Can I use 3/4" Plywood for Sliding Closet Doors? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Default Can I use 3/4" Plywood for Sliding Closet Doors?

So im still looking into building closet doors vs buying doors.

I was considering using 3/4" mdf but figured the doors would be to heavy to hang off a sliding track(70lbs a door!)

So i then thought about the use of 3/4" plywood (pine spruce or whatever is cheapest paint grade) but im concerned that when i rip the wood to 3" widths for the frame that it might curl over time. Is this a valid concern?

The doors will be 28" x 80" per door. I would make a frame out of the 3/4" ply and leave 5 rectangles along the door face to get a look similar to this door without the raised inner sections

Then use 1/4" or other cheap ply attached from the backside of the doors to fill in the rectangles. I figure my total cost to make the doors with this method is 2- 1/4x4x8 + 1 3/4x4x8 sheets plus a gallon of paint so under 150 bucks vs buying 4 of the above doors at 56 a door. :S

Sooo.. any thoughts suggestions?? thanks all!

Last edited by redzone; 02-29-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 11:50 AM
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Good project. Couple thing I would consider, first consider making the frames out of a solid hardwood. Closet doors tend to get banged around, and I have a feeling over time the plys in the plywood would begin splinter and separate. Also closet doors typically are in the neigborhood of 1.25"-1.5" thick. Using the 3/4" stock may make the overall door seem a bit flimsy.

Finally, pay a little more and get GOOD plywood. I have noticed that plywood stock at both Lowes and Home Depot have just about become useless for anything but home construction. Some of the sheets of plywood at my store made a pringles potato chip look flat. You may need to look around your area for a hardwood supplier that sells plywood, but they are out there.

Wood movement is always a concern (including curling/warping, cupping, etc) First, always try to start out with the flattest possible stock, and if need be let acclimate before using it. Next, good joinery will go a long way in preventing a piece from warping or cupping. Also always consider grain orientation, allowing the wood to move naturally will also help. This includes being aware of cross grain situation. This is why panels are often fit loose in doors. Finally a good finish will greatly help (put not entirely prevent) wood movement that could cause pieces to become warped or cupped.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 12:37 PM
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If you're going to make a frame, why not just use solid 1x4 pine, or oak, or other. No ripping required and will make a better frame than plywood (which I wouldn't use).

If want a thicker door and have access to a thickness planer and jointer, you could plane down some 2x6 to 1-1/4 thick, joint the edges and route groves, mortises and tenons.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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a 1"x3"x8ft piece of solid pine costs about 7 dollars here so that is extremely cost prohibitive considering i would need 3-4 pieces per door.

The local home depot has 3/4"x4'x8' pine paint grade for roughly $30, poplar for $38 or $48 for maple. 1 sheet would be enough to do all the framing. then they sell cheap 1/4" pine made for underlay for practicably nothing (maybe 20-30 dollars total to do all the doors)

so cost wise using the solid pine im at triple the price and might as well buy the premade doors($7x3.5 piecesx4 doors = $98)

I was considering buying just normal 2"x4"x8' spf or what not at $2.50 a board and sawing it down to give me the flat edges i need but im worried about how well it would take paint. Also finding ones without knots is usually hard as well. Then there's the problem of not owning a table saw, only have a circular saw and a router, so not sure how i would cut it down to the proper width.

Finish should not be much of an issue as i plan to paint the doors white so will use wood filler etc to fill in any major imperfections.

Soo back to the main question. How likely is 3/4" ply to warp? im sure if i dig through the 30 or so boards my local store has I can find 1 that's straight lol
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 04:07 PM
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I don't think the plywood will warp.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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awsome. So if im painting it should I consider buying the maple or poplar vs the pine? or does it matter?

i assume since it painted that if i need to repaint due to nicks adding a bit of filler do fill in the dent isnt a huge issue. If i was staining them then i could see a use.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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one last question i swear!!

what should i prime the wood with? i want to use a waterbased product for the finish coat(as i have some) but have read i should use an oil based primer.

any recomendations on what to use?
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