3/16" ply for drawer bottom?

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 07-18-2013 06:38 PM 1111 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2236 posts in 1310 days

07-18-2013 06:38 PM

I purchased what i thought was 1/4” plywood from homedepot but turns out its actually 3/16”. Is this stiff enough for a drawer bottom? Its 16” wide x 11” long.

5 replies so far

View kdc68's profile


2526 posts in 1698 days

#1 posted 07-18-2013 06:54 PM

If your intention was 1/4” to begin with, then 3/16” would probably be fine. But double check that it is 3/16” before you commit yourself to using it

Plywood typically is undersized and may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer
1/4 is actually 15/32”
1/2 is actually 31/64”
3/4 is actually 23/32”

Keep that in mind when you groove your drawer for the bottom

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2234 days

#2 posted 07-18-2013 07:05 PM

11×16 no problem.
16×36 problem.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 1493 days

#3 posted 07-18-2013 08:54 PM

You can add support stretches under the dado for larger drawers as well. We use that size all the time. If you want really nice source 1/4” baltic birch for a little extra strength, thickness, stability, and much more consistent look. It is what we use on our top level cabinet line.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2271 days

#4 posted 07-18-2013 10:49 PM

What you likely have is 5.2mm.

“Ply” is unclear. A lot of 5.2 is veneer over an MDF core. Some of the “1/4 inch” family is plies of veneers.

That said, even the MDF core will be fine. Two ways to add strength, if you’re wanting to store your collection of priceless vintage anvils in there, are (a) glue the bottom in the dado, and (2) double the material by gluing a second piece on the bottom. No need to enlarge the dado, just cut it to fit and glue it in after the drawer is assembled. You could invert the drawer and clamp the sistered piece by placing oh, say, an anvil on it.



-- " 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 bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1772 days

#5 posted 07-19-2013 12:04 AM

If you ever come across a piece of plywood that is actually 1/4”, frame it, cause it’s rare. Whether 3/16” is adequate for your drawer depends entirely upon what you intend to put in it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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