Drawer Fronts; which choice? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Drawer Fronts; which choice?

I've purchased a small trailer and had to pull all the lower cabinets to remove two failing water heaters. The replacement water heater has been moved to another area and now it's time to rebuild the lower half of the kitchen.

My design is to use 100% drawers. So I will have kind of a skeleton designed to be attached at floor and countertop the widths of the drawer stacks.

My question is... which is better for non-painted drawer fronts, 1x's or 3/4 inch plywood..... As I'm setting my final measurements for the skeletons' height, I find that if I design with plywood, my drawer heights, can be 10, 12, 8 inches, but if I use 1x's then the height of the drawers change to 9.25, 11.25, and so on. Since I'm not restricted to "normal" height measurements, and I don't want to have to use facings at the top of the drawer stack.

I've used this drawer design in a bathroom before, but that was a painted situation, so plywood was fine. I cut it the width I needed and a half inch longer than the heights, routered the heights I needed for each drawer out of that, leaving me a scant 1/8 inch between drawers tops/bottoms. My concern here is the routered edge of plywood looking unfinished and ugly if not a painted edge. But, the concern with 1x's is that it's harder to get a solid of plank of wood that is square and straight, not warped and whatnot. These drawers will fit as a stack without a buffer top or bottom to each other on the face of it, so they have to seem as though they were cut out of the same piece. Not terribly worried about grain and such matching, but the cuts have to align nearly perfectly.

If I'm not making myself clear, let me know. I'm not a jargon-wise when it comes to building things, but I've got some experience and love to design for myself, rather than normal standards. For example the drawers are my response to getting older, I'll be damned if I'm going to crawl into a cabinet at floor level to get something, it can damn-well come out to me, thank you very much.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm ready to start cutting the skeleton pieces, but it's a matter of whether one set of cuts will be 27" or 27.75" in length, and I'm just not sure which way to go here.

Last edited by GypsyJillith; 04-16-2017 at 03:26 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 06:29 AM
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I guess I do not understand your problem. Why do you think you are restricted to drawers that are "t if I use 1x's then the height of the drawers change to 9.25, 11.25, and so on?"

You can make the drawer heights any height you want with dimensional lumber, not just plywood.

George
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Well if I use 1xs, then I'll use by just rounding the edges, uhm...... Okay if I use 1xs, I'll be cutting say an 18" section and the top and bottom of the drawer front are the factory cut edges, not mine. So, if I'm correct, a 1x10 is actually 9.25, not 10". I suppose I could buy a 1x12 to make a 1x10,... I guess I'm trying to go an easier route, if I'm going to use 1xs. Conversely if I use the high grade plywood, I'm not sure how to finish the edges to look okay, but I do know how to cut those to assure the perfect fit, as it were, and nice round dimensions like 10'' are easy to produce and design for.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 07:24 AM
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If you buy Baltic birch plywood which has no voids in the layers, you can finish the edge and they will look just fine.


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post #5 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
If you buy Baltic birch plywood which has no voids in the layers, you can finish the edge and they will look just fine.


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I will look for that. I'm also gleaning that "no voids" is the term I need for this type of project with plywoods. Does the birch take stain very well?
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 09:38 AM
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I would probably use plywood For this project. Plywood can be purchased in a hardwood veneer if you plan to stain it. So you could buy Oak plywood or some other hardwood you like. Birch is much used because it can be stained or painted. Birch has a smooth tight grain and will stain well. There are many grades of Birch plywood. For cabinets, buy the good stuff.
Good luck.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GypsyJillith View Post
Well if I use 1xs, then I'll use by just rounding the edges, uhm...... Okay if I use 1xs, I'll be cutting say an 18" section and the top and bottom of the drawer front are the factory cut edges, not mine. So, if I'm correct, a 1x10 is actually 9.25, not 10". I suppose I could buy a 1x12 to make a 1x10,... I guess I'm trying to go an easier route, if I'm going to use 1xs. Conversely if I use the high grade plywood, I'm not sure how to finish the edges to look okay, but I do know how to cut those to assure the perfect fit, as it were, and nice round dimensions like 10'' are easy to produce and design for.
You can always edge glue the individual pieces of wood together to attain whatever drawer height you desire.

George
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GypsyJillith View Post
I will look for that. I'm also gleaning that "no voids" is the term I need for this type of project with plywoods. Does the birch take stain very well?
Baltic Birch, AKA FinnPly, AKA Russian Plywood, is a high quality European material with a high number of plies all of similar quality to the face plies. For example 1/2" has 9 plies. It's commonly used for drawer boxes and presents a nice appearance when the plies are exposed.
More info at:

http://************/kxw3vl4

and
http://************/l6s9pqs

Here is the desk I am sitting at at the moment. 1" top, 3/4" drawfront, 1/2" drawer box splined together with a masonite spline, all Baltic Birch.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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You can always edge glue the individual pieces of wood together to attain whatever drawer height you desire.

George
I did think about doing this. Seems either adjusting height to accommodate the solid wood, using plywood are simpler options.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-16-2017, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian(J) View Post
Baltic Birch, AKA FinnPly, AKA Russian Plywood, is a high quality European material with a high number of plies all of similar quality to the face plies. For example 1/2" has 9 plies. It's commonly used for drawer boxes and presents a nice appearance when the plies are exposed.
More info at:

http://************/kxw3vl4

and
http://************/l6s9pqs

Here is the desk I am sitting at at the moment. 1" top, 3/4" drawfront, 1/2" drawer box splined together with a masonite spline, all Baltic Birch.
That's actually pretty cool. Usually I see plywood as offering very random striping on the sides. Very nice. I guess I have my answer. By re-reading my own posts, I was very much noticing I really wanted a plywood solution. Thank you.

I will be 1/4 rounding my edges. I'm going to have to imagine how that's going to look. But at least it's a smooth, well filled, sandable edge.

Last edited by GypsyJillith; 04-16-2017 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Afterthought.
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