Author Topic: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?  (Read 4478 times)

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Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2020, 08:07 PM »
For a built-in chest with 20 drawers, I purchased the drawers completely assembled. That was the cheapest method I could come up with.

The drawer sides are 5/8" maple and the bottom is 1/4" BB ply. Everything came dovetailed, assembled & sanded with cutouts for Blumotion slides along with the 75º holes for the Blum locking devices. A 28" wide x 21" deep x 5" tall drawer was $50.

I purchased them locally from Fleetwoods in Ham Lake Minnesota, so they are not that far from you. I think it only took a week for them to produce the order. I'd be willing to bet that if you asked them, they'd flat pack them for you and then you could do the assembly.


Hey Cheese,

     Brilliant point on drawer construction and especially nice for inset drawers....the fact that the Blum cutouts are included is a huge timesaver bonus. I also like that you are using Surfix....I like it more and more the more I use it.

Again, thanks.
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Latest Festool purchase...TID18 T18 set....love them

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Offline Sometimewoodworker

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2020, 08:24 PM »
Plywood can be a design feature on high end cabinets.  We had cabinets made for our kitchen remodel by a company called Henrybuilt in Seattle.   They made the plies on the wood a design feature.


We love them.  Wish I had a source for this quality of plywood.  We visited their manufacturing facility one, it was very impressive.   

Bob
You have two options for sourcing the plywood.

The first is to ask the company that made your drawer boxes where they buy their plywood.
The second is to go to a quality woodyard not a big box store and they can supply any quality of plywood that you want to spend the money on. The only problem is that they will stock in large quantities so you won’t be able to make a specialist order fo a couple of sheets.

However they will certainly be able to tell you the woodyard which carry the kind of plywood that you want all that can order it in. They may also be able to tell you the retailers that they sell to. Plywood in an 8 x 4 sheet can cost anything from $30 up to several Hundred dollars per sheet if you’re getting a complete hardwood veneer with hardwood core and a very specialist kind of hardwood made into the plywood that you want to buy.

Shannon Rodgers who makes the Shannon‘s Lumber Industry Update podcast has a couple on exactly that subject.

He works for a lumber company and has very interesting points.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 10:00 PM by Sometimewoodworker »
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2020, 09:20 PM »
Plywood can be a design feature on high end cabinets.  We had cabinets made for our kitchen remodel by a company called Henrybuilt in Seattle.   They made the plies on the wood a design feature.

We love them.  Wish I had a source for this quality of plywood.  We visited their manufacturing facility one, it was very impressive.   

Bob
You have two options for sourcing the plywood.

The first is to ask the company that made your drawer boxes where they buy their plywood.
The second is to go to a quality woodyard not a big box store and they can supply any quality of plywood that you want to spend the money on. The only problem is that they will feel in large quantities so you won’t be able to make a specialist order. However they will certainly be able to tell you the woodyard which carry the kind of plywood that you want all that can order it in. They may also be able to tell you the retailers that they sell to. Plywood in an 8 x 4 sheet can cost anything from $30 up to several Hundred dollars per sheet if you’re getting a complete hardwood with hardwood core and a very specialist kind of hardwood made into the plywood that you want to buy.
Shannon Rodgers who makes the Shannon‘s Lumber Industry Update podcast has a couple on exactly that subject.

A friend who owns a cabinet shop gets 3/4” Maple veneer plywood with 1 side pre-finished for $60 from a local plywood supplier; however, when I call as a normal customer, it’s $150-$180 ... SMH.

Offline Sometimewoodworker

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2020, 10:08 PM »

A friend who owns a cabinet shop gets 3/4” Maple veneer plywood with 1 side pre-finished for $60 from a local plywood supplier; however, when I call as a normal customer, it’s $150-$180 ... SMH.
Not very surprised at that, the cabinet shop has a relationship with the supplier, you don’t. He is continually buying material, you aren’t. Your purchase may well break a pack, his probably doesn’t, or they know roughly when he will need the rest.

A 3rd way that I forgot is to ask a cabinet shop if you can buy from them, or if the parts you need are small enough if you can buy the off cuts they generate from them
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
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Offline SGreenberg

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2021, 08:33 PM »
The plywood in the first picture looks like Fin Color Ply. Really nice to work with. Not cheap but very high quality.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 475
Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2021, 09:07 PM »
Smart to buy the drawers ready built, or indeed flat packed ready to assemble.
I’ll totally remodel my kitchen later, and the drawers are not tempting to do by myself, as I ideally want them dovetailed. This would be time consuming, and I’d rather focus on the fronts and the cabinet with facia. I’m sure gonna ask for a quote with some who has the machinery to do drawer carcass fast and easy.
Leightools has a number of jigs for dovetail and box joints. So does the usual cast of suspects: woodcraft, Incra, rockler, jessem?, harbor freight, etc. I would say once you get it dialed into the jig it’s a matter of taking the time to bang out the draws. Now if they were hand cut dovetails that’s time consuming. I’m pretty sure the companies are using a dedicated cnc or using a table saw jig like incra...I’ve seen some YouTube shop made jigs that offset the kerf sequentially. If think there’s a reason to pay to have them made vs. shop made...

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2021, 05:54 AM »
I’ve found Baltic Birch wonderful for drawers and most other shop cabinet parts. I do glue hardwood trim on all exposed edges. The exposed BB edges look ok at first, but can become tattered after time.

I recently made a very large and complex reception cubical/desk/storage system from BB for a Pilates studio. All exposed edges had a 3/8” trip piece glued on. I trimmed the edging with a block plane and a very light sanding.

I have the Festool trim router, but prefer the satisfaction of using a scary sharp plane.
Birdhunter

Offline MaineShop

  • Posts: 98
Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2021, 08:36 AM »
I often use both baltic birch or maple for drawers, for me it depends on the size of drawers on a project. For some kitchens with very large drawers which seems to be a trend I prefer the baltic. For projects with smaller drawers like a vanity I tend to use maple.

Offline Josh2

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2021, 01:11 PM »
I just want to mention another great option: Many lumber stores sell drawer material, which is birch plywood, 8' long, cut to different common drawer widths, with 1/4 groove and edge banding on the top. So you should have to crosscut and join. It saves so much work.

For kitchen and more fine work, I use white oak with box joints. Lot's of work though and a drawer costs me about $100-120 including the hardware (blum). Love the style though.

Offline Packard

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Re: Birch Plywood vs Hardwood for Drawer Boxes?
« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2021, 03:59 PM »
I made shop drawers from 3/4" plywood--mainly because I could glue and screw the bottoms in place--something I would not do with hardwood drawers.