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Old 12-12-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Botgek , Washington
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what type of wood did you use?

I've been double guessing the type of wood that the lumber yard recommended to use in our renovation. Looking for what others have used.

I have 1/2" ACX shop grade plywood for the walls/partitions. I've sanded and painted them and it's not a smooth as I was hoping for (grit: 120, 220, 320). I haven't found much information about the type of wood others are using for walls and cabinents, any tips would be greatly appreciated. As for face frame wood, I will be using 3/4" poplar.

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Old 12-12-2016, 11:55 AM   #2
2016 25' International
Deerfield , Massachusetts
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There is such a thing as cabinet grade plywood, but you won't find it at Home Depot or any big box stores. Comes in many different finishes ranging from white melamine (great for inside cupboards) to exotic wood.

I believe the new Airstreams use a product called "Lightply" and then they veneer/laminate over it.

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Old 12-12-2016, 12:10 PM   #3
1974 27' Overlander
danville , New Hampshire
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I used 1/4" Baltic Birch for my partitions. Took the clear poly perfectly and stronger than regular ply. It was hard to find. Had to go to a specialty shop. Poplar is nice for anything painted and it is light and strong so I used it for my inside frames. I used a mixture of Birch with Oak trim for my face frames and with the clear poly there is a nice contrast.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:30 PM   #4
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Check large lumber suppliers in your area who carry a wide variety of sheet goods. Ask for cabinet grade, 'birch' faced ply or be prepared to veneer ACX grade.
"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

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Old 12-12-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
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It's all getting painted white, not sure what the veneer will add unless it is for texture?

I've been getting most of it at Dunn lumber which has a good selection and quality for the most part. I get various suggestions there and there are so many options and a range of prices.

So ACX is not a good choice?

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Old 12-12-2016, 02:28 PM   #6
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If your want a smooth white finish with your ACX plywood, you will probably be doing quite a bit more sanding during the priming and painting process. If they use plywood, many cabinetmakers chose a type with a smooth veneer surface (birch, for example) for painted cabinets in order to achieve a good smooth finish.

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Old 12-12-2016, 02:30 PM   #7
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Since you are just painting the walls I would start with something around 60/80 grit and see if you can smooth it out enough to your liking. If not I would start looking at hardwood plywood. Generally the Chinese hardwood is about 1/2 the price of US ply, but since your painting it wouldn't matter but will be smooth from the start.

Poplar is a good choice for your face frames (since your are painting) Light and strong
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:59 PM   #8
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I tried to make a butcher block table, and one section could not be sanded. When i primed it, it would raise the grain but the rest of the wood sanded and primed fine. I tried to cover with special SW paint but to no good; $25/qt. yes
I gave up and purchased Birch plywood furniture grade at Menards, did fine.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:59 AM   #9
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What you need is furniture grade plywood or, better, marine grade plywood. In Washington, the two main suppliers are: and

Take a look at the sheetgoods at those websites, & you should be able to find what you want, although at a price significantly greater than construction plywood at Home Depot.
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Old 12-13-2016, 02:31 PM   #10
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I'm new to cabinetry but I am doing a facing on my galley with cabinet doors to replace the tambour I have repaired one time too many. I am using Alder.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 12-13-2016, 04:49 PM   #11
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Your city on your account through me, you mean: Bothell.
You are looking for paint grade plywood. Surprisingly paint grade is more difficult to produce on wood, as you found. Likely a better primer would solve your problem. I would switch to a high build sand-able primer.

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Old 12-13-2016, 05:17 PM   #12
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Fir is also tough to make smother via sanding. Unless you use a very hard and flat sanding block, the soft grain is removed faster than the harder areas of grain. This accentuates the grain pattern you are trying to hide. Sanding between coats of a high build primer is a good suggestion.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sgschwend View Post
Your city on your account threw me, you mean: Bothell.
And shouldn't yours be Oak Harbor rather than Oak Habor. Then again, perhaps you have a Boston accent!

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