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What is a French Bottom

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Forum topic by SouthpawCA posted 02-24-2011 06:04 AM 2167 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SouthpawCA

254 posts in 1923 days


02-24-2011 06:04 AM

I heard the term “French Bottom” used when making drawers. What is a French Bottom and how do I make this?

-- Don


26 replies so far

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cabmaker

1311 posts in 1499 days


#1 posted 02-24-2011 06:30 AM

Don, I am stumped, never heard that one. I ll keep an eye on this one though as now I am curious.

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Joe Lyddon

7800 posts in 2743 days


#2 posted 02-24-2011 06:40 AM

I really don’t know.. but, I will make a guess…

Bottom is solid wood say 1/2”... must fir into 1/4” groove… bottom SIDES are planed (cut) like a door panel so they will fit into the 1/4” groove.

Just a guess…

Edit: After I read the following reply & read the PDF file, , I realized that I was describing the Rounded Over Slip…
My guess was one of the styles of Slips… French Bottom is new to me… though…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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Loren

7739 posts in 2338 days


#3 posted 02-24-2011 06:42 AM

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WhyDi

5 posts in 1461 days


#4 posted 02-24-2011 03:59 PM

Hi All,

This thread could be a good way of introducing myself on the forum. In short I am a hobbyist woodworker living in the EU milling wood with a European style combination machine. “French Bottom” probably refers to a traditional way of making drawers which means hand making opposed to the way I machine drawers nowadays.
The face with its two adjacent sides are stuck (1) and grooved so that accommodating a free bottom(2) sliding in the three grooves then a nailed back(3) ending at the underneath of the groove locks the bottom(4) that may easily be replaced as needed.

Best Regards

-- I Tinker With My Life Too

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1805 days


#5 posted 02-24-2011 04:15 PM

as I knowing a french bottom
is an exstra bottom inside were there has been traced around every single tool and cut out
so they have there own little compartment and stay in place and you can always see if one missing

but I can be wrong as usual

take care
Dennis

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levan

411 posts in 1670 days


#6 posted 02-24-2011 06:00 PM

Good one Steve I agree

-- Lynn "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View Loren's profile

Loren

7739 posts in 2338 days


#7 posted 02-24-2011 06:49 PM

A solid wood drawer bottom expands and contracts, so it should be
anchored to the front groove in some way (a nail works). The back
of the drawer is left short and doesn’t capture the botton, which
moves in and out at the back with the weather.

With plywood drawer bottoms, you can glue ‘em, nail ‘em all around -
doesn’t matter because they don’t move much at all.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1849 days


#8 posted 02-24-2011 07:23 PM

I prefer Sophie Marceau for my French bottom. :)

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Planeman40

486 posts in 1451 days


#9 posted 02-24-2011 09:25 PM

I wasn’t interested in a French bottom, but I just had to read this as it sounded so risque.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1383 days


#10 posted 02-24-2011 10:14 PM

I built what a friend described as a “French bottom” in the chisel chest in my projects section (but I can’t recall if I showed a photo of the drawers). I didn’t know why he descibed it as such and to be honest, I’m not even sure if he was correct (he likes Guiness and had really been liking it when he commented). I did exactly what’s described by WhyDi above but I pinned the drawer in the rear within a longitudinally oriented slot (to allow for movement). I glued the front of the drawer bottom in the center only. So, I guess I did the exact opposite of what Loren describes. As usual, his advice is better, as I had to move the anchoring pin foreward during a shrinking season to prevent a small gap in the drawer front. Up to then (for some reason), I thought French bottom meant chamfering solid drawer bottoms to fit into the dados, a look I really admire.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2909 days


#11 posted 02-24-2011 10:54 PM

Bardot. Best French bottom ever.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View dmorrison's profile

dmorrison

146 posts in 1952 days


#12 posted 02-25-2011 01:22 AM

Fine Woodworking Magazine describes it as solid wood bottom with grain running parallel to the drawer front and inserted into groves on the side frames. The article shows a diagram. The best way to describe it is a raised panel inserted into a frame, actually just the sides of the raised panel are in the “frame”. The frame is attached to the side of the inside bottom of the drawer. The front of the drawer is grooved to accept the bottom and the back lays just at the bottom of the rear drawer section.
Fine Woodworking issue #9

So how do I attach a photobucket picture so it displays as a normal size so you can see it. I tried and it was very small.

Dave

View dmorrison's profile

dmorrison

146 posts in 1952 days


#13 posted 02-25-2011 01:36 AM

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SouthpawCA

254 posts in 1923 days


#14 posted 02-25-2011 02:40 AM

Pictures are worth everything! Thanks Dave, WhyDi, and of course CharlieM (how old is she now – lol) The reason I asked is because I read on WoodTreks that a french bottom can be used to conceal the dado on a drawer if not using a half blind.

I was thinking of using finger joints and actually made 2 drawers, one with the dado showing in the front and one on the side. An “Oh Crap” moment. But then tried to use something I found in Wood – Make and Mount Super-Simple Drawers. These had to have a false front which didn’t look as good for what I was doing, plus that little nub where the 2 dadoes cross broke off in on the the sides.

I’ll stick to the tried and true half blind.

-- Don

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TopamaxSurvivor

14875 posts in 2366 days


#15 posted 02-25-2011 03:47 AM

Pushin 80 http://www.nresimleri.com/511_Brigitte-Bardot/

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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