I'm making a jewellry cabinet with small drawers about 4 inches
square. I think I'll be using rabbet joints on the sides.
Do drawers always need 'floating' bottoms for movement of wood
regardless of size?
That small, I wouldn't think twice - go ahead and glue it. I've glued full
size drawers made from soft woods and drawers made from hardwoods before I
ever heard that you shouldn't and I've never once had a problem with the
glued drawers. I understand the principle behind not gluing the bottoms,
but like I said, I've done it a lot and never once had a problem.
Don't know exact size limit with solid wood, but I think any drawer
under 8 inches in length and width wouldn't need a floating bottom.
Of course if the sides and ends are plywood, you don't need a floating
bottom. All of my drawers with plywood sides and ends have glued
bottoms and these include drawers upto 30 inches wide and 18 inches
deep. Some of those bottoms are plywood, others are 1/4" tempered
masonite. My computer desk has a drawer with a solid wood (oak) front
and the rest is plywood that is glued and is still solid after many
years (was originally made for a Commodore 64 so you figure the age.
The only time you need a floating bottom in a drawer is when the
bottom is made from boards. When it is made from plywood or
masonite, don't bother floating it, as they are both dimensionally
If the bottom is not an entineered product, I'd float it no matter what size it is.
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