What do you use for drawer side material?

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Forum topic by BigJohn posted 10-24-2016 03:46 PM 1189 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 4063 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


1408 posts in 1878 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


898 posts in 2585 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


6298 posts in 1287 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


1366 posts in 1068 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


5918 posts in 2414 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


2681 posts in 1047 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


3531 posts in 2137 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 1601 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


3094 posts in 1629 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


44 posts in 1065 days

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

Usually use poplar or butternut milled to 1/2 inch

-- Marty O'C

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5097 posts in 2641 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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