The first thing I am debating over is whether i should use 1/2inch or 3/4 inch wood. I assume 1/2 wood would be more than enough though?

From there, what materials would be best to use out of MDF or Birch plywood? I remember reading some install threads where Birch would bend after time or after being cut. Whereas, MDF is ruined if liquids are spilled on it.

Also how do you bend wood to curve around besides kerfing up the wood? I'm talking about like 1/4, or 1/8 inch thick wood.