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I am in the process of setting up my shop and planning on putting up some cabinets. Due to limited space I am thinking about making them to fit between the wall studs. My question is whether I should use plywood or MDF. MDF is less expensive, but will it hold up over time. Naturally I am looking forward to using my new Kreg Jig for this project.

Appreciate your input on this.


Have a Great Day

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I would use MDF after all there is not much room for real heavy cans etc between studs .It sounds like you are just going 6 inch deep or 4 inch deep depending on your framing walls.Then you could also put doors in front to cover up ,or is this what you planned on doing?
The biggest cons to MDF are its limited holding power for screws, its susceptibility to moisture, and loading capability. If you plan on storing heavy items I would recommend making those cabinets out of plywood, but you can probably take advantage of the reduced cost for the others by using MDF. The other concern, moisture, is only an issue if you are dealing with very high humidity on a consistent basis, or if there is a good chance that the cabinets would get wet.
Phillip: That is funny! You make me laugh! I use mdf for targets in my back yard too! Im not a big fan of mdf, but I do use it in some places, not around moisture or water. Gary: Bite the bullet and buy the plywood. It will give you some nice strong cabs for along time to come. If they do get some overloading or dampness, you won't have to worry about it. Just my two cents. T
Thanks everyone,
I was kind of leaning toward the plywood and now, with all of your input, that is the way I'll go. Most of the shelves will not have a lot of weight on them, Mainly it will be for the plastic trays with screws, nuts, bolts, washersa and so forth, but some will be for small tools. I am planning on putting doors on them as this will keep the saw dust out. Phillip I had not thought about weaking of the studs by mounting into the 4" side, so I will keep that in mind.
Again Thanks Everyone.
Ok you guys have got me so curious about MDF and target practice. I know what I will be doing this week.
Go old school. Plywood is stonger and better then mdf for most apps. I have repaired alot of mdf cabnets and replaced them with plywood. If you look at how most mdf is assembled, glue or croos nuts and bolts or really coarse screws are used and if you over torque them alittle the screws strip out.
if your making sleves that will be carrying a lot of wt
run them all the way to the floor
pocket screw the sleves in the side walls do not use adjustable self pins
so your making a strong ladder arrangement
if moisture is a problem in your shop make the bottoms out of redwood or pressure treated wood
Well, I think I am going to change my plans. I found a nice plan for rolling storage cabinet on Wood magazine's site that I can modify some to fit my needs. It will allow my more storage space, not take up much room and can be moved around as/if needed. I will be making it out of plywood.
Thanks for all of your input.

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