms, where humidity and condensation from the shower would be high.  So far, so good after 18 months.

Also agree with Peter that it's best to isolate the cabinets from the slab concrete floor.  I use casters for my shop cabs, but Trex for the stationary storage shelves.  The Trex has held up well for about five years.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

John
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Offline Hans Mertens

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2009, 04:59 PM »
For the inside of cabinets, it's hard to beat melamine, if used correctly...

it's scratch resistant, cheap, comes in all kinds of colours, use grey if you want a more "expensive" look, is easy cleanable and stays like new for many years.
Use solid wood edging for the front edge if you want it extra durable, or a 2mm PVC edgeband, all other sides normal edgeband or a coat of D3 PVaC glue (the white, wood glue, water resistant), will help to prevent the accidental water to soak in.

To attach your drawer slides and hinges, normally spoken you make each cabinet ?600mm wide and connect them together, this means you get two times the thickness of your material at the point where you need to place them (2x18mm= 36mm) so you can use a 30mm screw, not a 35mm, the screwtips can poke true at the other side.  (if your hinge baseplate is thick enough you can use a 35mm screw).  Just take a little offset for you drawers and hinges in height for adjacent cabinets.
If you don't want to use an offset and still want it indestructible, I often use little metal taps with an thread on the inside (an M4) the outside diameter is 5mm, perfect for a 32mm-eurostyle-drilling.  I have them in a length of 18mm, if I need to place a hinge at a single divider with hinges at both sides, and 35mm length for a double thickness.
I use a drilling template from Hettich and drill these holes when my cabinets are placed and bolted together so the holes line up perfectly. 


For the doors, MDF is definitely an option, I always use WPB (water proof board), the green stuff here in Europe.  It costs a little bit more but it paints that much better and for me it's not worth to stock to two sorts (WPB and regular).
You can finish MDF with an oil used for hard wood floors/worktops, bee wax, or something else like that, it's easy to apply, water repellent, no dust in your paint or coat...

Cheers,

Offline Les Spencer

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2009, 08:25 PM »
I'd use prefinished 3/4" maple ply. You can get it finished on one or both sides.
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Chris Hughes

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2009, 10:35 PM »
Man I hate to go against the grain here, but I would pre-prime and paint MDO for the carcasses and shelving.  Melimine edges are to easily dinged and I'm not a fan of the texture.  The other issue I have with any pressboard based material is that it is not very strong.  I use dadoes in the vertical panels to register the horizonal panels, pocket screw and glue as the means to hold the components together.  Pocket screws have a tendancy to fail in pressboard and with dadoes the shoulder is easily broken.  IMHO

If its paint grade I use MDO.  They make an exterior grade MDF and a lightweight MDF that I would use for the doors if they are solid panels.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2009, 10:54 PM »
You are not going against the grain, many have said the veneer core products are the way to go as I do.

MDO is good and the MDO I have worked with is even rated exterior for signs and things so you give a nice choice. You get the veneer core of the plywood and the smooth surface of the MDF so MDO is perfect if you want that sort of thing.

Still you get into the better MDO and the better MDF and you can go plywood with real raised panel doors. Unless you just want the look of a paint I still do not see a lot of cost saving over real wood and ply myself. It's not like the poster is  doing an entire kitchen.

I find it is the drawer slides and options that make the main difference in price on cabinets. I have used nice slides that cost twice what all the rest of the material combined costs.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 11:03 PM by nickao »
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Offline wnagle

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2009, 10:59 PM »
I plan on using MDO on some cabinets in my parking garage due to the moisture of rain and snow on the car.  I'm told they use it on the big green sign boards on the freeway.  Since the green signs never seem to fall down, I guess I'll have to buy some!
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Offline Chris Hughes

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2009, 11:10 PM »
I've heard MDO called "sign board" before.  I've had to match some "high end" glazed cabinets recently.  For painting the stuff is great, no grain transference and paints smooth as glass.  MDO cost me about $45.00 a sheet but I could spend $65.00 at my hardwood supplier.  I haven't seen the differance so I go for the $45.00.

What hardware are you using Nickao?  I recently swithed to BlumMotion and I love them, good hardware makes a huge differance.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2009, 11:59 PM »
I love the blu motion and that is fairly expensive itself!

I would have to look up old invoices as my General usually provided the stuff and I would just look in amazement at the prices, I do not think he really shopped for sales to much. We also used blu motion type stuff for the cabinet doors , but it was not blu motion just something similar. I think it was from Sweden, but I am not sure. I'll look it up.

You could take a door just like the drawers and try to slam them as hard as you could and then about an inch from the frames the doors would stop and slowly snap shut, pretty cool! They also held my kids body weight with the door open and him hanging on them, he is about 50 lbs so I thought that was pretty cool. All my stuff in this house can not handle that at all.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 12:01 AM by nickao »
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Offline Chris Hughes

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2009, 12:30 PM »
A set of BlumMotion slides for a 24" cabinet drawer cost me about $30.00 KV sidemounts cost me $17.00.  When I tried to buy the same slides a year ago someone tried to charge me 75 bucks retail.

Offline Tom Bainbridge

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2009, 03:12 AM »
sheet goods in a basement?

use moisture resistant MDF


dont use melamine faced chipboard (partical board) in unheated damp or humid places

it has little strength and absorbs mioisture like a sponge
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Offline joez71

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2009, 08:42 PM »
Tom Bainbridge  is right, if your using malemine boards make sure you get the Moisture resistant stuff (MR) as for the doors i have used a MR MDF board with a matt malemine coating, painting it is a breeze and it seems to route/cut better than regular mdf.


Note I am in Australia and Malemine is pretty much the only stuff kitchen carcasses are made of down here.

joez71


« Last Edit: April 03, 2009, 08:52 PM by joez71 »

Offline polarsea1

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Re: Basement Euro Cabinets (Frameless) Material Suggestions
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2009, 12:50 AM »
I plan on using MDO on some cabinets in my parking garage due to the moisture of rain and snow on the car.  I'm told they use it on the big green sign boards on the freeway.  Since the green signs never seem to fall down, I guess I'll have to buy some!

The Coast Guard uses MDO for dayboards, the red or green channel marker boards used in harbors and other navigabe waterways. Holds up pretty well.