reinforced kitchen drawer bottoms

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Forum topic by motthunter posted 10-24-2010 12:47 AM 3586 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2142 posts in 3220 days

10-24-2010 12:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: kitchen drawers reinforced dishes

I am starting the design of my new kitchen and we decided that we want our dishes to be stored by stacking them in drawers in a lower cabinets next to the dishwasher to avoid having to lift them to an upper cabinet.

This will require me to make a super reinforced drawer bottom to deal with the weight. I am thinking about using 1/2” ply for the bottoms and I wonder who out there may have other suggestions that can make sure I don’t have to sweep up plate fragments from my new floor after the bottoms give out.

The drawers will most likely be either 24 or 36 inches wide.

-- making sawdust....

5 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1158 posts in 2879 days

#1 posted 10-24-2010 12:52 AM

I used 1/2” ply for the shelves in the sideboard I made for my wife. It has held up rather well, and I think the span is somewhere around 30” with no bow in it… the only support is on the left and right side, so I imagine that a drawer supported on all 4 sides would be even sturdier.

-- San Diego, CA

View Hacksaw's profile


185 posts in 2798 days

#2 posted 10-24-2010 01:37 AM

At 36”- 48” wide you are asking a lot for the bottom of the drawer to support. I would say 1/2” is the minimum thickness to use for that span. I would also consider strongly something like the Blum drawer slides that are actually the side of the drawer or at very least bottom mount slides. They cost more but I don’t think I would trust all my plates and bowls to a few 1/2” screws holding a drawer slide on from the side. I have had 2 cabinets ( I didn’t build them or hang them ) fall OFF the wall with the back still attached (to the wall) because the were assembled only from the sides.

-- Nothing's just gets expensive

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2271 days

#3 posted 10-24-2010 02:16 AM

48 is a mighty wide pullout. You might think about designing from the inside out—make the pullouts a function of plate diameter, which is commonly around 10”.

More important than the thickness of the bottom is the structure of the drawer side and how the dado will support the bottom. I’d suggest you start designing there and then consider what your drawer bottom material might be.

It would be fairly easy to dummy up a cabinet bottom and sides and then try a couple of your ideas. You might come up with something none of us has thought of yet!

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 3220 days

#4 posted 10-24-2010 02:31 AM

I goofed when I wrote this.. I meant 24 or 36”

I am thinking 3/4 material for sides, 1/2 for bottom and certainly bottom mount full extension slides.

-- making sawdust....

View traupmann's profile


124 posts in 2208 days

#5 posted 10-24-2010 06:49 AM

motthunter – I have some shop drawers that are 48” wide with 3/4 sides and 1/2 bottoms with 5/8 material to the dado. I load hammers, tools, any and everything. They are steady as a rock. The structure of a drawer is the periphery capture. Make a tight dado and there is nowhere for the deformation to go when the weight increases. Obviously, there is a limit, but I doubt you could provide enough weight with a 12 place serving to go through 1/4 ply (Baltic Birch for even stronger bottom), if the drawer is made correctly. You can always test any assumption. Make a drawer, and put p couple cement blocks in it. or bricks or rocks. You will see the strength for sure then.

-- chas -- looking for Serta sponsorship to go Pro...

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