« on: December 15, 2013, 09:35:50 AM »
Phil, you are contemplating the thing that I just did for cabinets in my bar and basement. I used 3/4" oak and 3/4 birch plywood. For the painted cabinets, the birch was fine. The red oak cabinets came out very nicely after staining and sealing. Excepting for corner areas where the plywood edge is visible, you would have to look pretty hard to know they are not lumber faces.
When you consider that a ply face frame is more structurally sound than lumber pieces, it is easy to go that route. I gulped at the $50 per sheet cost of the oak plywood, but quickly calmed down when I considered the cost for finished oak lumber and the need to employ biscuits and other means to bring the frame together. I also had concern with the waste from having to cut out and waste the plywood for drawer and cabinet openings. But I couldn't argue with the cost and structural soundness.
I did 'route' the edges to create receiving channels at the corners and cabinet floors to enhance the structural joints. All joints were glued and finished nailed. I do not have a working router, but I do have my circular table and hand saws. I wanted to use a Dado blade to form the channels, but my table saw arbor was too short. So I had to make the channels the hard way with multiple parallel saw cuts and then chiseling out the channel to final depth and finish. It was a pain, but did not degrade the appearance of the finished product.
Regarding the ply edges, I could have planned for applying oak or birch veneers over those areas. But those edges are so hidden, a visitor would probably never see them.
Go for it.