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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Cabinetry in Tropical Climates


Hi! I am working with a client on cabinets for their home in Panama. I work with 4 semi-custom vendors in a major DIY retail store. I was wondering which wood species would be best for them as far as moisture tolerance. I had read that quarter-sawn may be better than flat sawn and also assumed that all plywood construction would be preferable for shipping and moisture resistance (versus any type of MDF, etc.). Could you make any recommendations? I have access to Cherry, Alder, Oak, Maple, Hickory and Birch. All would have a catalytic finish. Also would it mattered if door facings were mitered or not? any advice would be extremely appreciated :)! Thank you!

Hi Rhonda, forgive me for the late reply, I am in Oxford, CT., just a few miles from Sandy Hook, CT., and it has been a very trying time for our Communities as of late...typical cabinet construction, coupled with modern finishes, should perform well in pretty much any climate, except perhaps the most extreme....I would stay away from mitered corners in favor of glued stile and rail type assemblies, and most if not all manufacturers will be using paneled construction utilizing plywoods, MDF, HDF, and other engineered products which will be quite stable.All of the wood species you mentioned are pretty stable, but the harder the woods, typically the more stable they will be...but again, covered in a catalyzed finish, they will be well sealed from the environment. Having said that, it might be important to know the differences in the finishes from the manufacturers, and a simple call to them might give you more insight. Often, manufacturers keep their finish schedules "close to the vest" as they want to be able to produce a unique product from their competitors, and this is what sets them apart from the competition...but if you explain who you are, what you're doing, etc....they should be able to get you in touch with someone who has more of the technical knowledge to answer your questions more thoroughly, than the 'first level' customer service person will. Hope that helps- Post back if need be- Regards- Greg.

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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