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Old 09-02-2014, 21:15   #1
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Cabinet material?

Quick question from a complete noob here.

On power cruisers around 40-60' length in the somewhat higher end yachts. What material is typically used for box construction on the galley cabinets? I'm very familiar with kitchen builds in homes. Even high-end kitchens are using melamine for the clean look and easy cleaning. I would expect that boats would be more inclined to use lighter weight materials. I once saw a luxury RV feature that indicated the use of some type of lightweight composite material for box construction. Is this typical in the slightly larger boats as well? Not talking about the mega yachts here that are more like floating mansions, I'm sure they can use whatever they want.

Thanks guys?
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Old 10-02-2014, 13:18   #2
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Re: Cabinet material?

Or even if nobody is familiar with exact production materials, maybe a few of you could examine your own cabinets and provide some insight.
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Old 10-02-2014, 13:25   #3
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Re: Cabinet material?

I'm doing some galley and head redesign and construction myself right now. Boat cabinet work is usually exterior or marine plywood with a wood or plastic laminate veneer (marine ply is nice, but not absolutely essential for this application).

I was looking into using a melamine/high-density fiberboard for some of the cabinetry, but I'm leery of its lack of water resistance at the cut edges.
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Old 10-02-2014, 14:12   #4
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Re: Cabinet material?

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Originally Posted by Ukeluthier View Post
I'm doing some galley and head redesign and construction myself right now. Boat cabinet work is usually exterior or marine plywood with a wood or plastic laminate veneer (marine ply is nice, but not absolutely essential for this application).

I was looking into using a melamine/high-density fiberboard for some of the cabinetry, but I'm leery of its lack of water resistance at the cut edges.
Yes, the lack of water resilience and excess weight would seam to make any MDF or particle board core material undesirable.

Your comment on veneers makes sense. The funny thing is that if I ever did a luxury cabinet build for someone on land and used plastic veneers for any more than just minor details, I'd lose the job. Different worlds I guess.
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Old 10-02-2014, 14:26   #5
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Re: Cabinet material?

Depends if you want weight savings. If so, a honeycomb or foam core laminated with a veneer or paint finish.
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Old 11-02-2014, 19:34   #6
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Re: Cabinet material?

3/4" teak veneer plywood
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Old 11-02-2014, 20:06   #7
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Re: Cabinet material?

Please look into the book Boat Joinery and Cabinetmaking Simplified by Fred P. Bingham. It might be in your local library. Old book but still applicable.

3/4 ply is very heavy for cabinetry in a boat and certainly you don't need teak veneer if the rest of your boat is maple or mahogany.
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Old 24-02-2014, 18:17   #8
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Re: Cabinet material?

1/2 or 3/4 marine plywood with one nice side of wood veneer.

Other builders use plywood with plastic veneer

Some others use plywood with Formica
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Old 24-02-2014, 19:45   #9
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Re: Cabinet material?

Six copies of the Bingham book are available at Abebooks.com under $10.00 including shipping.
Marine plywood for anything interior seems like a big waste of money to me; it's SO much more expensive.
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Old 24-02-2014, 20:35   #10
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Re: Cabinet material?

Just got the Bingham book, very dated. Not much in there I found interesting or enlightening. We really need the input of a craftsman who works on high end boats. This forum and you tube are the best resources I have found so far
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Old 24-02-2014, 20:45   #11
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Re: Cabinet material?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brantleychuck View Post
Just got the Bingham book, very dated. Not much in there I found interesting or enlightening. We really need the input of a craftsman who works on high end boats. This forum and you tube are the best resources I have found so far
Sorry you were disappointed. I found it helpful because I'm not a cabinet maker and he covered everything I needed to know.

Did I mention the public library?
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Old 24-02-2014, 20:49   #12
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Re: Cabinet material?

Oh no worries on the book recommend. Book was cheap. Methods , designs used seemed from a bygone simpler era. All good
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Old 24-02-2014, 20:53   #13
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Re: Cabinet material?

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Originally Posted by brantleychuck View Post
Just got the Bingham book, very dated. Not much in there I found interesting or enlightening. We really need the input of a craftsman who works on high end boats. This forum and you tube are the best resources I have found so far

Agreed. I am experienced as a cabinet maker, but materials and techniques are different on high end boats.
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Old 25-02-2014, 04:56   #14
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Re: Cabinet material?

Quality construction means a base material that is stable. Marine plywood or one of the more exotic versions that save weight or even a composite material.

For finishing a quality veneer is used, which is then prepped and sprayed with a clear urethane coating.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:52   #15
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Re: Cabinet material?

Just finished building this overhead cabinet for my galley, Built with 1/2 plywood ( not marine) covered with teak veneer- corners are solid teak corner posts.

After the teak was glued down and dried, I coated the whole cabinet inside and out with 2 layers of clear epoxy. then 3 layers of satin varnish- to match the rest of the boat. Don't think any water is going to do any damage to it.
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