glue or float the drawers

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Forum topic by Paul posted 12-01-2010 12:16 AM 1775 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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223 posts in 2875 days

12-01-2010 12:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drawer glue

Just made 6 drawers for the garage cabinetry and will be gluing them later tonight.
The draws are all 22 inches deep and range from 25 to 34 inches in width. I am using 1/2 birch ply for bottoms which are dadoed into 3/4 poplar sides. which are dovetailed.
My question is do I need to glue the bottoms in for added strength or will this come back to bite me due to movement.
How much movement will I encounter with the plywood? or is it the sides that will need to move?
I will spray poly urethane if that will help deter movement.

Thanks in advance

9 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8107 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 12-01-2010 12:33 AM

The only part that will move will be the sides. They will move across the grain. Assuming your grain runs horizontally, you might get a pinched drawer bottom. Other than that, I can’t see a problem with gluing in the bottoms. Although, those drawers are going to be pretty darned strong without gluing the bottom. If it were me, I’d just slide ‘em in and nail ‘em off.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 2536 days

#2 posted 12-01-2010 01:02 AM

I’ve always just slid in the bottoms and placed a single tack nail in the center of the back to hold. No real need to glue.


View TheDane's profile


4939 posts in 3086 days

#3 posted 12-01-2010 01:08 AM

+1 for what Gene and Paul said.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Paul's profile


223 posts in 2875 days

#4 posted 12-01-2010 01:26 AM

I was thinking that since the drawers are for the garage and they might be loaded heavy at times ( wrenches and ratchets) that the glue to the bottom will add strength and will less likely to allow all the sides to twist over time.
Thanks again.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3189 days

#5 posted 12-01-2010 01:30 AM

I may be wrong, but I don’t think you’ll get that much movement with plywood.
- JJ

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2492 days

#6 posted 12-01-2010 01:33 AM

I never glue drawer bottoms – they ride in dados on three sides and get tacked in the back. I’ve made hundreds of drawers and some of them have carried pretty heavy loads. None have failed (that I know of.)

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3189 days

#7 posted 12-01-2010 01:55 AM

I agree with Sawkerf. Just do it.
- JJ

View TheWoodsman's profile


65 posts in 2320 days

#8 posted 12-01-2010 05:13 AM

Plywood bottom is safe to glue. The extra rigidity offered by the glued bottom will help ensure that the drawer stays strong and solid over the long term. DO IT !

-- I'm the Woodsman . . . the four-wheelin', tree-farmin', custom-furniture-makin' descendant of Olaf "The Woodcutter" Ingjaldsson.

View grizzman's profile


7783 posts in 2727 days

#9 posted 12-01-2010 05:54 AM

i would not glue them…they dont need it and if for some reason you need to replace wont be able to…i dont have a dato in the rear of mine…i leave it straight cut so that the drawer bottom just slides in over it…nail in a few tacks and then if need be you can pull them and the bottom slides right out…if it were to get stained you can just turn it over and reuse it…or if its damaged…you can easily replace it…but if you glue…the drawer is not fixable..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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