Plywood Box Construction
What is Plywood Box Construction?
Plywood: A construction material made of several thin layers (or plys) of wood, glued and pressed together. The grain of the wood in each layer runs in the alternating directions. This opposing direction give the plywood greater strength and stability in comparison to solid wood. Plywood always comes in an odd number of layers so that it is balanced and both outside layers will have a grain running the same direction, regardless of which side is facing out. In small pieces, such as box cabinet construction, the ply’s of the wood remain incredibly stable over time. In cabinetry, plywood is covered with a paper-thin layer of veneer wood. This veneer can be many types of wood species, such as: oak, maple, cherry and so on.
Cabinet boxes and drawers are commonly made from three types of materials: Particleboard, MDF, or plywood. Particleboard is the least expensive, but also the weakest, and most of the cabinet industry agrees that it is not durable enough for cabinets to hold up over time. MDF is stronger than particleboard, but because this composite material does not have layers, it is not as strong as plywood, which is the most expensive choice. Hardwood is not generally used for cabinet box construction because it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity, while plywood is more resistant to seasonal movement and will not warp or shrink. Because of its strength and layers, plywood provides a solid foundation for screws on drawer glides and hinges. Which in turn creates a long lasting constructions, because screws will not loosen or strip overtime.
Plywood box construction is also a bit more environmentally friendly than particleboard or MDF. Formaldehyde is used in the production of particleboard, MDF, and plywood. However, plywood emits less of these VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the air then MDF or particleboard, so the air quality with plywood is better.