What do you use for drawer side material?

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Forum topic by BigJohn posted 10-24-2016 03:46 PM 910 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 3851 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


1267 posts in 1666 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


896 posts in 2372 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

View HokieKen's profile


4669 posts in 1074 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


1342 posts in 856 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


5309 posts in 2201 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


2176 posts in 835 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.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View Redoak49's profile


3138 posts in 1924 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 1389 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


2844 posts in 1416 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!!

View martyoc's profile


40 posts in 853 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

4909 posts in 2429 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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