I'm working on modeling realistic furniture. A real drawer is not one piece, but six; a bottom, side, side, back, and front.
Having six separate objects is difficult to work with. But when you join them with Ctrl+J, you get this:
Which looks like an injection molded piece of plastic, instead of six individual pieces of wood nailed/glued together.
Joining them auto merges vertices. Now, it's said that it is not good practice to have vertices right on top of each other.
So the question is, how do you get an object that looks like it's made of multiple parts, but is inside of a single object for manageability, without violating best practices (like forcing vertices to occupy the same coordinates)?