Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: guidelines for drawer bottom thickness v. weight???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    97

    Question guidelines for drawer bottom thickness v. weight???

    I am building more drawers for cabinets in my shop. The drawers are 16.5 inches wide by 22 inches deep. Some will be 6 inches high (5.5 usable with 1/4 inch bottom; 5 usable with 1/2 inch bottom).

    Some of the drawers will have heavy items (marbles, ball bearings, etc.). Others will have lighter stuff like pen & pencil hardware, bottle stopper hardware, ...

    I would like to use the thinnest bottom that I can and still carry the weight without any sagging.

    Is there a rule as how to determine the thickness of a bottom considering the amount of weight the drawer will carry?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Trussville, AL
    Posts
    3,585
    I used 1/2" in mine for the sole reason that I could envision punching through a panel of whatever the actual undersized thickness of 1/4" is. As far as sag, you could Google for the Sagulator and run your numbers through it. I think technically it's for shelves, but if your input wouldn't sag as a shelf, I don't think it could sag as a drawer bottom.

    FWIW, that drawer size is close to the wide drawer in the lathe stand I built for my wife. Bottom in it is 1/4" hardboard and it gives no indication of sagging...

  3. #3
    On the size you specify, 1/4" baltic birch should be fine. If you want to go hardcore, then 3/8" or even 1/2" should be plenty. Something to consider, you can rabbet the edges of the bottom to fit into a 1/4" groove and you'll lose no interior depth in the drawer compared to a flat 1/4" bottom. This will have basically no impact on the strength of the bottom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hebron, KY
    Posts
    1,227
    I've used 1/4" in most of mine, and no problems. I used it as a matter of convenience and what I had on-hand. If I had 1/2", I would have used that. If buying new and it doesn't create any additional work, I might opt for 1/2", not that much difference in price here between a sheet of 1/4" or 1/2". If you try 1/4" and it sags, you could always replace it with 1/2" or put a stiffener under the bottom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Willow Spring, NC
    Posts
    732
    The drawers I built for my shop cabinets are 29"x24"x8"deep. I used 1/4" plywood with a 1/4" thick by 1" wide hardwood strip glued across the width on the underside. Haven't had any problems with sag in any of the drawers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    97
    Thanks All,

    I will use 1/4 inch on 8 of the drawers and Chris's suggestion of 1/2 inch with a rabbit for the 2 with the heavist craft supplies in them.

  7. #7
    There is a cabinet mfgr in Wichita that builds their drawers all out of plywood. Uses the cutoffs from the boxes for the sides, and just staples the bottom onto the sides, then the guides go on the bottom of that. No problem because it's all ply. If you need heavy drawers, seems you would also need heavy guides. Just suggested that because if you want to get all you can in a drawer, don't need a gap under it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hebron, KY
    Posts
    1,227
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    There is a cabinet mfgr in Wichita that builds their drawers all out of plywood. Uses the cutoffs from the boxes for the sides, and just staples the bottom onto the sides, then the guides go on the bottom of that. No problem because it's all ply. If you need heavy drawers, seems you would also need heavy guides. Just suggested that because if you want to get all you can in a drawer, don't need a gap under it.
    Great idea, especially for shop cabinets!
    I might even go for plywood FF (if present) and plywood doors and drawer fronts. Sure would make construction go a lot faster.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •