If your plywood is finished on both sides and is the width you want, it may work fine. If you go this route I'd suggest gluing a thin strip of wood on the exposed edge of the plywood, or use veneer edge banding.
I like to spray a clear coat over everything so it is protected and ready for lots of use. Minwax Polycrylic is a good clear coat option, my favorite is General Finishes High Performance Water Based Top Coat, it costs a bit more but is awesome.
I'm building another one right now for my mother in law. The nice thing about making them yourself is that you can customize the layout to meet your needs.
One thing that I really like to do is replace the standard drawer slides with full extension drawer slides, this allows the drawer to fully open, making it easy to reach things in the back of the drawer.
The outside sections are black walnut and the center portion is a piece of hardwood that my dad brought back from Brazil many years ago. I'm not sure what it is but I have some more and looking forward to using it again. I used my belt sander (in an upright position moving back and forth) to make the taper keeping it at the same angle when doing both sides.
@Robzbrz1992 Thanks for sharing these details, I appreciate it. I've used a plunge router with lettered stencils but always chickened out trying to do it freehand. I'm going to have to give this a try on a future project. Thanks again.
Thanks. Yeah, the top lumber rack is attached to the wall studs. My walls are 9.5' tall and having it mounted above the cleats makes good use of wasted space. The wood scraps / cutoffs bin works great, I've found that I'm more likely to use scrap lumber when it's so easy to find.