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In the past two months three of the wood stores / mills I go to have started offering drawer sides in 6' lengths. They are all quality domestic plywood with rounded tops and groove for drawer bottom. Well sanded and ready for building with. Offered in 3", 4", 6" and 8" height. Shorter heights are 1/2" thickness and tallest ones in 5/8" thickness.

Seems like they will reduce the time quite a bit. No planing, jointing or drum sanding. I need to crunch the numbers for myself.

Does anybody use these?

Steve.
 

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Many years ago, the lumber yard (only one in town) sold "Drawer stock" in similar widths and thicknesses. It was solid stock. Depending (on what, I don't know), they were clear pine, alder, birch, or ??.
Rounded edges but no grooves.
As I recall, the price wasn't bad, considering the work to bring 4/4 to the correct thickness.
Seems like a good a niche market for an enterprising mill.
 

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I guess my thought on stuff like this is that if I am going to start using pre-fab parts for my custom built furniture projects, I might as well just buy the unit and forget about building it. I am sure it would be much faster to buy these parts and I have been temped in the past, but I guess I just prefer to build the entire piece myself regardless of the time savings.
 

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Although I have not used them, I too have seen them at the plywood store I purchase stock from. It is a bit more costly, but the time savings accounts for that slight increase. I agree with Shopguryl - if you have a lot of drawers to do, order them pre-made.

On the other hand, if you are just doing two or four, it doesn't take long to cut dovetails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wayne - Agree with you completely on better custom jobs, but my work is tables that are offered at set price and person can review them prior to purchase. My "custom" orders just alter the size or color.

My problems with solid wood drawer sides has come from the size of my tables and build schedule. Tables are single drawer accent tables at 18" square and at 3/4" drawer sides the thickness looks odd. I buy 6/4 and resawn / plane to end up with 5/8", but if I don't assemble them within a day or two the boards will sometimes start to curl. I make 5 to 8 at a time and kit the parts until the next step. I don't finish the inside of the drawers for fear of the final customer putting something in them that could get stained.

Steve.
 

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Yep, understand completely Steve. I am sure it would make things much easier to buy the pre-fab portions. I have become so anal about totally doing all the work for custom projects, that I even feel guilty when I buy wood that is already planed. :)
 

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Once agaiin I find myself agreeing with both sides.
I am a hobbyist-not a shop owner or a pro.
One big reason I enjoy this hobby is the sense of involvement and accomplishment of having done it myself.
The less I rely on ready made pieces - the more i enjoy the project.
Time is not usually an issue.
ON the other hand-
IF I have taken a job on just for the money and my goal is to get the project done ASAP and get the money - Will I buy precut drawer sides to save time?-in a heartbeat.

Not having the power tools to do my own milling - or the patience to do it by hand-I DO buy my wood already planed as much as possible :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't seen them at any chain store, but at an independent plywood store and lumber mill. It seems that they are looking for something else to offer like everyone else to keep the rent paid.

And you are right, just making sides and backs is mundane. Nobody really sees them or cares as long as the drawer slides in and out without sticking.

Steve.
 

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I'm just a Woodwork Hobby type of guy. I like to build "Different Things". I have NO problems with a Complex Project that I've never tried before. When I see a Project I'd like to build but it has a lot of drawers I tend to back off. I guess I'm just not a Drawer Builder.

If these Pre-Made Drawers are as good as they sound I'd buy them in a Heartbeat. Now that you Guys have peaked my Curiousity I'm gonna Google "Pre Made Drawers" or "Components" and see what I can come up with.

Thaks All!

Rick
 

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Steve, I understand not wanting to pre fab drawer sides from solid wood. But if it was me, I think I would rather buy the plywood myself and pre fab my own. You wouldn't have the stability issues, and you could then stock pile them for as you need them. If you make that many drawers for tables I would think this would be more cost effective. Your waste would be minimal in cutting your own. You could also buy whatever species of plywood you wanted and save money. One way or the other you have to pay the piper. As a hobbyist I don't mind making things as I go.
 

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This really sounds like another "to each, his own" but I'll chime in just for fun.
I could see how using prefabricated drawer sides or even the prefabbed drawers could be beneficial to a production shop. But, even then, it seems like it would still be more cost effective to buy 4' X 8' X 1/2" ply.
Really, how hard is this?

1) Set a fence on a table saw, rip to width, rip to width, rip to width and so on.
2) Clamp a stop block to a miter saw fence, cut to length, cut to length, cut to length and so on.
3) Set up 1/4" round over, make a pass, flip, make a pass, flip, make a pass, flip and so on.
4) Set fence on table saw, adjust blade height, make a pass, make a pass, make a pass and so on.

In four hours, you could make enough drawer stock to last four months.
I could go on for a couple more paragraphs, but I'll leave it at that.
 
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