mounting drawers in small MDF cabinet

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Forum topic by JoeFuture posted 04-13-2021 04:43 AM 271 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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43 posts in 259 days

04-13-2021 04:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mdf cabinet

I decided to use up some 3/4 MDF I had left over and am using it to build a small 18×18x25” cabinet under my router table. The sides, top, and bottom of the case are 3/4 MDF and the back will be 1/2” MDF rabbeted in… pretty standard design. I’ll have a thin 1/4” poplar face frame on the front just to cover the MDF edge.

I’d like to mount drawers in it but am wondering if the MDF will hold screws well enough for drawer slides? The drawers will be about 16” wide and made from 12mm baltic birch sides with a 1/4” bottom to give you an idea of weight.

If screwing drawer slides into MDF won’t work, my other thought was to either use wood slides glued & screwed to the sides or maybe just rabbet in some permanent shelves and just set the drawers loose into the cubbies.

Any thoughts/feedback are much appreciated. I’ve cut the MDF pieces but haven’t assembled the cabinet yet, so it’s fine to tell me it’s a waste of time and save the MDF for jigs/fixtures instead.

4 replies so far

View Rich's profile


6851 posts in 1676 days

#1 posted 04-13-2021 04:55 AM

It’ll be fine. Screwing into the face of MDF is very strong.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Axis39's profile


483 posts in 684 days

#2 posted 04-13-2021 01:44 PM

Screws should hold just fine.

I tend to do friction fit drawers in the workshop… Even made out of MDF. Wax ‘em up and they last for years.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9261 posts in 3496 days

#3 posted 04-14-2021 03:58 AM

Works fine. I typically edge band before cutting down to size. Either way works.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View xedos's profile


293 posts in 387 days

#4 posted 04-14-2021 10:57 PM


Use 5mm euro or grub screws and they’ll be fine.

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