What do you use for drawer side material?

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Forum topic by BigJohn posted 10-24-2016 03:46 PM 1067 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 3971 days

10-24-2016 03:46 PM

I use maple or poplar a lot, but I end up sending half of it to the shaving pile. I thought about using 5/4 and resawing, but that will probably double the work to do. What do you all do? Thanks.

11 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1305 posts in 1786 days

#1 posted 10-24-2016 04:17 PM

4/4 Alder milled to 5/8”. Other species upon request. Stopped using 1/2” BB about 5 years ago. ..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View muleskinner's profile


897 posts in 2493 days

#2 posted 10-24-2016 07:33 PM

I have a bunch of reclaimed straight grained old growth Doug fir. 2×4 and 2×6 ’s. I glue up whatever width I need and resaw and plane to 3/8. Makes a nice drawer box.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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5672 posts in 1194 days

#3 posted 10-24-2016 07:46 PM

4/4 Poplar or Pine milled to 1/2”. I agree that too much goes into dust collector but, it’s still cheaper than ply and less work than resawing.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JBrow's profile


1365 posts in 976 days

#4 posted 10-25-2016 12:08 AM


A local hardwood supplier where I buy lumber stocks and sells what they call 1/2” maple. I assume it is for drawer boxes and dividers. I have not bought it so I do not know if the 1/2” lumber is actually 1/2” thick or whether a little thicker for subsequent milling.

I build drawer boxes with 3/4” thick material.

View BurlyBob's profile


5661 posts in 2321 days

#5 posted 10-25-2016 12:12 AM

I’ve used pine but prefer poplar. I just scored a huge load of baltic birch plywood precut for drawers. I’ve got a few ideas for it.

View jbay's profile


2432 posts in 955 days

#6 posted 10-25-2016 12:53 AM

5/8 Claro Walnut, I have a bunch of 5/4 that I plane down.
Looks nice and my clients seem to like it.

View Redoak49's profile


3342 posts in 2045 days

#7 posted 10-25-2016 01:31 AM

I use ash. It is strong, light colored and best of all low cost.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1509 days

#8 posted 10-25-2016 01:51 AM

5/4 resawn & planed to 1/2”. Use a TK blade and I get a nice 1/16” or so mid-line slice that my partner uses to make doll furniture. The only scrap is 2×3/32 saw kerfs worth of sawdust.

Doesn’t take much time as all four rips are the same.


-- Madmark -

View rwe2156's profile


3003 posts in 1537 days

#9 posted 10-25-2016 03:14 PM

Ideally, what MM^ said, but 5/4 material isn’t easy to come by for many.

Traditionally, secondary wood like poplar, pine, cypress, etc. is used for drawers. Soft maple would also be good.
Depending on applicaton, hardwood like oak might be used.

If using inexpensive wood, I don’t worry about the waste.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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44 posts in 973 days

#10 posted 10-25-2016 03:24 PM

Usually use poplar or butternut milled to 1/2 inch

-- Marty O'C

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Fred Hargis

5018 posts in 2549 days

#11 posted 10-25-2016 03:36 PM

I’ve taken to using 5/8” material, and it’s usually poplar. Poplar is cheap enough I’m not worried about the lost wood, and the 5/8” drawer seems to be quite a bit sturdier; but it’s also 1/8” I don’t have to plane off.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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