Dresser Side Panel Question

I am going to make my panels for my walnut dresser from solid lumber (no ply). The panels will measure 21" long X 15 3/4" wide. Will 1/4" thick panels be sufficient or will they be too flimsy? They will sit in grooves in the rails (top and bottom) and in grooves in the legs (left and right). If I go with 1/2 thick panels I will need to make my rails thicker.
Will 1/4" thick be sufficient? I know that if I was using plywood it would probably be too flimsy.
http://www.garagewoodworks.com/Dresser_Project.htm
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Stoutman
www.garagewoodworks.com
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think the 1/4" thickness is probably ok. If you wanted 1/2" panels, you could raise the panels and turn the raised panels in or out according to what you want.
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Good idea! That didn't occur to me.

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This all boils down to personal preference. Actually 1/4" plywood panels would be fine. While you may be able to push on the panel and deflect it, it adds no strength to the panel as a whole. It simply fills in the hole between the rails and stiles. If however you are going to attach any thing on the in side side to the panels you want at least thick enough to handle screws if you will be using screws. Personally I would choose plywood over solid wood for stability, and ease of construction.
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Thanks.
I totally agree that plywood would be more stable and easier, however I feel that the grain of plywood sometimes does not look natural. This is the primary reason that I want to go with solid stock.

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Keep in mind, and this also has to do with your particular location, that you can get several type cuts for the grain on the surface of a piece of plywood. Riff and rotary come to mind. HD is not going to have the variety that a good lumber supply will have available to you.
Either way, if you prefer the solid wood 1/4" will be plenty.
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Just got back from the lumber yard and I went with 1/4" walnut ply. It is rotary cut, but it looks pretty good.
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There I was envisioning Oak and thinking you were on target for not wanting to use plywood. Walnut OTOH is hard to do wrong. The wood is beautiful from just about any angle or cut.
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Or you can just veneer over the ply and get whatever look you like.
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Leon wrote:

"plywood" as panels of similar and larger size to yours in a number of projects: desks, china cabinets, chests of drawers, etc. The MDF is a great substrate. There is no telegraphing of the substrate through the veneer so you get a smooth, flat surface; it is dimensionally uniform; and it can be glued into the rails and stiles for extra rigidity if desired. Strength is not an issue; however, it is heavier than traditional veneer core plywood. It does not in the 1/4" thickness provide a base for attaching anything. On the other hand, with the sides being only about 19" wide, attaching drawer runners/dust panels to the stiles should provide plenty of support.
Jim Artherholt
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