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Thread: Drawer Height Sizing

  1. #1
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    Drawer Height Sizing

    I am building some shop cabinets that will be 30" wide, so with side mount slides, each drawer will be 29" wide. I will alter install overlay drawer fronts as there will be no face frame. I want the drawers to be different sizes, say maybe 9", 6" and 4" or some combination. Ideally there would be two 4" drawers for a total of 4 drawers. Any quick tips for measuring exact sizes and optimal hights/spacing between drawsers?
    Tim in Hill Country of Texas

  2. #2
    I have seen Christian Becksvoort articles discuss this in his books and on Fine Woodworking. So searching for his name may find you some links. The term you are looking for is 'graduated'.

    Basically you take the height available and account for any divider rails to see how much space you have for drawer fronts and find your average drawer height. Then you can make some above or below average as needed to fill out. If you don't have a set height it's easier to pick the sizes you want.

    I would prefer to have consistent increments like 4, 5.5, 7, 8.5 rather than two 4s, but I guess it doesn't matter that much.

    Here's the article if you want to give them your email address:
    https://www.finewoodworking.com/2000...duated-drawers

  3. #3
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    What is the overall height of the opening where these drawers are going to go?
    Lee Schierer
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  4. #4
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    How many sets of these will there be? the top could could be smaller say 2.5"-3" to incorporate most small stuff then bigger below.

  5. #5
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    Depends on height and drawer hardware used…

    What height? Drawer hardware?

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    Drawers are intended to hold stuff. I'd take a hard look at what you expect them to hold prior to deciding what depth they need to be. If they're too shallow they're not at all utilitarian.

    DAMHIKT.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #7
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    Why do I keep two marking gauges on my bench? Because they are just barely too tall for the drawer I made for my layout tools.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    What is the overall height of the opening where these drawers are going to go?
    Inside dimensions will be 32.5" tall (changeable) and 30" wide. Side mount self-closing drawer slides at 1/2" thickness each, so the outside dimension of the drawer will be 29" and the slides are 24". Right now I have three sets of cabinets that I will build to have drawers. For one I am thinking 3.9" tall that leaves me with a slightly greater than 3.18" drawer height above the bottom. That allows for 7 drawers in one cabinet. The other two cabinets will probably have a 10" drawer on bottom, and a combo of somewhat larger drawers to the top. maybe 6 or 7" and a couple of 4/5"
    Tim in Hill Country of Texas

  9. #9
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    I take I ou I’ll probably be using full extension drawer guides?

    not using a face frame in between and will be framesless in between..

    when I do something like that , I go to my work bench, clear off the dust and figure my inside dimensions and break down my drawers in between with gaps between and see what works and what I like.

    This should be easy..
    Last edited by jack duren; 02-14-2024 at 8:23 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim walker View Post
    Inside dimensions will be 32.5" tall (changeable) and 30" wide. Side mount self-closing drawer slides at 1/2" thickness each, so the outside dimension of the drawer will be 29" and the slides are 24". Right now I have three sets of cabinets that I will build to have drawers. For one I am thinking 3.9" tall that leaves me with a slightly greater than 3.18" drawer height above the bottom. That allows for 7 drawers in one cabinet. The other two cabinets will probably have a 10" drawer on bottom, and a combo of somewhat larger drawers to the top. maybe 6 or 7" and a couple of 4/5"
    With a 32.5 inch height you can have one 10 inch drawer one 6, and three 4 inch drawers. That would be nominal sizes not taking clearances into account.
    Lee Schierer
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    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  11. #11
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    Drawers are wonderful tool organizers. This is an opportunity to optimize. A 4" deep drawer full of chisels and screwdrivers will be a disaster so don't do that. Planning takes a little time and effort.

    Tape off a spot or three on your bench the size of the drawer interior and fill it with the tools and hardware you plan to put in it. Take pictures and maybe print them for quick reference. Measure the minimum depth required and add a bit. You may be surprised to learn that you need a few 2 1/2" deep ones. Yes you will have to buy more slides but the cost and extra work will soon be forgotten.

    To get the maximum interior volume I glue the bottom into a rabbit so it is flush underneath. This makes sturdy drawers and stuff from the one below won't get hung up on the one above, well not so much. 1/4" baltic birch would be adequate but 3/8" might be better, especially for a deeper drawer.

    Shallow drawers at the top and maybe a deep one at the bottom for routers and power saws.

    Tool Cabinet.JPG

  12. #12
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    Tom, how deep are those drawers? Mine will be 24" deep w full extension, soft close slides.
    Tim in Hill Country of Texas

  13. #13
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    Slides are 22" full extension, wish I had gone for soft close.

    Drawers are 40" ID wide and 22 1/2" deep. The fronts are bowed about an inch.

    17 drawers provide 106 square feet.

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