MDF - Too heavy for wall mounted cabinet?

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Old 06-29-09, 01:43 AM
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MDF - Too heavy for wall mounted cabinet?

Hi all,

I recently made a large open fronted wall cabinet for my kitchen out of 18mm MDF. However, it weighs a ton, and i'm worried that my wall won't be able to support it, especially once its full of chinaware etc. Should i have used solid wood? Which would be the best wood to use if i was to rebuild it (sigh...)? Its probably going to be painted, so i'm not too bothered about finish.


Thanks.
 
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Old 06-29-09, 04:34 AM
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Welcome to the forums! MDF is heavy, but you will find many cabinet designs made of it, so you can mount it. You won't be mounting it to the wall, but to the superstructure under the wall (studs, plates, etc.), and they will hold it. The only thing I question is will the cabinet itself hold up to the vertical pressure placed on it once it is mounted. How did you join your edges? Did you dado or rabbet them? What type fasteners did you use? How deep is the cabinet? Did you provide a nailing plate across the back top, rabbeted into the vertical walls? Just a few questions.

Larry
 
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Old 06-29-09, 03:58 PM
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Hi Larry, thanks for your reply. I'm afraid i'm a total novice at this kind of thing, and don't have the tools or space to cut proper joints, so i used 9mm dowelling and glue and screws to construct it. Its about 1200mm long and 800 high and the deepest shelves are 260mm. It feels solid enough, and with enough wall brackets i think it could be ok, i'm just worried that it'll bring the wall down! I'm not sure what you mean by the superstructure under the wall.. i'm not sure whats under the plaster on my wall, it doesn't sound all that solid when i tap it, that's part of the reason i'm reluctant to try and mount the cabinet.

Cheers.
 
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Old 06-29-09, 06:50 PM
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Good choice on the dowels and glue, in lieu of biscuits, or MDF screws. It should be strong enough. The superstructure is the studs that run vertically behind your plaster walls. It would help if you were to get a deep scan stud finder and scan your walls for the studs. That way you can be assured of installing the cabinet with your cabinet screws going into the lumber, and not just into the lath.
 
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Old 08-03-09, 03:02 AM
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I've decided to rebuild this cabinet from solid pieces of wood, using proper joints, rather than dowels and screws. Can anyone recommend a wood that is strong yet light, and doesn't cost the earth? I want a wood that is significantly lighter than the MDF i used previously.

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Old 08-03-09, 03:58 AM
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Use 3/4" 13 ply plywood for the sides, top and bottom and for a 2" spanner at the top inside to attach it to the wall. The back can be 1/4" luan. It may not be "lighter" than MDF, but much stronger once glued and fastened. Here in the states a 4x8 sheet will run about $40US. You would then build a face frame to cover the front of the cabinet edges and give you a solid hardwood (oak, poplar, etc.) to attach your doors to.
 
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