John's Arcade Forum - Classic Arcade and Pinball Collecting and Restoring Discussion Forum - RETRO MAME - Nintendo Vs Forum
September 26, 2017, 01:39:55 AM *
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Author Topic: MDF VS. Ply VS. Particleboard?  (Read 81 times)
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TopHatt
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« on: August 26, 2017, 01:34:31 AM »

Hey guys.

If this is the wrong board, so sorry about that.

I was thinking of building a DK-style arcade cabinet, but I need to choose the wood type (1/2 or 3/4 in btw) to get at home depot.

Particleboard is the cheapest, but I've heard bad things about strength.

MDF is the second cheapest, and it apparently takes paint well, but I've heard bad things about weight and the dust giving you cancer.

Plywood is the most expensive, and I think it's pretty sturdy and takes screws well.

What do you guys think?

Thanks!!  Smiley Smiley
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Mikey
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 02:04:26 PM »

I've made four scratchbuilds so far - 3 plywood (Galaga-style cabaret, bartop, Robotron-style cabaret) and 1 MDF (LuSid-style deluxe upright).  I won't do an MDF one again - it took paint and filler horribly and chipped off in inconvenient places.  On my last build (Robotron-ish) I used 0.5in/13mm plywood, and although it's thinner than the 0.75in I usually use, it's very sturdy and easier to move, and as long as I'm not building a 4-player cab I'll use that again.

Although particleboard was used in some classic cabs, I would never use it in a scratchbuild.  I'm not going to have my personally-built cab be easily destroyed by a myriad of factors just because I used particleboard.

That's my two cents of personal experience.  Last piece of advice for this message is to use a fine-toothed saw when cutting - less chips.
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