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Thread: Do drawer bottoms float?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Lafayette, Indiana
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    Do drawer bottoms float?

    I'm in the process of building a small cart to put my street organ on. It will have a drawer within the cart to hold my rolls of music. I'm building the drawer now. My drawer sides are walnut and the bottom is birch plywood. I'm not getting crazy with dovetail corners or anything like that (even if I knew how) but did run a groove around the sides for the bottom panel to set in. My question is...should the bottom panel be glued into place or just set it in and allow for it to float? Or does it even matter?



    Now that I have typed this all up it makes me realize how poor a woodworker I am. I own a dovetail jig. I bought it at a woodworking show about 15-18 years ago. I even bought extra templates for it. It has never been out of the box. I have the router plates still in the package hanging on the pegboard. I never even thought of using it on this project until now (which is too late).

    So, I put that on my TO DO list for this summer....learn to make dovetails!.

    Now, where was I....oh... so, do I let the bottom float?
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    yes and no.....

    If you were going to make a solid wood bottom (similar to a raised panel with the flat back as the visible side) you would have to let it float as it needs to expand and contract.

    With a plywood bottom you should glue it. Especially without the use of a structural joint to keep the box together. The way to do this is to assemble the drawer box around the plywood bottom. Leave the groove dry. Once the drawer is assembled and square then run a bead of either hot glue or a thick adhesive like silicone or construction adhesive (very thin bead! just enough to be able to force a bit into the joint and have a small bead on the underside where the drawer bottom and sides meet. If you are using undermount slides then make sure you clean off the area where the slides will meet the box, with side mount slides it doesnt matter.

    good luck!

  3. #3
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    My slides are side mount but the part that mounts to the drawer is kind of an "L" shape. So it screws to both the sides and bottom I think.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Tom, this is what I am referring to as an undermount slide


    http://www.hafele.com/us/products/co...eclipse%20.asp

    and this is one type of side mount

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...rawer%20slides

    and another

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...rawer%20slides

    the only one you would need to worry about excess adhesive on the sides would be the first one. the other two or if the one you have is different than those. as long as it doesnt wrap up into the underside of the drawer cavity you will be fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NH
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    Some will just pin the back of the drawer bottom. Others will pin the back and the sides. This gives the drawer box strength with out restricting the movement of the bottom as much as glue will.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    8,529
    They do if there sitting in enough water...
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

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