Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Material for drawers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666

    Material for drawers?

    Hey, folks,

    I need to make nine 24" x 24" by 7" drawers for the lathe stand. A quick price calc led me rapidly to 1/2" mdf for the sides, and some 1/8" melanine I have on hand for the bottoms. I'm using self-closing bottom mount slides (bought the wrong length for another project, so I had those on hand too). Any thoughts on what would be cheaper (or better in the long run)?

    I feel bad about going against Stu's advice to build the stand like an A-frame, but I just don't have the skills at this point for all those angles. By the way, I was kicking myself for putting all this time into the stand, but yesterday I opened the box with the delivered stand in it. The foot print is less than 12" wide! You can be sure I'd find some bone-headed way to get that thing to topple over, and probably forward onto my legs. What were they thinking???

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    I'm not sure about mdf holding up to lots of use. For the bottom, you might want to go with 1/4" to handle the weight of the tools and to support it across the two foot section. Maybe popalr or bb would be a better idea for the sides.

  3. #3
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Baltic Birch ply will hold up better in the long run.
    Also, 1/4" bottom will be somewhat weak with a 24x24 drawer.
    Load it to heavy, and it may sag.
    I'd go with 1/2" bottoms, or double up your 1/4" material.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666
    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for your replies. I'm worried the stand isn't heavy enough. Believe it or not, I actually had enough scraps of 3/4 MDF lying around the shop to make all the sides! Maybe that will help with the weight issue...

    The doubling up the bottom idea is a great one. I'll try that.

    Oddly, I've never found a local supplier of baltic birch ply. You can get just about anything in this town, but not that! Wierd...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  5. #5
    Steve Clardy Guest
    3/4 mdf will be fine for what they are for.

    Try a cabinet supplier sometime, for the baltic birch.
    Your local lumber yard should be able to get it for you also.

  6. #6
    I prefer Cotton for my Drawers as the others make me sweat and itch....

    But for shop cabinets I select cabinet grade Plywood, Baltic Birch and all are nice MDF is a PITA and dusty and has to be treated with kid gloves and hates abuse. Sheeting grade plywood is too crappy but a 5-7 ply 1/2" will work fine and hold out for a lot of maltreatment. (given a coating of finish)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    281

    Angry

    Just MHO, Ive built several of my shop cabinets, drawers and doors out of MDF as a wa of learning on cheap material. I have found out that MDF has no dimentional stability. since it is not fiber but particles(dust) once it begins to give it will not return to its original shape. Although most of my cabinets are doing good alot of them have lost their unit strength somewhat. I think I am correct in saying that the only joints usable on MDF are lap, and dado. I dont imaging that a dovetail would last long at all.

    Even screws will eventually give out on MDF to MDF use if there is any movement from use of either component as in the side and back of a drawer.

    When you glue MDF you are actually only glueing a very thin area of the surface. I suppose some glue will penetrate but the strength of fiberous material is not be there in MDF.

    I am not saying you should not use MDF just take extra care when gluing and joining.

    It's been a while since I last posted anything here and I think I am being verbose to make up up for it. (Ive been working on my motorcycle replacing the rear break rotor so Ive had to clear the shop for a few weeks while parts came in, I should be done this week if the bearing get here which I doubt as they are still on order )

    Good luck with your drawers.

    My 2 cents

    edit: I dont know why the angry face appeared on this post. I think I pressed the icon intending to put the sad face in the text
    Last edited by Julio Navarro; 04-12-2007 at 07:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666
    Julio,

    I had the same concern, so I'm using a drawer lock bit like this one:
    http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/order...ges/katbt9.htm

    It came as part of a set I got a while back. Couldn't use it then because of the fence I had, but I've since upgraded... It took me a while to get the setup right, and the size for the openings (with runners) prototyped. I know that seems like a no-brainer, but like my father always said, if brains were dynamite I couldn't blow my nose...

    Got all the side parts for 12 (midstream redesign! D'Oh! ) drawers cut to length and width. Once I started the production run, it went really fast. Then, I swear, on the last two, the bit started traveling up! A 16th on the next to last board, another 16th on the last. Dang!

    I thought the bit might be coming loose. Unplugged the router, and tugged. Nope, tight as a you know what. Then I thought I must have been drinking. Nope, I could easily touch my index finger to my nose. Then I thought 'maybe it's a flashback to my wayward days in california in the sixties.' But I looked around the shop and didn't see any purple elephants.!

    More router lift troubles, I asked myself? After all, I just got this one on christmas, and I'd had a problem with the screws working loose where the router attaches to the lift. But ever since I took the screws out, dabbed the ends with silicon caulk, and tightened em back down, that problem had gone away. So I stood there, and stared and stared and stared at the offending machinery.

    Finally I noticed it. The router's a hitachi m12v. The plunge lock is a lever, and it had worked slightly loose. Why it went up rather than down is completely beyond my limited reasoning skills. In any case, I did partial surgery, removing a knob and a shroud, and screwing on a new nut with a lock washer this time. Fixed the problem, but had to cut off the offending joints. The top two drawers are going to be an inch shorter than the others, but oh well...

    All this to say that with the drawer lock joint, I think I'll get a pretty good gluing surface. And trust me, I'm not above popping those glued up but still clamped joints with a few well placed brads...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 04-10-2007 at 07:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    8,983
    Steve's got it as usual . . . 1/2" BB ply and 1/4" for those bottoms. 1/8" over 24" is quite a stretch IMHO.

Similar Threads

  1. Recall material?
    By Darren Wright in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-21-2016, 10:19 PM
  2. Looking for non-skid material
    By Matt Ducar in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 12-11-2011, 01:04 AM
  3. I need some reading material
    By Karl Brogger in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-28-2011, 01:11 AM
  4. Portable Chest with Drawers - How to keep drawers from opening?
    By Brent Dowell in forum Designs, Plans and Sketches
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-22-2010, 06:41 PM
  5. vise jaw material
    By Mark Kosmowski in forum Neander Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-21-2007, 04:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •