What wood do I use for custom closet that isn't crap? SO FRUSTRATED!

September 11, 2019
last modified: September 11, 2019

Please help! We're trying to build our first built in closet shelving system and so far we can't find a wood that isn't crap! We only have access to Lowe's and a distant HD so we're limited to what those stores carry. We don't have a local lumber yard. That said, I can't get 3/4" birch plywood as recommended and instead only have access to blonde wood plywood that's supposed to be 'premium' and used for cabinets, closets, etc (this is actually stated on the sign). The problem is that it's splitting/chipping horribly!!! Just drilling the shelf pin holes chips/splits the wood and using the Kreg jig for pocket holes makes an even bigger mess. The salesman at Lowe's told me it's because the wood is too light (AFTER I bought it and had it cut and went back frustrated and looking for answers). Problem is, that's the best wood they carry. HD isn't much better in our area! What do I do? Is there something else we can use that's sturdy but not too heavy (not MDF) that can be used? We've got some DIY skills and have done projects in the past but this one has us stumped. We're about to give up but the thought of spending $1k+ on a laminate system has me sick to my stomach. Any thoughts or advice? It would be much appreciated.

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