Drawer with books, bottom plywood thickness? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-02-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Question Drawer with books, bottom plywood thickness?

I'm designing a 3 piece couch bed. Well, more accurately, I'm fleshing out my wife's design (she's the Interior Design Major, I'm the Engineer).

We've moved into a small apartment ~870 ft^2 and are trying to create a dual use bed / couch (IKEA doesn't open in Manila till late 2020).

The key question I have is, how thick should the drawer bottoms be for a drawer that is 24" wide, 26" deep, 10" tall (10-11" vertical storage space, sides a 1x8) and could hold books? This are going to hold the boys home school books.

Thanks for your input.

Here's the draft design doc if you want more detail.

Ed
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-02-2019, 12:10 PM
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If you fill that with books... it will weigh well over 100 pounds.

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-02-2019, 12:39 PM
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https://www.popularwoodworking.com/p...onger-shelves/

But your plans look like drawers. Agreed with gmercer that it would be overweight and likely cause both usage and structural issues with books. As sheets/blanket storage, not so much.

If you insist on using it for books, I think I'd go with 3/4" ply. You could probably get away with 1/2" ply if you build in a support rail underneath.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-02-2019, 12:40 PM
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Cut the drawers width to 18" or so.....

The more narrow your drawers, the better it will be for sliding and less holding weight. A 1/2" thick plywood bottom, set in a dado will be well supported and hold the weight. A rabbet, with a bottom glued and nailed would be a touch less strong, but would probably work.


Get your bathroom scale and start setting some books on top when it looks like a full drawer, see what it weighs. The weight won't necessarily help determine the plywood thickness, but it will be a relative measure. Ironically, I was sorting books today, and a medium 24 X 18 X 18 Tupperware tub was more than I could lift. I could manage about 1/2 of a tub full, but that was still pretty heavy.



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-02-2019, 11:16 PM
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For large drawers, 22" deep x 30" wide, which will be holding cast iron pots and such, I use 1/2" baltic birch bottoms. No problems. Your drawers are smaller than that, 1/2" will EASILY accommodate a drawer full of books. Not sure? lay a piece of 1/2" down across a couple of blocks at 24" apart. Stand on it and see if it feels stressed. Then jump on it and see if it has any issues. I can pretty much guarantee that it won't.


When you make your groove in the 4 sides to fit the bottom into, make sure you have a 3/8" reveal beneath the groove so the sides will have a good hold on the bottoms.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-03-2019, 09:09 AM
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Agree that the 1/2" drawer bottom is probably best. With the good weight distribution that you are going to have with books, 3/8" may well be OK. But be safe and use 1/2"


The major problem is your design has the drawer resting on the cabinet frame and no drawer slides. That is going to be a difficult act to pull out the drawer when you want to open it. I would use heavy duty full extension drawer slides. They are expensive, but worth it.


George
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-03-2019, 08:05 PM
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"The major problem is your design has the drawer resting on the cabinet frame and no drawer slides. That is going to be a difficult act to pull out the drawer when you want to open it. I would use heavy duty full extension drawer slides. They are expensive, but worth it."


George is right about that. I hadn't looked at the design docs until he'd mentioned it. Drawers made to slide on wood are okay for smaller, lightweight drawers, but with these, you will be wrestling with them after awhile. Not too expensive for 150# rated slides.
https://www.wwhardware.com/kv-8600-2...iABEgJVIPD_BwE
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-04-2019, 12:52 PM
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3/4"


150 pound rated slides.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-06-2019, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for pointing that out and for the link to 150lb slides.
The 3D design has drawer slides. I'd already bought them so I forgot to put them in the design doc, an important omission that I've now corrected.
I bought my 75lb slides from Rockler and brought them back during a recent trip to the US so I'm going to just have to go with them for right now and make sure to not over load the large drawers. If we really need to store books in the large drawers I'll arrange to get heavy duty slides.

As for baltic birch... well, I'm in the Philippines which will limit my options, imported things are expensive due to tariffs and you don't want to ship stuff 'cause getting it through customs can be problematic, expensive or both. 3/4" marine grade is readily available. Marine grade is often used here in cabinets due to the constant high humidity.

Drawer Slider placement question.
Does it matter where the drawer slider is mounted vertically on the sides of the drawer? What I mean is, is there an advantage or disadvantage to having the slider near the bottom of the drawer or somewhere else?

Router instead of a Dado
I don't have a table saw let alone a dado blade. (And dad's work shop with both is literally on the other side of the planet) Is there any reason I couldn't just use a router to achieve the same thing? More work but still doable, right?

Ed
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Last edited by gt7599a; 11-06-2019 at 09:22 PM. Reason: adding additional question
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-06-2019, 09:35 PM
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You can make the same Dado with a router
Marine plywood is about the best you van buy - no voids and highly water resistant.
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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-06-2019, 11:31 PM
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Sounds like you've got it covered just fine.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-08-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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<sigh>
That moment you discover that 1x8's in the Philippines aren't 3/4" thick. Closer to 9/16"
Followed by, "wait, these 2x4's aren't 1.5" x 3.5" actual."
and "wait, there not even the same dimensions between boards."

Makes me really appreciate my dad's workshop, which is about the same size as my current apartment and has chop saw, table saw and joiner as well as planer & routing tables with digital readouts.
Alas, its also 8,300 miles away...

"Honey, can I buy a planer?"
Ed
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-08-2019, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt7599a View Post
<sigh>
That moment you discover that 1x8's in the Philippines aren't 3/4" thick. Closer to 9/16"
Followed by, "wait, these 2x4's aren't 1.5" x 3.5" actual."
and "wait, there not even the same dimensions between boards."

Makes me really appreciate my dad's workshop, which is about the same size as my current apartment and has chop saw, table saw and joiner as well as planer & routing tables with digital readouts.
Alas, its also 8,300 miles away...

"Honey, can I buy a planer?"
Ed

Just re-jigger your design to accommodate those missing 1/8s of an inch. So instead of 1-1/2, you have 1-3/8, etc. Easier than remachining wood to your desired dimension.

<Chas>
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it
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post #14 of 14 Old Today, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Wife discovered a design flaw, not enough overlap on the drawer face and the drawer.

I plan to build the draw face from 1x3 using pocket screws.

My plan has been to route the part of the drawer face closest to the draw with a dome to create a place for your fingers to pull.
Do I need to screw & glue from the inside to avoid breaking the top of the draw face?
Are there better options? I know I can raise the drawer relative to the drawer face, but that will cut down on storage space.

Ed
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Ed
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