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Furniture Material Suggestions

I am debating on building storage lockers for out entry way. Something similar to what Pottery Barn offers.

The question that comes to mind with projects like this or any furniture type is what material to use? If a nice finish is desired (ie. Cherry), is it better to use all natural materials or a wood laminate to glue on a some particle board (like most furniture company's now do)?

My considerations would be cost and ease of use. I don't do much woodworking, just small projects like this when time permits. I'm always afraid of spending too much money on a big piece of wood and then making a bad cut and pretty much throwing that money down the drain.

A. Spruce
Re: Furniture Material Suggestions

It really depends on what your abilities are and what you're looking for as a final product. If you want cheap that looks like junk, then pine or poplar with a cherry stain. A step up from those would be MDF or particle board core panel with birch or cherry veneer and edge banding to cover raw edges. A good step up from that would be cherry veneered plywood and edge banding. Top shelf would be solid cherry wood.

Finishing can be a fickle dance partner depending on the material you choose. Pine has a lot of resin in it that doesn't make for very good finish results, it's also yellow whereas cherry is more of a muddy red. Birch is a nice neutral grain, color, and accepts stains very well.

If you're concerned about the project, plan to build two. Build the first one from pine or MDF and paint it. When you've worked out the bugs and gained confidence, build a second one using the desired material.

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