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View Full Version : What is stronger? Mdf or plywood? Material for my new cabinet.


freemason
08/04/2017, 09:20 AM
Hallo everybody!
I'm building my own full DIY tank and I'd like to know what is stronger, Mdf or plywood?I have an idea. What do you think about?
I'm inspired by the kitchens Minotti cuchini and kitchens Claudio Silvestrin. I wanted to create something like that. I decided to build my own cabinet of waterproof plywood. Is this stuff strong enough for aquarium size 160x50x50cm? Left, right and back side of 36mm (2x18). And the table top too of 36mm. Than I wanted to cover plywood of varnish and than I'd like to cover my cabinet of a thin layer of concrete (Hallo, Claudio!) What do you think about my Idea? I'm thinking to make one a bulkhead inside the cabinet. Is it possible to do without bulkhead? In both cases I am tormented by the question. Building of plywood is strong enough for my aquarium size? Or Is it better to take MDF and don't create problems for myself?
Thanks.

JTL
08/04/2017, 10:14 AM
Plywood is stronger than MDF and is also more water resistant. I built my cabinet out of 3/4" birch plywood and did not use any 2x4's for bracing.

fishyguy7
08/04/2017, 01:11 PM
Go with plywood for sure. MDF is like a sponge with water and it falls apart quickly when it has gotten wet

GQsmooth
08/04/2017, 01:37 PM
What they said

Clowning_Around
08/04/2017, 05:48 PM
It actually depends on the application, in some instances MDF is actually stronger but not in this application, ply hanfs down would be better

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JTL
08/04/2017, 06:22 PM
When is mdf ever stronger than plywood? Just curious.

Gladmaker
08/04/2017, 06:33 PM
MDF won't tolerate water. I used to do home repairs and had to replace MDF bathroom floors that had gotten wet and rotted. A few months ago, I bought an aquarium stand cheap because it had an MDF top and it got wet around where the aquarium had been. I cut off the rotted part and topped it with wood. Don't use MDF anywhere there's a chance of water getting on it.

karimwassef
08/04/2017, 07:11 PM
MDF is just so perfectly straight. No warps or twists or arches... but they're basically paper in water. Only viable if so completely encased in epoxy that there is zero chance of water.

ericarenee
08/04/2017, 08:16 PM
It actually depends on the application, in some instances MDF is actually stronger but not in this application, ply hanfs down would be better

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MDF is just so perfectly straight. No warps or twists or arches... but they're basically paper in water. Only viable is so completely encased in epoxy that there is zero chance of water.



I agree with these two.. I would build the stand with PLY and the doors with mdf If your going for simple doors.. mdf if treated properly and used in the right situation . such as doors is much better then ply as it will not warp ..

But there are many more variables.

I use mdf about as much as plywood.. I built a lot of built in cabinets and closets . I often use a mix of both along with other stain grade lumber..


But what do i know I am just a Carpenter..

freemason
08/05/2017, 06:23 AM
Thanks!
Is it really possible to calculate deflection my future cabinet?

freemason
08/05/2017, 06:30 AM
Plywood is stronger than MDF and is also more water resistant. I built my cabinet out of 3/4" birch plywood and did not use any 2x4's for bracing.

Nice cabinet!
Do you have any deflection?

I would not like when what should be level takes shape of arch!)

JTL
08/05/2017, 06:43 AM
Nice cabinet!
Do you have any deflection?

I would not like when what should be level takes shape of arch!)

No deflection. Perfectly level. The 4' span where the doors are is three 3/4 pieces of plywood, glued and screwed. Think of a laminate beam.

Clowning_Around
08/05/2017, 01:09 PM
Thanks!
Is it really possible to calculate deflection my future cabinet?Of course it is but most won't becuase it's not worth the effort, instead just follow industry standards and be done with it. Calculating simple deflection of a member is easy, once you start throwing in all those variables it becomes much more dynamic and complex. Of course there is structural analysys modelling software that can crank it out for you if you have access to such a thing.....

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Clowning_Around
08/05/2017, 01:15 PM
I forgot to mention if you do calculate the deflection you can design for it with camber tht way under load it levels out - you can observr this in semitruck flatbead trailers unloaded has a curved arch upwards (camber) and when fully loaded the deck is a flat uniform slope up towards the trucks cab. This is also done in construction with tension slabs but not as easy to observe typically

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freemason
09/10/2017, 09:34 AM
Hallo!
Spanish Company Natural Aquario mades aquarium cabinets from plywood (but it's not fully exactly) size 180.5cm x 60.5cm x 70cm WITHOUT transverse wall!
But then why overwhelming majority of aquarium companies building DIY cabinets mades cabinets with transverse wall starting from 120cm?