Best joint for plywood drawers


What is a strong joint for 1/2" ply drawers? These are going to be relatively large drawers; 30" wide x 12" high x 28"deep and will carry a good bit of weight in them(power tools, parts, etc. Nahm uses a dovetail jig but it's out of my price range. I have to make about a dozen of these drawers so the joint has to be relatively easy to reproduce.
Cheers!
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"Dukes909" wrote in message news:

My favorite for 1/2" plywood drawers done quickly is a lock-rabbet joint cut on the table saw. Here is one way to do it:
http://tinyurl.com/mszyr
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I know many folks will probably suggest fancy joinery, but I've made dozens of drawers with simple butt joints (sides overlapping front and back) and they have held up very well. Many of these are loaded quite heavily.
I prefer to use 3/4" ply for the front and back as it gives more of an edge to glue and nail into. I use 1/4" plywood for the bottoms set into a simple dado. I use a router bit that is undersized to match the true size of 1/4" plywood, so the bottom doesn't rattle around in the groove.
I typically use inexpensive 3/4 extension Blum drawer slides, but did use full extension slides in my computer desk.
If you insist on using a more advanced joint, you could try a "Drawer Lock" router bit (92123 or 22637 at Rockler for about $35).
Anthony
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Sounds like you're building utility drawers, rather than "fine furniture". Two thoughts:
In joining the sides to the front, a simple rabbet is fine as far as it goes, but with the size and weight considerations, why not simply attach a vertical gluing block (1x2"x height of drawer sides) next to the rabbets on the drawer front? You will then have lots of glue area and room for screws to hold the sides on. Wouldn't be noticeable from the outside, and for a utility drawer, wouldn't be objectionable from the inside. Simple butt/rabbet drawer joints are ok on kitchen drawers, but not on drawers the size you are contemplating.
Also, you will find that 1/4 inch plywood is not going to handle much weight as a bottom with your drawer dimensions. Use 1/2 inch ply as a minimum.
Good luck.
Chuck
Dukes909 wrote:

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Yes they are utility drawers. Sorry I neglected to mention that.
BTW, can I get by with 1/2" for the drawer fronts??
Cheers! Dukester
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Perhaps. If the pulls are at the ends, there shouldn't be much flexing. You could always stiffen it with a horizontal 1x2, but I really think 3/4 inch is the way to go for the fronts.
Chuck
Dukes909 wrote:

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In Frank Klausz' biscuit joinery video http://www.frankklausz.com/biscuitjoinery.html He uses biscuits and shims to crank out a bunch of plywood drawers. I tried it on drawers for two workstations and my workbench, and once you've got the proper shimming setup, it really does go fast and makes a good solid drawer. I'm using some of them for things like router storage, dado blades, etc. In the deep ones, lots of heavy stuff. No problem.
But you need a biscuit joiner to do it. And I wouldn't feel comfortable trying it if I hadn't seen the video.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I haven't seen that video. Biscuit joinery is pretty straightforward. What's different in the video about making drawers?
R
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"I haven't seen that video. Biscuit joinery is pretty straightforward. What's different in the video about making drawers?"
Doing it with 5/8 ply (maybe 3/4, I can't remember now but I don't think so) and using Frank's preferred method of referencing from the bench surface, not from the surface of the plywood. Using shims and simple jigs to get the blade centered on the end of the wood. The method he used to line up for the cut so each side would fit together so well. I could have figured out for myself how to set up for a long batch job for several drawers, but it was nice to watch how he did it.
I could go on and on but I won't be able to explain it any better than that, which is probably why he made a video of it and I didn't.
My local library system has most of his vids.
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I use a rabbet joint. While not exceptionally strong it works well with plywood. The beauty to the joint is that it is simple to make and helps align the corners perfectly and allows a bit more surface area to glue. In addition I always use brads too when using 1/2 thick plywood .
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I suggest trying finger [box] joints. The jig is easy to build for a table saw. Not very sightly, but H..l for strong. Bugs
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Do these work in plywood?
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Dukes909 wrote:

Yes, quite well.
Typically a few fingers in each joint will be gnarly as some of the plywood will delaminate but finger joints make up in numbers for what they lack individually,. With good quality plywood and a sharp bit they may look OK and a a false drawer front can cover them up if they don't.
--

FF


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But a lot of trouble for a plywood drawer. Might as well go with DT's
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Sounds like you are building the "Miter Saw Station" with all those drawers ???
A simple rabbet will work, a locking rabbet will work better. I used 1/2" birch plywood for all the drawers.
http://www.rd.com/americanwoodworker/articles/200202/thismonth/page2.html
I did all mine with a cheap($100) dovetail jig.
I offer the following advice....
Norm recommends a basic 26" or 28" 100# class slide for those big ass drawers. I would "stongly" recommend a 150# class slide for the bigger drawers. The smaller "trays" will be fine but when you start piling a ton of hand tools in those drawers, those 100# slides will not hold up.
It is VERY important to get those carcases built VERY square cause if you don't, those BIG ASS drawers are gonna give you a fit. Use a story stick and watch your assembly.
You will need help for the assembly in my opinion. That's a LOT of big plywood panels to deal with and keep square during your glue up.
The project on the face, seems right easy but with that large set of drawers, you must be very accurate.
It's a fun project, so take your time and have fun.
Dukes909 wrote:

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Man there are some detectives in this group! Yeah, ok I'm building his station. Because of space constraints, mine turned out to be 13' instead of 16'.

Thanks, I'll go with 150's.

Breaking it down into an 8' section and a 5' section I somehow managed to assemble it by my lonesome. Squareness check turned out A-ok after a few adjustments. I'll post some pics on abpw of the frame so far later today.

Thanks!
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This will also be very helpful...
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/bw0006.asp
Dukes909 wrote:

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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 08:15:12 -0600, "Dukes909"

Box joints and biscuit joints are strong, easily machine-made, and suitable with plywood. I'd use 3/4" ply for larger drawers that need to be heavy-duty.
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Boxjoint or dovetail would be best, and you can build a home jig for box joints
John
On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 08:15:12 -0600, "Dukes909"

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