One of the most common questions woodworkers face today is, “Should I make my own drawers and sides or outsource this function to a supplier?”

Because drawers are such a vital part of most woodworking projects, here are five tips to help you evaluate the best option for your company.

Looks are deceiving

Drawer sides may look simple to produce, but they are more difficult than you think. The top edge treatment is important. From wood tape to a bullnose, it has to be perfect. Customers often ask for popular edge treatments that many shops are not equipped to do. The groove to receive the bottom must be dead-on level and the exact dimension, otherwise the drawer bottom won’t fit (too narrow) or it will rattle (too wide). Joinery: from an English dovetail to simple bore and dowel, it has to be done exactly right. If not, the drawer is out of square.

Understand your true cost

With all these steps and processes to make drawer sides and a finished drawer, be sure to take into account your full labor and materials cost. Include the cost of owning equipment that you use only for this purpose. And of course there is all that waste.

Quality counts

What’s the first thing a customer does when they approach a cabinet on display? They open a drawer. The fit, finish and machining of a drawer is something in which the typical customer sees real value.

The best drawer side material may not be in your shop

Customers often ask for drawer material that is different from the rest of the cabinetry. We often see white melamine drawers inside cabinets with a real wood exterior.

Focus on where you add the most value

Woodworkers use their designs and creativity to turn wood into something functional and beautiful. Outsourcing drawers helps a shop to focus on the aspects of their product that add the most value to the customer.

Timber Products Company has the full capability to provide cut-to-size, finished drawer sides with short lead times. For more information on outsourcing drawer side material, contact a Timber Products sales representative.

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