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Forum topic by Pabs posted 1092 days ago 774 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pabs

175 posts in 2049 days


1092 days ago

hi all

I need to build 6 small drawers. dimensions will be roughly 9” wide, 19” long and 7” high.

I have part of a sheet of 1/2” Russian birch kicking around that I want to get rid of… would that be a suitable material to build the drawer with? or is it best to go with 3/4?

main reason for thinking 1/2” is because I have some and also will make the drawer volume slightly larger….

just curious what is commonly used. if it matters, these drawers will go in a bathroom vanity. making that from solid cherry and cherry ply

thanks

-- Pabs


8 replies so far

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2244 days


#1 posted 1092 days ago

1/2” is good. I think that 3/4” would actually be too thick also making it too heavy… in my experience 1/2” is the sweet spot for that size drawers, robust but not overly heavy and bulky.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Pabs

175 posts in 2049 days


#2 posted 1092 days ago

that’s sort of what I was thinking.. .3/4 seemed overkill for such a small drawer.

what kind of joinery would you use? box joints work well with ply? or should I just stick with dado and rabbet joints?

-- Pabs

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1670 days


#3 posted 1092 days ago

1/2 inch is plenty, but let my opine on another aspect of this.

When you say you have a sheet I assume this is plywood. Personally, I do not like plywood for drawers other than for the bottom. It’s hard to get good, strong joints with plywood.

Just my opinion.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2244 days


#4 posted 1092 days ago

I like to stick to box joints esp with ply drawers as it create a lot of gluing surface and friction which makes the drawers very rigid and with a very strong joint- yes, even from plywood.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Pabs

175 posts in 2049 days


#5 posted 1092 days ago

how big do you make your joints for the box joint?

-- Pabs

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2244 days


#6 posted 1092 days ago

If I’m lazy (mostly) and it’s not too big of drawers, I’ll use 1/8” blade = lots of fingers for larger drawers. or 1/4” (dado blade with just the 2 external blades)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1288 days


#7 posted 1092 days ago

I always go with 1/2 inch for the sides, rear, and bottoms. I generally go 3/4 for the face. I’ll often go 3/4 for the rear, just for ease of dovetailing. I hate anything less than 1/2 inch on drawer bottoms, so I’ll usually raise-panel them to 1/2” for the dado. Good luck!

Hey Purp, is there any rule that says you can’t stack two regular (non-dado stack) blades with a shim in between?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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gerrym526

265 posts in 2403 days


#8 posted 1091 days ago

I’ve made very durable drawers from baltic birch plywood-my entertainment center is going on 10+yrs of constant use. While I won’t argue with the opinions expressed here regarding joinery, have gotten good results with a more simple tongue and groove joint to fasten the drawer sides/fronts together. Plenty of gluing surface, and simple/fast to cut.

-- Gerry

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