What is the best material for dovetail drawers?

Solid hardwoods are the best timber for the sides of making our drawer boxes. At Probox we start with solid timber and remove the bark from the sides using special equipment before sanding the wood, dovetailing it and making it into a box. Probox offers a range of solid wood types including oak, beech, maple or walnut.

What is the best wood for dovetail drawers?

With Poplar, You Can’t Go Wrong. Poplar is an excellent choice for drawer box construction in general. It is more stable, durable, and affordable than other hardwoods.

What is the best material to build drawers with?

Baltic Birch Plywood It has one of the highest strength to weight ratios of any readily available sheet material. Unlike construction grade plywood where the inner layers are made of a lesser softwood, Baltic ply is made of many thin layers of solid hardwood (birch).

What material is dovetail drawer?

Hard Maple and Aspen are North American hardwoods . White Birch, Rustic White Birch, and Rubberwood are imported A/B grade hardwood, laminated & finger jointed . Birch plywood is Carb Compliant 9-ply high density plywood with no internal voids . UV cured coating is 100% solid and contains no VOC .

What is the best wood for dovetails?

Soft maple, or red maple, can be a great wood to practice dovetails on. It has very tight and closed grain making it a joy to saw, chisel, and pare. The fact that it isn’t as heavy, expensive, or tough on tools like its cousin hard maple is a big plus.

Can you make dovetail drawers with plywood?

A wide variety of methods can be used to make dovetail plywood drawer boxes. They are generally considered by the woodworking industry as time-consuming and difficult to make. The dovetails can be cut by hand with a dovetailing saw and chisel or you can use a dovetail jig and router.

What is the best wood to make drawers out of?

Hardwoods are the best choice of wood for drawer boxes, with oak being a popular choice at present but Walnut, Maple, Ash, Birch, Beech, Cherry, Tulipwood (Poplar) and Cedar are all great choices.

Is MDF better than plywood for drawers?

For any situation where the cabinets will be exposed to significant amounts of water, plywood is the better option. Because it is more porous, MDF soaks up moisture and can bubble or disintegrate if not kept dry.

Is MDF strong enough for drawers?

Don’t disagree, I’d go for birch ply here – though I’d say MDF is also a staple of painted furniture. Rebating MDF drawer fronts and fixing the sides with screws or nails is doomed to failure. MDF is hopeless with fixings into its edge, and drawer fronts yanking on them will expedite the failure.

What thickness of plywood do I need for drawers?

You can use whatever thickness plywood you prefer for your drawers. I had scrap 1/2″ and 3/4″ plywood in my garage so that’s what I used. I used 1/2″ birch plywood for my drawer fronts because that’s what I used for the rest of my desk and I wanted it all to match.

Are dovetail drawers worth it?

Dovetail drawers are considered superior to alternative joinery methods for several reasons: 1. Strength: Dovetail joints provide exceptional strength due to their interlocking design. The fingers of the joint prevent the drawer from easily coming apart under stress, making them exceptionally durable.

Should dovetail drawers be glued?

Michael Dresdner: The only areas that require glue on dovetails are the diagonal faces. All the diagonal faces are long grain, all the square faces are end grain, and all the flat faces abut end grain. Therefore, you need only apply glue to the diagonal faces on the tails or pins, or both.

When did furniture makers stop using dovetail?

American furniture makers in the early 19th century continued to use hand cut dovetails that looked similar to those made in the late 18th century. However, machine made joinery became prevalent after dozens of patents were filed beginning in the 1930s. Two new forms of machined drawer joinery were also developed.

Is dovetail the highest quality?

Dovetail is arguably the strongest joint in millwork. It’s made so that it can’t be twisted or pulled in any direction except for one. This means that it’ll take more force to break or damage the joint. Because of the preciseness of each piece, this joint is held into place without the need for extra reinforcement.

Is pine good for dovetails?

Pine could actually be TOO SOFT to practise on. You need super sharp chisels to pare it well. Poplar is usually the right price for such endeavours but usually whatever you have laying around wouldn’t be a bad start. Try some plywood, too.

What are the disadvantages of a dovetail joint?

The disadvantages of dovetail joints are that they can be fairly difficult to mark out and cut, and if they are made badly these joints lose the advantages listed above. Depending on the project, function, and design, there are a number of different types of dovetail joints to choose from.

What kind of wood is used for drawer bottoms?

Drawers are typically made with matching plywood bottoms. Plywood for drawer bottoms is available in 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ thickness. 3/8″ thick plywood is the best overall thickness for drawer bottoms and is available for Maple, Birch, Beech, Cherry, and Walnut.

What is the difference between English dovetail and French dovetail?

English dovetails are the most common. They have interlocking joints and allow the most amount of space – usually several more inches of room than you would get with French dovetails. This is because the dovetail groove cannot be put all the way at the edge of a drawer with French dovetails.

Can I do dovetails in plywood?

Uni-directional plywood is the product to use for chip-free dovetailed sides. Standard bi-directional ply for fronts and backs.

What wood is used for drawer runners?

The first question I would ask is what wood did you use to make the drawer box sides. My preference for the smoothest sliding drawers is hardwood drawer sides riding on hardwood runners. I don’t include Poplar in this category, too soft- oak, or maple is a much better choice- just take a look at the hardness numbers.

Can I do dovetails in plywood?

Uni-directional plywood is the product to use for chip-free dovetailed sides. Standard bi-directional ply for fronts and backs.

What can I use instead of a dovetail drawer?

To build a drawer without dovetails the most durable way is to use dowels. Other options include dado joints, rabbet joints, or reinforced butt joints.

What thickness of material is used for drawers?

Drawers that will house heavyweight contents should be built with 5⁄ 8 “- or 3⁄ 4 “-thick sides and a 1⁄ 2 “-thick bottom. Smaller drawers that will store lightweight items can use 3⁄ 8 ” or 1⁄ 2 ” drawer sides and 1⁄ 4 ” or 3⁄ 8 ” bottoms.

Is oak good for drawers?

Oak is a hardwood that encompasses durability and strength, making it an ideal choice for a piece of furniture that will be used frequently, such as a drawer. Solid Oak is also known for its resistance to wear and tear, which means that it will maintain its appearance and function for many years.

What makes wooden drawers slide better?

Lubricants That Help Drawers Slide More Easily It’s always good to have lubricant on hand to keep drawers functioning smoothly. Petroleum-based lubricants, such as oil or grease, attract dust and dirt, which will cause the drawer to stick again. Silicone, graphite, and Teflon-based lubricants work best.

When should you not use MDF?

MDF is easily damaged by high humidity and moisture, so it’s not ideal for kitchens or bathrooms. It’s less eco-friendly than solid natural wood options. MDF is prone to chipping or breaking easily from impacts — it has durability issues in high-traffic areas.

Mike Walker

Repair and Construction Expert. WoodiesDIY.tv Owner