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Building a kitchen cabinet out of mdf, will it hold the weight?

Building a kitchen cabinet out of mdf, will it hold the weight?

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Old 09-30-17, 12:16 PM
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Building a kitchen cabinet out of mdf, will it hold the weight?

I'm thinking of building my own kitchen cabinets using exactly these MDF Panel (Common: 3/4 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.; Actual: 0.750 in. x 48 in. x 96 in.)-M11161249097000000A - The Home Depot MDF boards. They're 3/4in in thickness. I've worked assembled MDF furniture before such as chests and beds and have come to expect that their screw holding ability is pretty much non-existent. I'm a bit worried about upper cabinets and if they will hold the weight. I have a lot of china and hold heavy baking products in my current one, so I'd expect the one I do to hold probably around 500lb (not sure of the exact weight, probably less than 500, but mine is really heavy). So I can anyone help me to calculate the things I need? I'm using Revit as my CAD software but also have regular AutoCad, they both have structural elements which I think I can use to calculate/simulate the material strengths. If not that than can anyone show me by hand how to calculate such things? Thanks.
 
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Old 09-30-17, 12:19 PM
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While it might be ok I wouldn't make the face frame out of MDF, I'd want solid wood.
 
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Old 09-30-17, 12:56 PM
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3/4" MDF is plenty strong enough for cabinets. Of course you need to build the cabinet properly with dados for the sides, top, and bottom.

Here's a link to Hardrock Maple, which is what a lot of builders use (almost all): https://www.gahwd.com/p-1943-hardrock-maple.aspx
You should be able to find it at a local lumber/hardwood company.

I think you already know the general design, but here's a picture of an upper cabinet:
 
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Last edited by Handyone; 09-30-17 at 01:04 PM. Reason: The hardrock is for interior only.....
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Old 09-30-17, 01:58 PM
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I've got a budget of about $200, so I was thinking of just using mdf for the whole thing, I've seen a bunch of videos of people doing the front plates, doors and drawers out of them so it's a 100% mdf. Then a coat of primer and paint. If my estimates are correct I can build 3 large 35" floor cabinets and one large 120" upper cabinet for about $140. That's if I use one sheet of 4x8 per cabinet. Just based on surface area of all the boards required I counted one cabinet is about 22ft sq, one board provides 34ft sq, so that should be 1.5 cabinets per board, but I'm just assuming 1 per board for worst case scenario. The top one is just going to be a box so it should be just 2 boars, maybe less if I manage to save some mdf from the bottom ones. At 27 a board and with tax-exemption from my contractor friend for HD that's roughly $135 total.

The thing is that I'm not sure what the quality of the doors will be like when made from mdf and just painted. Will they be very flimsy, at 3/4 heavy mdf I wouldn't think so? I'm asking because you guys are recommending wood for the front/doors is there a reason?

And yet again I just want to double check, I'm not worried that the shelves will fail or anything like that, I'm worried that the anchor points to the studs will fail on the cabinet side because mdf is just so flaky. Would I just screw them in with screws alone? I don't need any kind of reinforcement? Maybe it's better to just drill holes and use bolts?
 
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Old 10-01-17, 02:16 PM
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one board provides 34ft sq,
A 4x8 sheet is 32 sq. ft.

Would I just screw them in with screws alone? I don't need any kind of reinforcement?
Use washer head cabinet screws designed for the purpose.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/SPAX-10-x...0757/206709829
 

Last edited by Wirepuller38; 10-01-17 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Added additional text.
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