First choices for secondary woods

Among solid secondary woods, pine is fine and poplar is popular. Baltic birch plywood minimizes waste and eliminates thicknessing from your milling steps.


What single species is the best secondary wood for building drawer sides and cabinet parts that get hidden in a project?
—Otto Beers, Parkville, Mo.


Don’t feel limited to just one choice, Otto. You just need any strong, easy-to-work wood species that meets your price needs. Lumber suppliers can recommend locally price-competitive species—which describes red oak in our area. Pine works for lightweight to medium-duty drawers. For additional strength and a firmer anchorage for hardware screws, consider an inexpensive hardwood. We have a few favorites around the shop: soft maple, basswood, aspen, birch, and poplar among them. The high strength, consistency, and stability of easily worked Baltic birch plywood gives you still another option.

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