Cameras made of plastic

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Lemelisk Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re:Now look at who you are talking to

I'll join this conversation, having worked in custom cabinetry and furniture making under someone with half a century of experience (I only worked a few years in the industry myself). This response is to no one in specific.

Both solidwood and particle core have their advantages, price is a major benefit to particle core and plywood, but it's far from the only advantage. For most furniture and most use-cases I would say that solid lumber is better from a durability standpoint. No question in my mind, a well made solid hardwood table or dresser will outlast a well made particle core or  plywood table. Same with most other furniture and cabinets.

However, large kitchen cabinets are the outlier and the advantages to using veneered particle core for the boxes becomes more apparent. Firstly, dimensional stability. If it's installed in a relatively climate controlled building and you pick a dimensionally stable wood species, it can be done, but even then if everything is done perfectly, on a 20 foot long set of cabinets with a hundred panels, even slight twisting can happen and will be much more apparent if it does (and it does limit your species choice).  Second is the weight. Particle core will be made of softwood with a hardwood veneer, and thus have the corresponding weight, a solid wood cabinet would be drastically heavier, and I don't know how I feel about hanging 1000-2000lbs on a wall (and a softwood cabinet will just damage far too easily). And thirdly is obviously the cost, the increase in man hours will dwarf the increase in materials.  Myself, if I were building a full set of kitchen cabinets with the cost being no issue, I would go with veneered particle core boxes, solid faces, solid trim.

Other than fullsized kitchen cabinets though, a solid piece of furniture will be better if cost or weight aren't an issue. Even then there are still scenarios in which veneered particle core or plywood is the better choice. It opens up alot of possibilities of using  species that would be otherwise impossible to use, whether because they are endangered, prohibitively expensive, super brittle, or dimensionally unstable (those often seem to go together  for whatever reason) And obviously, most large manufacturers will have difficulty mass manufacturing quality solid furniture, it just doesn't mesh well with a assembly line and requires more knowledge and skill to build well. It's just alot easier to eff up. Even if built well, shipping furniture across country is a great way to get warped and cracked furniture from the humidity.

But really the argument of particle core vs solid is very subjective. Some cases one or the other is better suited. And some subjective things matter. A solid wood piece of furniture just feels so much better. In the same way well done handcut dovetails are a sign of quality crafstmanship and I think up the quality of the end product even if they have  no practical or aesthetic advantage to router cut dovetails.

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