Drawer sides by the board?

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Forum topic by SteveMI posted 05-17-2010 05:06 AM 5400 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1123 posts in 3472 days

05-17-2010 05:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

In the past two months three of the wood stores / mills I go to have started offering drawer sides in 6’ lengths. They are all quality domestic plywood with rounded tops and groove for drawer bottom. Well sanded and ready for building with. Offered in 3”, 4”, 6” and 8” height. Shorter heights are 1/2” thickness and tallest ones in 5/8” thickness.

Seems like they will reduce the time quite a bit. No planing, jointing or drum sanding. I need to crunch the numbers for myself.

Does anybody use these?


16 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#1 posted 05-17-2010 05:13 AM

It’s got to be quicker

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dyidawg's profile


51 posts in 3190 days

#2 posted 05-17-2010 05:27 AM

I have used them and it was great.

-- Wow, that was easy. Just follow the directions and use some common sense.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10989 posts in 3606 days

#3 posted 05-17-2010 02:29 PM

Many years ago, the lumber yard (only one in town) sold “Drawer stock” in similar widths and thicknesses. It was solid stock. Depending (on what, I don’t know), they were clear pine, alder, birch, or ??.
Rounded edges but no grooves.
As I recall, the price wasn’t bad, considering the work to bring 4/4 to the correct thickness.
Seems like a good a niche market for an enterprising mill.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3658 days

#4 posted 05-17-2010 02:59 PM

I guess my thought on stuff like this is that if I am going to start using pre-fab parts for my custom built furniture projects, I might as well just buy the unit and forget about building it. I am sure it would be much faster to buy these parts and I have been temped in the past, but I guess I just prefer to build the entire piece myself regardless of the time savings.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3380 days

#5 posted 05-17-2010 03:05 PM

Although I have not used them, I too have seen them at the plywood store I purchase stock from. It is a bit more costly, but the time savings accounts for that slight increase. I agree with Shopguryl – if you have a lot of drawers to do, order them pre-made.

On the other hand, if you are just doing two or four, it doesn’t take long to cut dovetails.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3898 days

#6 posted 05-17-2010 03:20 PM

I am of the same mind as Wayne (SnowyRiver)

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 3518 days

#7 posted 05-17-2010 03:35 PM

are we talking kitchen cabinets. well then go for it. anything else i would stay away.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View SteveMI's profile


1123 posts in 3472 days

#8 posted 05-17-2010 04:01 PM

Wayne – Agree with you completely on better custom jobs, but my work is tables that are offered at set price and person can review them prior to purchase. My “custom” orders just alter the size or color.

My problems with solid wood drawer sides has come from the size of my tables and build schedule. Tables are single drawer accent tables at 18” square and at 3/4” drawer sides the thickness looks odd. I buy 6/4 and resawn / plane to end up with 5/8”, but if I don’t assemble them within a day or two the boards will sometimes start to curl. I make 5 to 8 at a time and kit the parts until the next step. I don’t finish the inside of the drawers for fear of the final customer putting something in them that could get stained.


View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3658 days

#9 posted 05-17-2010 04:42 PM

Yep, understand completely Steve. I am sure it would make things much easier to buy the pre-fab portions. I have become so anal about totally doing all the work for custom projects, that I even feel guilty when I buy wood that is already planed. :-)

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 3491 days

#10 posted 05-17-2010 05:55 PM

Once agaiin I find myself agreeing with both sides.
I am a hobbyist—not a shop owner or a pro.
One big reason I enjoy this hobby is the sense of involvement and accomplishment of having done it myself.
The less I rely on ready made pieces – the more i enjoy the project.
Time is not usually an issue.
ON the other hand—
IF I have taken a job on just for the money and my goal is to get the project done ASAP and get the money – Will I buy precut drawer sides to save time?—in a heartbeat.

Not having the power tools to do my own milling – or the patience to do it by hand—I DO buy my wood already planed as much as possible :-)

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18380 posts in 3853 days

#11 posted 05-18-2010 03:52 AM

That sounds like a good idea to eliminate a mundane job :-) What stores? Rockler or Woodcraft or just local stores?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View SteveMI's profile


1123 posts in 3472 days

#12 posted 05-18-2010 04:10 AM

I haven’t seen them at any chain store, but at an independent plywood store and lumber mill. It seems that they are looking for something else to offer like everyone else to keep the rent paid.

And you are right, just making sides and backs is mundane. Nobody really sees them or cares as long as the drawer slides in and out without sticking.


View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 3491 days

#13 posted 05-18-2010 05:15 AM

I have seen them at either Rockler or Woodcraft here—cant rember which off hand.
Could be both—- they both list them available online.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View Rick S...'s profile

Rick S...

10790 posts in 3210 days

#14 posted 05-18-2010 06:19 AM

I’m just a Woodwork Hobby type of guy. I like to build “Different Things”. I have NO problems with a Complex Project that I’ve never tried before. When I see a Project I’d like to build but it has a lot of drawers I tend to back off. I guess I’m just not a Drawer Builder.

If these Pre-Made Drawers are as good as they sound I’d buy them in a Heartbeat. Now that you Guys have peaked my Curiousity I’m gonna Google “Pre Made Drawers” or “Components” and see what I can come up with.

Thaks All!


-- It is not necessary for Some People to turn OFF the LIGHT to be IN the DARK! (Ontario, CANADA)

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3161 days

#15 posted 05-18-2010 03:45 PM

Steve, I understand not wanting to pre fab drawer sides from solid wood. But if it was me, I think I would rather buy the plywood myself and pre fab my own. You wouldn’t have the stability issues, and you could then stock pile them for as you need them. If you make that many drawers for tables I would think this would be more cost effective. Your waste would be minimal in cutting your own. You could also buy whatever species of plywood you wanted and save money. One way or the other you have to pay the piper. As a hobbyist I don’t mind making things as I go.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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