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Dovetail drawers made out of box store plywood

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Forum topic by Resurrected posted 02-16-2011 05:40 AM 3746 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Resurrected

671 posts in 2158 days


02-16-2011 05:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

Challenge. What do you do to make drawers out of plywood using dovetail joinery? What is the trick.

I really perfer not to but I have a client that wants them.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????


9 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1507 posts in 2275 days


#1 posted 02-16-2011 05:51 AM

If your handcutting, any savings you experiance from using ply. will be quickly lost due to labor. (if that is an issue) Also the inherant problems incured with chisel and ply. If you are machining with a router it is certainly doable. When using ply I keep two routers setup with collars. One that makes the initial pass will leave only a little bit to cleanup with my finish bit in router #2. Back to router #1: I will make a quick gentile pass to score the ply. No matter how you approach it when using ply you will be doing good to achieve a 80-90 % success rate. Using lumber you can expect 100 % once your dialed in properly. Also note that plywood will shorten the life of your cutting edges rapidly. What is the nature of your project and does it warrant the need to even consider using ply?

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Resurrected

671 posts in 2158 days


#2 posted 02-16-2011 05:54 AM

Nope this is using a Porter cable jig and a router.

Yea the customer wants ply to keep cost down.

I’ve only done solid wood with good results and played with ply with little satisfactory results.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View thiel's profile

thiel

374 posts in 2759 days


#3 posted 02-16-2011 05:57 AM

Would it help to soak the end grain with some thin CA glue? Or maybe wet the end grain?

Just a random (and likely useless) thought…

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

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Resurrected

671 posts in 2158 days


#4 posted 02-16-2011 06:02 AM

Hey at this point I’ll take the suggestions. I’m doing one only at first showing the results and letting him make the choice. I just want to try and get this right.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Seeharlez's profile

Seeharlez

83 posts in 2460 days


#5 posted 02-16-2011 06:11 AM

Ok since you’ll take any suggestions… how about applying some solid wood edging to the plywood, perhaps with a tongue and groove joint or something, and then dovetailing the solid wood? It would be easy to do, look better and still keep cost down.

Cheers,
Greg

-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

View Don's profile

Don

514 posts in 2539 days


#6 posted 02-16-2011 06:16 AM

I’d tell them No. If they want to keep the cost down then skip the dovetails. No matter how you cut them that should save more cost than using plywood.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1507 posts in 2275 days


#7 posted 02-16-2011 06:18 AM

FWIW comparitively, this week I payed 26.00 per sheet of baltic birch which equates to $ 1.04 per sq. ft. (5X5) and $ 1.44 per bd. ft. for fas poplar slr @13/16. Not much differance to cut on when your considering the small material demand for drawer stock. Just saying

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Resurrected

671 posts in 2158 days


#8 posted 02-16-2011 06:23 AM

Understood

I’ll try to swing him first Cabmaker

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#9 posted 02-16-2011 06:34 AM

I really can’t help you much, cause I’ve never tried to cut dovetails in plywood, or any hardwoods ,for that fact. I’ve got a dovetail machine that I’ve had for 3 years, and it’s still in the box….But I have cut boxjoints in hardwoods with good results, but plywood splinters too much…that’s the bad thing about ply (for me, anyway).....To be honest, I’ve never had a call to do dovetails for a customer (I’m glad) :)). You might ask your customer about some other type of joint….don’t hurt to ask…..

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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