Best plywood thickness for cabinet?

Hi all, I’m going to be making a built in cabinet for under our kitchen counter.

Outer dimensions are roughly 24x35”, with one middle shelf.

I’ll be using an oak faced plywood.

I’m not sure if I should go for 3/4” plywood or 1/2”. 5/8” maybe?

Any input on what thickness I might choose, and why?

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I always use 3/4 for carcasses. Some commercial cabinets will go thinner, but with 3/4, you get better durability at the joints. For the effort you’re going to, the extra 1/4 inch or less you will save across the cabinet is nothing. You’ll end up with a more rugged carcass, and the joinery process will be a little more forgiving. Pocket screws, dados or Dominos in 1/2 stock require a lot more care. Cost and weight are little higher in 3/4" material, but the frustration will be lower.

Plus, you won’t want a 1/2 thick shelf. At 35 inches wide, there’s a good chance that it will sag. 3/4, with a 1/4 to 1/2 solid wood strip across the front edge will hold up well. Back panel can be thinner. Don’t get a second sheet of 3/4 oak ply just to complete the back panel.


I can get sides, shelves, and back out of a 4x8 sheet for this project, so…

Thanks for the input. 3/4” it is.

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