Choices for drawer wood/joints - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Default Choices for drawer wood/joints

I'm intending to build some rolling shop cabinets, some drawers, and my plan is to treat this as an exercise prior to building "indoor furniture" that I'd prefer to follow my initial mistakes.

So, I was hoping to make drawers with box-joints at the rear and a drawer-lock joint on the front, not using a false front. I can't locate half-inch birch at any local stores, and so for drawer stock I have these choices:
  • Order half-inch birch from Rockler's
  • Get some half-inch baltic birch plywood locally and forget about box joints and drawer-lock joints
  • Use half-inch maple, which I *can* find locally.

Any thoughts from the corporate wisdom of the forum?

Thanks-

Bob
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:11 PM
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Hi Bob

Because it's for the shop I would suggest using 1/2" thick MDF ,it's clean and true from the get go , box joints front and back ,you want them strong,I would also suggest 1/2" thick bottoms, you just don't know what you will put in them over time.. then I would also suggest drawer guides not the high ends ones but the ones you can get for 2.50 a pair..

I got some off eBay,,12" long,18" long,24" long in a bull pack for 3.00 a pair..a lot pack thing..a total of 50 in the lot.

The box joint will work well in the MDF..stock..just use a good sharp router bit and you will be fine.

In the snapshot below you will see a small cabinet in the background made out of MDF and the drawers are all made out of MDF,,1/2" thick..if you want to just see the drawers just ask and I will pull one and take a snapshot of it..

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thistlefly View Post
I'm intending to build some rolling shop cabinets, some drawers, and my plan is to treat this as an exercise prior to building "indoor furniture" that I'd prefer to follow my initial mistakes.

So, I was hoping to make drawers with box-joints at the rear and a drawer-lock joint on the front, not using a false front. I can't locate half-inch birch at any local stores, and so for drawer stock I have these choices:
  • Order half-inch birch from Rockler's
  • Get some half-inch baltic birch plywood locally and forget about box joints and drawer-lock joints
  • Use half-inch maple, which I *can* find locally.

Any thoughts from the corporate wisdom of the forum?

Thanks-

Bob


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Last edited by bobj3; 01-29-2009 at 10:41 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Default Everything new is, er, new again?

Thanks, Bob. It's a measure of how long I've been away from woodworking that MDF was not in common use before my "lapse." I tend to automatically associate it with particleboard, which is not at all fair (or correct).

I'll probably use solid wood for the fronts and plywood for the carcasses, just to maintain the thought of "practicing" for non-shop furniture.

On the front joint, box joint would mean false fronts versus the use of drawer-lock joints with solid wood fronts. I remember seeing a thread debating strength of joints... where do drawer-lock joints stand in comparison to box-joints?

(BTW, haven't even used my Oak Park spacers yet, and I bit on the latest Rockler sale on the "original Incra jig..." so half-blind dovetails are also an option now!

Thanks again, BobJ-

Bob
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 10:11 AM
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HI Bob

You're Welcome

I do like MDF ,, I do hate the PB ,,,

I do use the OP box joints jigs ,,I also put in dovetails in the MDF but not the blind type, they like to snap off easy..
" drawer-lock joints" = don't work well in MDF or any other man made wood,they work well in real wood ( tree stock )

One other joint that works great in MDF and plywood is the sliding dovetail joint,it's easy to put in and in this way you don't need to add a front to the drawer..once you make the box is done so to speak...1/2" for the sides and back and 3/4" thick for the front of the drawer..in that way you can put a nice edge on the front if want...
The norm for me is the sides and back are 1/2" x 4" tall and the front is 3/4" x 6" tall..in that way you can hide all the joints..all with one bit...


========
quote=thistlefly;98728]Thanks, Bob. It's a measure of how long I've been away from woodworking that MDF was not in common use before my "lapse." I tend to automatically associate it with particleboard, which is not at all fair (or correct).

I'll probably use solid wood for the fronts and plywood for the carcasses, just to maintain the thought of "practicing" for non-shop furniture.

On the front joint, box joint would mean false fronts versus the use of drawer-lock joints with solid wood fronts. I remember seeing a thread debating strength of joints... where do drawer-lock joints stand in comparison to box-joints?

(BTW, haven't even used my Oak Park spacers yet, and I bit on the latest Rockler sale on the "original Incra jig..." so half-blind dovetails are also an option now!

Thanks again, BobJ-

Bob[/quote]




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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 06:48 PM
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Just to present a contrary view, I'd go with the maple for case work and vertical drawer parts, baltic birch ply for the drawer bottoms. Make 'em to last, and make 'em to be proud of.

But, buy a supply of poplar of the same size to make prototypes, and make your mistakes on them.

- Ralph
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