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  1. #1
    Returning Member tonyps's Avatar
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    Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Morning, hope this finds you all doing well!
    I am beginning the process to build a series of lower/upper cabinets for our kitchen. The cabinets will be without face frames. The uppers I think I have a handle on, pretty much.
    The lowers are where I am stuck a bit.
    We want a couple of lower cabinets with drawers. One would be with all the same size drawers. The other with drawers we would like to start with say a 6" height drawer at the top and have the remaining drawers each with a little more height.
    These are all standard height lower cabinets.
    Would making each additional drawer an inch more in height than the previous one be ok?
    Also, when mounting the drawer slides to the cabinet sides, would I measure to place them where the center of each drawer would be in the cabinet?
    It would be wonderful to get this right the first time.

    Thanks as always for all your wonderful ideas and talent.
    Tony
    Tony Strother
    SFC, USA (Ret.), DAV

    "We can generally fix ignorant. Stupid, well now that is gonna take a wee bit longer."

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    All depends on your drawer hardware, Have you decided on it? normally the opening for a drawer is about 1 1/2 bigger than the drawer size, height wise. reason: 1/4 clearance for bottom, 6" inside drawer, plus 1/2 for bottom, plus 1/2 for location of dado for bottom, and clearance at top.
    Willing to help you brother with whatever I can. PM with any questions

    Jack USAF

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    Returning Member tonyps's Avatar
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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Afternoon Jack and thanks for the info. I did not know about the bottom and top clearance requirements so that certainly helps! I have more questions but will hit you up later.
    Regards,
    Tony
    Tony Strother
    SFC, USA (Ret.), DAV

    "We can generally fix ignorant. Stupid, well now that is gonna take a wee bit longer."

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Any time Brother, stay safe with the showers that are approaching Also the norm is biggest drawer on bottom and reduction towards the top.
    Last edited by Skymaster; 09-10-2018 at 02:40 PM.

  5. #5
    Returning Member tonyps's Avatar
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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Afternoon,
    All this info and I may learn something yet!
    Same to you and thanks again!
    Tony
    Tony Strother
    SFC, USA (Ret.), DAV

    "We can generally fix ignorant. Stupid, well now that is gonna take a wee bit longer."

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    I like to make drawers with solid wood fronts dovetailed to 1/2 baltic birch sides and back. I do it on dressers and did it on a kitchen island. To have more space, I made the island like a dresser without drawer slides. My wife had agreed upon that plan and liked the island fine. Without slides, you just allow the clearance you select between the drawer opening and the drawer box.

    My normal dovetail jig has 7/16 spacing so drawer heights are in increments of 7/8 inch. I think it looks good to have them increasing by 7/8 going from the top to the bottom. But I almost always make a simple sketch of the project to check proportions before I start making sawdust.

    You can make drawers similar to what I do with drawer slides but will need to make the drawer front separately to hide the slides. And you have to allow for the clearance required for the hardware.

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Sorry, dovetail the fronts to the baltic birch sides? Not full baltic birch drawer attached to solid wood fronts? You use a dovetail jig for baltic birch? Always had problems with plywood and dovetail jigs.

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Assuming you are planning on 34 1/2" tall cabinets with a 4", I would make the drawer fronts 5, 6 1/2, 8, 11. The drawer boxes would be smaller depending on your slide choice

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Here are a couple of links about graduated drawer heights that might be of use to you.

    https://www.woodbin.com/calcs/drawer-sizer/

    https://www.popularwoodworking.com/t...orking_design/

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Phil,

    Yes, I dovetail baltic birch plywood and yes, I dovetail it to solid wood. The island had at least one drawer around 11 inches tall that way. I finish the drawers inside and out and have not had problems. But I am aware that joining plywood to solid wood is not advisable. But so far it has worked fine for me. I think the reason it works is the fact that the drawer, and the solid wood front in particular, is fully finished. Usually with a water borne pre-cat lacquer. That greatly retards any moisture changes and associated wood movement.

    Dovetailing baltic birch requires a little different technique. I normally back cut it. That is kind of hard on the bit but I get a lot less chip-out that way. If I cut it normally, it is sometimes not usable. I also make a light scoring cut first. With the right technique, it works.

    Jim

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post

    Yes, I dovetail baltic birch plywood and yes, I dovetail it to solid wood. . . .

    Dovetailing baltic birch requires a little different technique. I normally back cut it. That is kind of hard on the bit but I get a lot less chip-out that way. If I cut it normally, it is sometimes not usable. I also make a light scoring cut first. With the right technique, it works.

    Jim
    Different technique is right. I have been unable to dovetail baltic birch. I am going to try a lock mitre bit for a plywood box and attach the wood fronts to the box.

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Making a solid wood front separate from a plywood drawer box makes a lot of sense, and is really almost required if you are using a drawer slide.

    I have to make several dressers within the next year (or at least I want to) and plan to use my normal baltic birch for the drawer sides and back, at least, with my normal dovetails. I've done at least one large dresser this way and the island I mentioned earlier and was pleased with the result.

    I also normally cut drawer pieces to width but not length prior to making the initial joints. That way I can cut off a joint or even two if I don't like the results. But the other end must be on a piece cut to length so I don't get to practice forever.

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    Re: Kitchen cabinet drawer spacing, layout

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyps View Post
    Would making each additional drawer an inch more in height than the previous one be ok?

    Also, when mounting the drawer slides to the cabinet sides, would I measure to place them where the center of each drawer would be in the cabinet?
    Tony
    For utility use like a kitchen, function trumps all. I'll explain in a minute.

    I leave 3/4 - 1" at the top, so lets say a standard 34 1/2" that leaves 33 1/2" total for the drawer bank.

    Lets say you go with 6" fronts for the top drawers. That leaves 27 1/2 to divide into 3 or 4 drawers.

    Something like 7, 9, 11 1/2 (not accounting for gaps) might be a starting point.

    However, if you want to store tall items like soup pots in the bottom drawer, you may need a drawer space around 12-13", which only leave room for 2 drawers below the top.

    That said, there is nothing wrong with equally spaced drawers, but in a kitchen it is dictated by use and 4 equally spaced drawers don't always work out function wise.

    For side mounts, mount the slides so the screws are above the drawer bottom groove. This will usually be about 1" from the bottom (center).
    Last edited by Rwe2156; 09-13-2018 at 01:09 PM.

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