WT352 – Lower Quality Wood Products in Our Homes?

On today’s weekend show, we’re talking lower quality wood products in your home.

What Are We Talking About

Ryan said…

Guys, just wanted to get your take on this. A couple of years ago I bought a new manufactured home from a builder with one of the best reputations in the area. The wood used on the interior of the house is all some kind of fiberboard. The cabinets are fiberboard skinned with veneer, while the stair railings, baseboards, and any other kind of trim is fiberboard covered with white paint. When doing my walk-through of the house I was surprised to see that they left the stair railings with big bumps where each screw had been drilled through the fiberboard handrail into the baluster (that’s why you avoid using screws with fiberboard, duh!). I had them sand it down flat and repaint before taking ownership. I know I’m not buying a custom home and in exchange I’m paying a lower price, but it still bugs me a little knowing these lower quality wood products are in my house. As a woodworker that seeks out quality wood to build from, how do you feel about the wood products used in your home?

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4 replies on “WT352 – Lower Quality Wood Products in Our Homes?”

Hey guys, on episode 352 you discussed fiberboard trim and a useful tip came to mind. I’ve done a boat load of trim all over the place, and despite my “snobbishness,” I prefer MDF trim in certain circumstances. When you have a particularly wavy wall, or virtually any plaster wall, MDF contours to the wall much better than wood. That means less caulk and less work. I always try to get chair rail in MDF for that reason since it is really obvious when the trim isn’t sitting flat to the wall.

Love the show, you guys have provided many an hour of jobsite and shop entertainment

Maybe it’s where i live but poplar is really expensive here. I can get “rustic” grades of cherry for less then poplar which is why i used MDF for baseboard and door casing. Those are the only 2 places I feel comfortable using MDF as long as the room isn’t the bathroom. I also wonder if there is a quality difference between ryans fiber board and the high density MDF available. As an experiment i thew some MDF in the full kitchen sink and let it soak for a few min and was surprised at how little the material changed over the next few days.

I just got around to listening to this episode the other day. I have the opposite problem! I’m a new woodworker, and mostly a hobbyist. But the previous owner of my house (a c.1780 colonial in mid-coast Maine) was a professional preservationist and restored large portions of the home during the 20+ years that he owned it. This includes custom solid wood cabinetry in the kitchen with hand-cut half-blind dovetail cabinet drawers; a beautiful built in pantry; every cabinet door has pegged through tenons, every non-original door is a handmade rail and style floating panel, with pegged through tenons; the upstairs walls are solid wood panels that he milled himself. I could go on… Now I’m too intimidated to work on the couple of rooms/areas that he never got to until I feel more confident in the shop! I’m starting with some built in shelves and cabinets in what is going to be my office.

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