Material for kitchen drawer boxes???

What kind of material would you recommend for kitchen drawer boxes?
I was planning on using 1/2 melamine, but, can't seem to locate any yet. This is the material the author of one of my cabinet making books uses.
The local borg has the 3/4" variety, but, that seems a bit too thick.
If I do use melamine, how would/should the edges be treated? Could edge banding be used? Not sure how well it would holdup.
Is 1/2 MDF suitable for this? I'd probably paint it, if I went this route.
I could probably use hardwood, but I rather use something a bit less expensive. I need to make 9 boxes.
Should the bottoms be the same material as the sides, or could MDF or 1/4 or 1/2" plywood be used.
ThankX, Ron
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If you have a planer, most anything can be planed down for sides...poplar, pine, oak. !/2" is nice for smallish drawers, which most of them are. I have some 40" wide, which I did with 3/4".
For bottoms, anything about 1/4" is fine. Most of mine are plywood from Scandinavian packing crates. If your bottoms are a little thick, bevel the undersides to fit in 1/4" dados.
Wilson

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wrote:

1/2" baltic birch sides, 1/4" birch bottoms.

try a cabinet shop supply yard or a hardwood lumberyard.

not too uncommon, though

yes.
not too badly. drawers are protected most of the time.

prolly be ok. note that melamine and mdf are both prone to water damage and lose most of their strength if they get wet. furthermore, they are both known for marginal screw holding ability, and most drawer glides are screwed on.

for a long time I used domestic fir core ply with birch faces for drawer boxes. it's a reasonable material.

I make 1/4" bottoms.

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Baltic birch ply (9 ply 12 MM)
dave
Ron wrote:

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"Ron" wrote in message

IMO, it's hard to beat solid wood sides for that "quality" look, even if you don't use expensive wood.
For the 19 drawer boxes in my kitchen I used 1/2" poplar for the sides and back, and 1/4" birch plywood for the bottoms. With dovetail joints, the real wood for the boxe sides looks expensive, but wasn't.
With carefull selection of poplar, and by staying away from the green heartwood except where it won't be seen, it can be used to good advantage and stained match your cabinets.
--
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wrote:

I *like* 1/2" Maple or Birch, but I often use 1/2" (or even 3/8") Birch plywood. I figure if I go to the effort of building a drawer, the material cost savings with melamine or MDF isn't enough to justify using those materials.
Jeff
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snipped-for-privacy@mydomain.dude says...

The only advantage I see to using melamine is that the drawer is easier to clean; a distinct advantage in a kitchen.
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For these types of boxes, I use 1/2 Baltic Birch plywood. I use butt joints glued and nailed with 1 1/4" 18 gauge brads. The plywood edges are left exposed which I wouldn't do with any other type of plywood.
Melamine boxes are cleaner looking, but for me, they are more trouble to make. For strength, the boxes need to be screwed. With that in mind, you would need 5/8" - 3/4" thick melamine. Although, I have used regular screws, a confirmat screw should be used. And of course, it requires a special drill bit. Check out - http://store.yahoo.com/squaredrive/fasteners-screws-specialty-screws-european-cabinetry-screws-confirmat-style-screws.html .
The bottom should be 1/4" - 1/2" melamine depending on drawer size, although you could use the 5/8". Of course, the edges would have to be banded. There is melamine with hot-melt glue that you can apply with an iron.
If you have trouble finding the melamine, contact a local cabinet shop and ask who his supplier is. Or perhaps, he can sell you some at a decent price.
Preston

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