Pine for cabinetry?


Recommended Posts

Hello all,

As you can see from my project journel, It won't be too terribly much longer untill I'm done with the exterior of the camper, and I'm ready to move inside. I'm beginning to think about the interior cabinetry. Pine would certianly be a low cost option, and seems to be very light weight, which is a major consideration in this project. there has to be some trailer weight capacity left for gear once the camper is finished.

So, what are the pros and cons of pine for cabinets? If not pine, what? the major considerations are weight, cost, and appearance.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pine is very soft and will dent/marr VERY easily. It also is full of knots, so it gives a "country" appearance. You can buy clear pine, but it's cost is much higher than common grades.

If cost is the major factor, or you will be painting, you may want to consider poplar. It is inexpensive, easy to work with, and is harder than pine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that pine is a very good option for cabinets. You can stain it just about any color and it turns out pretty good. The only thing about pine is that because its so light weight, its also pron to the weather. If it gets to hot or to cold it may expand or worp and other side effects of the weather. if you have pine cabinets in your home where the climate is controled at all times you more than likely will not have any problems with it, but if you are putting it inside a camper trailer where the climate is not always controled at all times you may have some problems with it but then again you may not have problems with it at all. Just recently I built a closet with two drawers on bottom of it (armwa) if thats spelled correctly and when i was building the doors i had cut and plained the rails and left them for a day and night or two and when i came back they where all worpped up i mean bad. I definetly would make sure that the pine that you use if that is what you are going with, i would make sure that they are good quality boards and have no compression wood in them. I would probly buy real good #2s or #1s for the project and use vineer covered paneling for the panels. And down here where i live you can buy that paneling for about twelve thirteen dollors a sheet. With that being said you could buy about a good ten to fifteen 2x4s and mill them down for the inside braces. And cut and mill them down for the doors. I think its a good idea but I would make sure that the 2x4s are in real good condition. Hope every thing on your project works out well for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

==> come out on top; mill or big box store.

think he'd do better overall at the mill. if you call ahead and tell them what you are looking for and ask them to pick a date/time, many times they will pull some boards that are a bit 'better'. obviously, if you could email them a cut list and rough stick count, then it would help them help you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try HobbyHardwood in your area. He seems to have good prices and will plane. Looks like a small sawmill where you can get your logs sawn and he kiln dries and sells wood as well. What he has in stock might vary from week to week.

Just found him from a quick search, never been there myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well, I'm in Alabama, so I'd think southern yellow pine would be plentiful and cheap

Buy wider widths, they tend to be clearer boards, let them sit for a while (assuming you're buying from a big box and getting dimensionals) as it'll be a little wet. Beyond that SYP works very well and is hard for a pine. I've used it a lot for shop cabinet facings, my workbench is SYP etc. It is however heavy, which may not work for you as you mentioned weight is a factor.

For cost, weight clarity etc. I'd second poplar. You can stain it, paint it etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff, if you are making these for a camper, and weight is an issue, I would suggest birch ply for the boxes and poplar or basswood for the faces if you are going to paint them. I don't suggest buying any dimensioned lumber from the box stores because it never seems to be the same thickness from one board to the next. If you don't have a planer to make them all the same, then you would have a nightmare job on your hands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 years later...

I built pine cabinets for=a mobile home I had in the mid 90’s. The profile is cabinet  guys like it 13/16 for doors and you won’t find that at the lumber yard. It’s hard to get the  profiles needed for the doors.


Cabinet guys normally won’t mess wit( it, but if your trying to budget, it’s fine..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 36 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • Forum Statistics

    Total Topics
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    Total Members
    Most Online
    Newest Member