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Thread: Shop Drawers?

  1. #1
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    Shop Drawers?

    Anybody have a good/quick/easy design for making sturdy drawers for shop cabinets?

    Looking to start making a bunch. Probably make them out of 1/2" ply for the sides, 1/4" ply bottoms. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Chris Hatfield is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Anybody have a good/quick/easy design for making sturdy drawers for shop cabinets?

    Looking to start making a bunch. Probably make them out of 1/2" ply for the sides, 1/4" ply bottoms. Thanks!
    I'm in the same boat. I was considering using a drawer lock bit for assembly.

  3. #3
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    I typically make mine from 1/2 ply with 1/4 bottoms. I rabbet the ends of the sides 1/4" for the front and back, bottoms are dadoes in about 1/4 to 3/8" from the bottom. I usually put them together using glue and crown staples. I'll also attach 3/4" fronts on afterward.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    I would pass on the 1/2" ply and go get some sort of cheap wood. Even pine is better than using ply.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    I haven't had much luck on the 1/4" rabbet's for 1/2" ply. It's not a very strong joint in plywood and bad to break the ends of the drawer sides during assembly. I ended up just cutting a very shallow rabbit in the front and dado in the back of the drawer sides, then stapling the 1/2" ply sides together with butt joints. It worked well enough. The bottoms I did dado a little over the thicknes of the bottom and ran a bead of hot glue around the bottom of the drawer case. This seemed to make them a lot more solid. I was using UV ply because I wanted the pre-finish for shop drawers.

    I've made a couple drawers with solid wood sides and they worked just fine with a 1/4" dado in the front. I didn't have any problems with solid wood breaking in the front during assembly.
    Last edited by Jeb Taylor; 01-18-2011 at 04:34 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'm with Chuck, no ply, use pine.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    I use BB plywood. It's fine.

    Here's some old photos of the drawers I put in my workbench.

    I used 1/2" BB and put a rabbet in the side pieces, and glue and nail them to the front and back.

    I didn't even dado the bottoms on those. I didn't want to lose the 1/4-1/2" of depth I'd give up doing that. I just glued and nailed the bottom onto the bottom of the drawer box. I used "kitchen" drawer slides, and they have a lip that wraps around the bottom of the drawer. So that gives it extra support. Six years later they're still fine.

    ALSO: here is the link to Tom Clark's thread from 2008 on building simple shop cabinets. I've intended to use that approach if/when I build more cabinets in my shop.

    ...art
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  8. #8
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    What are you gonna be using for drawer slides?

    If you want to get rid of all the hardware, and make the cabinet layout more versatile as well, I'd suggest making the drawer bottoms out of ¼" ply, but making them actually wider than the drawer. Make the cabinet "Euro-style" (no face frame) and cut dado's/kerfs in the sides for the ¼" ply to slide into.

    Cut kerfs every inch or 1½", and you'll be able to move drawers up or down as their contents change.

    Lee Valley sells pre-made metal drawers that work on this principle, but shop-made wooden ones work just as well, and can be sized to whatever you like.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    Very interesting idea. That would definitely cut down on the hardware...

    Too late for my RAS cabinet, but I can definitely use that idea for some of the other cabs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    What are you gonna be using for drawer slides?

    If you want to get rid of all the hardware, and make the cabinet layout more versatile as well, I'd suggest making the drawer bottoms out of ¼" ply, but making them actually wider than the drawer. Make the cabinet "Euro-style" (no face frame) and cut dado's/kerfs in the sides for the ¼" ply to slide into.

    Cut kerfs every inch or 1½", and you'll be able to move drawers up or down as their contents change.

    Lee Valley sells pre-made metal drawers that work on this principle, but shop-made wooden ones work just as well, and can be sized to whatever you like.

  10. #10
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    I guess I am in the minority here, but for my shop (which is still a work in progress) I used 1/2" birch plywood for the sides AND the bottom (using it also for the bottom makes it stronger and also prevents the drawer sounding like a drum). I used glue and pocket holes. Quick and efficient.

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