Using MDF-Core Plywood

Cabinetmakers discuss their experiences with MDF-core plywood panels. March 26, 2009

My supplier is trying to get me to use Classic Core for all my cabinets. I'm a bit nervous about using something with MDF in kitchen cabinets or bath cabinets. I would like some feedback from those of you that do use the product.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
I use it all the time, no issues.

From contributor L:
I won't use anything but the Classic Core. It allows for a much flatter surface for the veneer. It machines well on the CNC also.

From contributor J:
What's to be worried about? The MDF is cladding the plywood core. I've use super refined raw MDF for my cabinet interiors 20+ years without a single moisture issue and with no callbacks. Can't say that for veneer core plywood - domestic or import. Most of is site finished, usually with nitro lacquer, but in the shop we use catalyzed conversion varnish.

From contributor D:
What type of fasteners are you using with MDF cores? My experience with MDF and screws has not been very good. Normally it seems to spit. I could pre-drill every hole but that seems time consuming.

From contributor S:
I agree with others - it is flatter. Veneers on any particle core look better, and it stays straighter. We pre-drill for all our screws, so that may be a drawback for some. I am to the point where I almost refuse to use ply core.

From contributor R:
Contributor D, CNC, 5 mm confirmats.

From contributor M:
The only problem for me is the weight.

From contributor Y:
It's heavy and not as strong as real plywood. I try to avoid it, but unfortunately my local suppliers love the stuff.