I'm building some draws for a piece of furniture, none of them are over 24
inches wide and 18 inches deep. The sides are made of 5/8" baltic birch and
the bottom is 1/4". I've cut grooves for the base in the sides, 1/4" up
from bottom and 5/16" deep. Widthwise the plywood is a snug fit in the
groove so I can slide the plywood in with a gentle push. My question is how
much clearance should the plywood have in the bottom of the groove. I'm
only gluing the corners where the sides meet and not the base. Put another
way if you're holding the draw with the base installed how much side to side
play should the base have?
If I have understood you correctly the answer is 'some' or 'a little'.
IOW you don't want the base to prevent the drawers from assembling correctly
but there is no _need_ for the base to be loose, so cut the bases just
comfortably less than the space they are going in.
Depends on how reliably you can cut the bottom square. In "Dovetail a
Drawer" Frank Klaus cuts the bottom without any gap at all and uses it
to square up the drawer. I usually leave a little play, more because
I can't be bothered to measure the opening accurately than for
With my FSSRs solid to one another I found 1/8" ply bottoms for utility
drawers are fine. The Rear piece modified height lowest cut is coincident
to the upper face of the drawers bottom piece, so the bottom can slide in
with the FSSR assembled. Then the bottom was cut an extra depth equal to
the thickness of the Rear (and the depth of the grove in the Front). A
single centered screw upwards into the Rear from the bottom through the
bottom holds the bottom in (and up), For expansion, the bottom is otherwise
free floating, and you can change it for any reason: spills, breakage, even
Oh ya, afaik, and the proper way is to put the grain lines of the bottom
running side to side so the expansion is F to R. Use a little slot &/or
oversized hole for the bottom. Again afaik, theres nothing wrong with a
total of 1/16" S to S play. Nothing more than say my spelling ability.
As if plywood has a predominant grain direction ;). And if a dado is used
for the Rear into Sides, theres a little overhang to be used as a
(potentially redundant, but not foolproof) drawer backstop, saving wear and
tear on the assembly. Note that ebony wood must be used at all times.
Assuming that draw = drawer, and base = drawer bottom:
With _plywood_ drawer bottoms, cut them just wide enough to slide in
comfortably without having to hammer them in, while the drawer sides are
parallel to each other.
Confucius say: "Holy grail of cabinet making is "square" ... and well cut,
"squared" drawer bottoms insure "squared" drawers, that go into "squared"
casework ... all of which makes woodworking velly preasant!"
No, actually we Texas boys call a drawer a drawer. A drawing a drawing.
The Boston folks call a drawer a draw and a drawing a drawering. ;~)
Now our South of the border neighbors get up in the morning and before
getting dressed they have to shoes to wear either brown choose or black
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