Wednesday, 08 June 2016 16:23

Are MDF panels changing the way you make hardwood cabinet doors?

Cabinet manufacturers and millwork plants have been using MDF, (Medium density fiberboard), in doors and other products for years.  This is not new, especially since painted finishes have been growing in preference with consumers.

hardwood rippingCabinet manufacturers have been using many different species, including soft maple, hard maple and even poplar in conjunction with MDF to construct painted cabinetry.  But if you are using more MDF or plywood in in your center panels, have you analyzed how your hardwood lumber utilization has changed? 

Traditionally, cabinet manufacturers have developed their stiles and rails by ripping to size and moulding random width boards. Then, they would glue up the remaining pieces of the hardwood board to create a solid wood door panel. This has been a very effective way to use as much of the random width lumber as possible and keep their usage yields high.  However, MDF and Plywood center panels have become a very popular way to reduce the price of a hardwood cabinet, eliminating the option of yield saving with solid panels.  If you are not developing solid wood panels and are using MDF instead, how do you best manage your hardwood lumber utilization?      

Many cabinet manufacturers have been changing the way they purchase hardwoods and migrating from purchasing random width materials to exact width hardwood rips.  We have seen an increase in demand for SLR2E materials, ordered to the exact size widths they need to feed into their moulders to produce the parts they require.  This helps manufacturers virtually eliminate hardwood waste, increases their usage yields and prevents them from stockpiling and putting unnecessary hardwood parts into their warehouse inventories.

If you are looking for alternate ways to source hardwood lumber so you can increase yields, reduce waste, and lower overall costs let us know. Perhaps we can help.

Bob Uglow
Baillie Lumber Co.
Hardwood Ripping Division
Hamburg, New York 14075
Cell: 407-496-4146
Office: 800-950-2850
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