Kitchen cabinet drawers

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I am building a cherry island for our kitchen and am looking for opinions on what kind of material I should use for the actual box part of the drawer not the drawer fronts. Should I go with 1/2 inch maple plywood or solid wood and what if any kind of finish should I apply to the inside?
Jim www.woodblog.com
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"Jim Sharman" wrote in message

Plywood works nicely, but the look and appeal of hardwood drawers is hard to beat, IMO.
Maple is an excellent drawer wood, and poplar works well also if you stay away from the multi-hued heartwood.
Many folks prefer to leave their drawers unfinished on the inside ... I personally prefer to use a few coats of shellac on mine. The choice is yours.
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wrote:

Speaking less as a woodworker and more as an ex-commercial cook, I would recommend plywood material for the boxes because of the greater stability it offers. I assume you will be using ball-bearing drawer slides, there is no wear issue from the edge of the plywood on solid wood. I would also seal them very well, either with shellac or even with thinned poly. Sometimes it is nice to be able to really *wash* the inside of a drawer - like after you have just knocked over a gallon of syrup, half of which ran down the front of your cabinets and into the drawers. (don't ask)
Make them solid, with good fitting bottoms so that they continue to work well for many years and you won't be sorry.
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wrote:
|I am building a cherry island for our kitchen and am looking for opinions on |what kind of material I should use for the actual box part of the drawer not |the drawer fronts. Should I go with 1/2 inch maple plywood or solid wood |and what if any kind of finish should I apply to the inside?
I'm using poplar for the sides and Baltic birch ply for the bottoms in the bath vanity I have under construction at the moment. I haven't tried maple plywood, but I have tried Baltic birch and there is no way that I can cut dovetails in the stuff without chipout or outright delamination. (Any tips on doing this appreciated)
I plan to use several coats of Enduro clear WB poly with the final coat souped up with crosslinking additive. Too many wet things and stuff like polish remover to use anything less bulletproof, I think.
The next project is the kitchen and I plan to do the same unless I learn some new tricks. (Always a distinct possibility)
Wes
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Used a Keller jig and bits for 1/2" BB. I used backer of ply and the drawer stock was no chips.

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On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 08:47:46 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net"
|Used a Keller jig and bits for 1/2" BB. I used backer of ply and the |drawer stock was no chips.
Good to know. I have a D4 and brand new Whiteside bits. A backer board usually handles the chipout on the back side but I had some problems on the front (entry) side when doing the tails.
I've had the surface lamination actually tear off, similar to planing the endgrain of a stick and having the edge split off.
I know of two local sources for BB, one about 50% higher priced, maybe I'm getting what I pay for at the lowball source.
Wes
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I used a slow climb cut on front.
wrote:

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On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 11:59:51 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net"
|I used a slow climb cut on front.
Don't have that option when the pins are the width of the DT bit. It's a straight thru pass.
BTW, I have read the D4 manual and realize that it states that you should forget about dovetailing plywood. But who believes the manual. [g]
Wes
|
|wrote: | |>Good to know. I have a D4 and brand new Whiteside bits. A backer |>board usually handles the chipout on the back side but I had some |>problems on the front (entry) side when doing the tails.
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Solid wood looks the best but if you go with a plywood I get great mileage using BALTIC BIRCH. This plywood is all Birch and has more ply's.
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I like solid 1/2" maple with dovetail joints. Seal the wood with poly, lacquer or shellac. You can use melamine bottoms to have a cleanable drawer. Baltic birch ply also works well if you don't mind the plywood look.
--
Alan Bierbaum

Web Site: http://www.calanb.com
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Hey Alan,
...nice website you have there...
Cheers,
aw
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Thanks; it is still evolving.
--
Alan Bierbaum

Web Site: http://www.calanb.com
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Blum has a realy nice slide with a built in side (metabox).... http://tinyurl.com/25eax
I found some replica at Lee valley that are realy affortable... http://tinyurl.com/yu7g9
These make some nice, sturdy easy to clean drawers (my wife loves ours)
--
Christian Charette


"Jim Sharman" < snipped-for-privacy@woodblog.com> wrote in message
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wrote:

This is a personal choice. I like solid wood for drawer sides and back with ply on the bottom. A secondary wood such as pine or poplar is suitable. A spit shellac finish (dilute with equal amount of alcohol) for the inside of drawers is what I'd use, or no finish at all.
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I'm curious, where does the "no finish at all" on the inside of drawers come from? I suspect that insides weren't finished in the past because of cost, but it really doesn't add much to the cost and makes the drawers much more useful.
Can anyone offer any sort of practical reason why you might not finish the inside of a drawer other than to save work/finish?
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Tim Douglass wrote:

With the exception of shellac, the smell of the carrier lingers for a long time attaching to anything stored in the drawer.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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I've used "lemon oil" (actually made from lemongrass) for inside drawers. Smelly, but pleasantly so.
Generally I use shellac though.
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wrote:

I'd sort of forgotten about lingering odor - more of a problem if you are going to be storing clothes than for kitchen utensils. I guess it takes me so long to finish anything that by the time I actually get it to the point where I'm putting stuff in it any fumes are long gone.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Tim Douglass wrote:

Drawers in some old furniture and cabinets have no finish except for the false front. Lack of finish probably results from money savings, skill in smoothing wood, and use of wood without defects or species and cuts that don't warp easily. Look at any production furniture and you find that very little of the hidden part of a furniture is finished. When I looked at oak dining tables, about the only thing with a finish was top surface and the observable outside. When I bought an unfinished oak table, I finished every surface I could reach. Didn't take much material or extra time since I didn't sand the normally hidden parts. Putting finish on one surface, especially large surfaces of a table is a guaranteed board-warper. May take a while but eventually.....
Lots of modern kitchen cabinets are mostly plywood and often have little finish except on the outside. Lack of finish is "tacky" in more than one sense of the word. On absolutely straight grained quarter sawn, dense, beautifully colored wood lack of finish might be acceptable, but most of us either can't find or can't afford such wood.
Finish every surface, except maybe direct contact sliding surfaces and put an oil finish on those is my motto.
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I know that I'd want to be able to clean out my kitchen drawers with a damp rag or cleaning solution. Bare wood does not take that very well. If you make them early in the project the lingering odor would be long gone before installation. Ed
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