The Best Wood For Drawer Construction

Constructing drawers
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Woodworkers who are making cabinetry out of expensive, attractive hardwoods are often uncertain about what to use when it comes to constructing the drawers. Should the interior sides, back, and bottom of the drawers be made from the same wood as the face of the drawers and the rest of the cabinet?  After all, this will give the drawer sides a uniform look when they are opened, perfectly matching the face of the drawer.


However, the advantages of building drawers this way may well be outweighed by the merits of using a different wood. 

First, hardwoods such as cherry or fine maple are expensive. On a big project like a full wall entertainment center, the added cost of building solid cherry drawers could be hundreds of dollars. 

Second, cherry and some other hardwoods are rarely available in a veneer plywood. This means that for the drawer bottoms, you'd be left with gluing up stock to create the bottom pieces. That's a pretty time-consuming undertaking. 

Finally, the use of a contrasting wood for the drawer sides might be a stylistic advantage. A lighter-colored wood like poplar used in drawer box made with half-blind dovetails, for example, can really show off the workmanship. 

Poplar may be an excellent choice for drawer construction. It is stable, durable, and much less expensive than most hardwoods. And it will blend well with a birch plywood used for the drawer bottoms.