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Kitchen drawer boxes (plywood) what joint to use?

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Forum topic by icandothat posted 12-22-2017 09:54 PM 1471 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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icandothat

16 posts in 536 days


12-22-2017 09:54 PM

I’m replacing some 30 year old drawer boxes. About 15 or them.

Have 1/2” plywood (maple venner).

Tried doing half blind dovetails, even used sacraficial backer when cutting, but the pins kept falling apart. Guess the plywood has air pockets or some other issue.

Should I just miter then glue and put 2 18g brads in each corner?

Or should I rabbet or …?

1/3 of the boxes will have drawer fronts. Rest will be pull out pantry boxes.

Thanks for the input!


27 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3730 days


#1 posted 12-22-2017 10:03 PM

I use rabbets and brad nails for drawers using
ball bearing slides. I use a brad about every
inch and a half. I don’t think the rabbets are
much stronger than butt joints but the rabbet
helps in assembly. I’ve used drawer lock joints
too.

One reason I like rabbets is that when the ply
is edgebanded prior to rabbeting there’s a very
low reject rate when routing the rabbets. With
tongued profiles I’ve had some issues with the
edgeband getting torn up. I use a backing block
but I still had some rejects.

Dovetails are a great choice for wood-on-wood
slide action, but for modern steel slides
the strength of dovetails is generally overkill.

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jbay

2488 posts in 981 days


#2 posted 12-22-2017 10:18 PM

This is what I do.
I prefer to use 5/8” though.

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cracknpop

300 posts in 2431 days


#3 posted 12-22-2017 10:24 PM

I’ve used a dado/rabbit type joint on numerous plywood drawer boxes with good results. I used a router table in the past but find the table saw to be much faster.
Here’s a pic of file drawer and even with heavy use, it has held up very well.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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cracknpop

300 posts in 2431 days


#4 posted 12-22-2017 10:25 PM

Great minds think alike, I see jbay posted while I wasn’t watching…

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

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DalyArcher

115 posts in 1201 days


#5 posted 12-22-2017 10:30 PM

dados on the back, locking rabbets on the front. good quality glue and a few brads or staples if you feel the need.

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

281 posts in 2872 days


#6 posted 12-22-2017 10:44 PM

Consider this

Lock miter bit. #22627 is for 3/8” to 3/4” thickness

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1738 posts in 2891 days


#7 posted 12-22-2017 11:08 PM

What kind of joinery did you find on the thirty year old drawers you are replacing ?

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Carloz

1147 posts in 673 days


#8 posted 12-23-2017 12:36 AM



Consider this

Lock miter bit. #22627 is for 3/8” to 3/4” thickness

- BobAnderton


On plywood ?

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icandothat

16 posts in 536 days


#9 posted 12-23-2017 01:41 AM

Thanks for all the input guys!

When doing a rabbet, do you guys band the front so the plywood doesnt show on pantry drawers?

As for the old cabinets, it was falling apart, believe it was all butt joints, chucked it out a while back.

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

4328 posts in 794 days


#10 posted 12-23-2017 01:49 AM

jbay has the plan :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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runswithscissors

2804 posts in 2107 days


#11 posted 12-23-2017 02:15 AM

I have generally had poor success cutting dovetails in plywood (with a jig). So when I made my kitchen drawers, I used all solid wood, 1/2” I believe. That’s why we all have planers now, isn’t it?

The last joint I would use on any drawer would be a miter joint.

I realize dovetails are overkill, but an advantage is that, once properly cut, they practically assemble themselves. And if you’re doing a lot of them, you can really crank them out once the jig is set up and the router dialed in.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3730 days


#12 posted 12-23-2017 02:22 AM


When doing a rabbet, do you guys band the front so the plywood doesnt show on pantry drawers?

I don’t.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4269 posts in 2391 days


#13 posted 12-23-2017 02:32 AM

What jaybay and cracknpop said. I like that joint.

Once in a while I’ll do box joint on BB plywood, no tear out on the table saw.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View icandothat's profile

icandothat

16 posts in 536 days


#14 posted 12-23-2017 02:24 PM

Thanks!

I’ll do a 1/4 rabbet.

Do you guys prefer doing that on the table saw or the router?

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

4328 posts in 794 days


#15 posted 12-23-2017 02:36 PM

for me its the TS most of the time :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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