We recently were invited to build a set of retail display cabinets. The owners wanted a thick profile for the material and wide panels. We decided to have Exotic Hardwood and Veneer here in Oakland lay-up and press the panels for us and we were very pleased with the out come. Here is a breif summery of the project and its challenges.
First we selected the species of tree from which our veneer would be selected. We choses a rift sawn White Oak which has very uniform, clear and linear grain. Due to the width of the cabinets we chose to have the veneer pressed onto a 120" x 49" x 1.25" MDF core. MDF contains a good amount of glue and is very stable. Warping and movement from humidity and temperature are less likley.
Since our panels were so large we needed to pre-cut the panels with Festool track saw in order to make them manageable. We were supplied with matching edge banding from the fall-off so the color match was perfect. Since it is a raw wood edgeband we opted to use a PVA glue from Hafele and and iron to ensure maximum control with the edgebanding process.
After everything was edgebanded we continued to process the material further to the point where we could assemble.
We are extremely happy with the results. I think the most challenging parts were preventing damaged to the finished panels during transport and installation. Also just moving the parts around. 1.25" MDF is very heavy and the large cabinets took up a good deal of space in our shop. If i do cabinets this large again I will build them one at a time. That way one can be getting installed while the other is getting fabricated. Also this would prevent any errors to only be applied to one cabinet, rather than both.