I see allot of people with wood slides outs, cabinetry and drawers. Why do people favor wood over steel? Wood seems so much heavier and thicker than steel would have to be.
It is easier to work with wood for the DIYer. I have read a few post on various sights where people question weather or not their vehicle is too heavy then I look at some of the wood cabinets and just look soo heavy.Ease of fabrication?
It's way easier to bond, drill, cut and shape wood with tools and stuff readily available at the big box home improvement stores.
Start playing with metal, and it takes a few more specialized tools and methods to do the same tasks.
I understand would be a lot easier to work with but I'm not buying that it's stronger, more resilient or lighter. I've had this metal box for 15-20 years is far lighter than anything I could build with wood. It's been moved cross-country while in the Military by myself and by moving services. It is very well built and very sturdy.Cheaper, easier, lighter? I haven't built a drawer but I have designed one and compared the difference between metal and wood construction. 3/4" plywood weighs slightly less than 16 gauge steel, costs about 1/6 the price, and can be fabricated at home much easier. Steel in the sizes needed for drawer systems would require some reinforcement for stiffness, either a frame or stamped ribs or corrugations to prevent it from oil canning. I supposed you could make it out of slightly thinner steel, but then you run into even more problems and it wouldn't feel very durable. The cost of some of the commercial steel drawer systems start to look pretty attractive once you factor in material cost and fabrication time.
Personally I think 3/4" is pretty thick for a drawer, but I suppose if you're going through the trouble of building one, the material cost isn't that much more and it's probably a lot easier to join together than 1/2". I think an aluminum box frame with 1/4" plywood skins would be ideal, but a lot more work and probably more expensive than just using 3/4".