Is there a formula or rule of thumb for the heights of graduated drawers? For example in a dresser that has a case heigth of 35″ and for drawers what would the drawer heigths be?
Mike
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Subscribe Now!Is there a formula or rule of thumb for the heights of graduated drawers? For example in a dresser that has a case heigth of 35″ and for drawers what would the drawer heigths be?
Mike
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Replies
Someone will toast me alive if I get this wrong... but yes there is a fairly simple formula for graduated drawer heights.. had to be simple for me to make sense of it..
you need to start out with the final height of your smallest drawer front, the combined height of all the drawers and the number of drawers..
next step (near as I can remember it) is a little math.. multiply the height of the smallest drawer by the total number of drawers to generate a sum. Then subtract that sum from the desired combined height of all the drawers. Last step is to find the "constant" that you'll multiply by. Confused...?? Me too.... let me set an example...
Say I want a 6 drawer unit, combined height of all the drawer fronts is 48", smallest drawer is 6"... 6 off 6" drawers = 36" height. Subtract that from the max height of 48 to leave 12". Divide the 12" by sum of the constants (in this case, 0+1+2+3+4+5 giving a total of 15) giving a 0.8" progression...
sooo.... starting with the smallest first....
drawer 1 height is 6" + 0 x constant = 6"
drawer 2 height is 6" + 1 x constant = 6.8"
drawer 3 height is 6" + 2 x constant = 7.6"
drawer 4 height is 6" + 3 x constant = 8.4"
drawer 5 height is 6" + 4 x constant = 9.2"
drawer 6 height is 6" + 5 x constant = 10"
sum of all the drawer fronts = 48...
Mike Wallace
Stay safe....Have fun
The most likely person to roast you would be me Mike as that's a formula I put in an article once and it seems to have been picked up and used by others quite often since.
I'd guess the method I described in that article is a long established one, but I did puzzle it out for myself on a job some time back. Anyway, you got it correct so I don't need to roast you, ha, ha. There are many other methods for graduating drawers, but the one you described is a rather neat and subtle one. Slainte.Richard Jones Furniture
The most likely person to roast you would be me Mike as that's a formula I put in an article once and it seems to have been picked up and used by others quite often since.
LOL...... Richard it was you I had in mind when I wrote that, hense the consequences.. ;) Glad t hear there's still a few functional brain cells left in me... (says he, keepin quiet about the balls up I made of the first attempt at writing it)
Ahem...
Mike Wallace
Stay safe....Have fun
The method Mike and Richard are discussing makes every drawer a fixed size larger than the one above, as in 1/5 of an inch larger each time.
Another pleasing way is to increase drawer size by a fixed ratio for each drawer. For example...
Given a cabinet with a 35" inside height, subtracting 3 * 3/4" for dividers and 8 * 1/16" for reveals, that means 32 1/4" in drawer height. If you want to use 1.61 as your ratio your smallest drawer is 32 1/4 / ( 1 + 1.61 + 1.61^2 + 1.61^3), which comes out to 3.44". Second drawer is that times 1.61, or 5.54". Third drawer is the first drawer's height times 1.61^2, or 8.92". Fourth drawer is the first drawer's height times 1.61^3, or 14.35".
Experiment with different multipliers, and I think you will find pleasing results.
There was an article in Home Furniture that dealt with drawer proportions and the Fibonacci Sequence was another way. There were several ways to do it, I'll look up the issue and post more later.
Study classical proportions in FWW Fall '78 or '77. This is based on the Fibonacci series, and on the golden mean or ratio expressed throughout nature.
1.61 in my example wasn't a random number. ;-)My goal is for my work to outlast me. Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
When determining drawer height, you need to first find the combined size of the drawer openings. This is case height (ignoring legs) less rail widths and divider heights . For a 35" case you might have 2 2.25" rails and three .75" dividers for a four drawer case. This would give you (35-(2*2.25)-(3*0.75))=28.25"
This is the sum of all drawer heights; from this you get an average door height by dividing by the number of drawers.
If you have an odd number of drawers: the average is the size of your middle drawer. Then subtract an incremental amount (say, 0.75" or 1") from each drawer above the middle (1" for the 2nd drawer, 2" for the top drawer). Add the same amount to the bottom drawers (1" for the 4th drawer, 2" for the bottom, or fifth drawer). If our average drawer height was 7" , we would have drawer sizes of (top to bottom) of 5", 6" , 7" , 8" and 9."
If you have an even number of drawers (say, four), subtract half of the desired increment for the 2nd drawer while adding half the increment to the 3rd drawer. If our average is 7" and the increment is 1", then the second drawer would be 6.5" high while the third drawer is 7.5" high. All drawers in sequence would be 5.5", 6.5" , 7.5" and 8.5"
In my experience, a 1" increment is good for 4-5 drawers. For cases with lots of drawers, a smaller increment is needed. Also, linear progressions are generally more acceptable than geometric ones (meaning most people prefer the visual result from adding a constant increment, rather than one that grows exponentially).
But, in the end, it's a matter of taste. I hope that this easy method for determining drawer height series is useful.
Thank you guys,
I knew there was likely a formula. I apreciate yall sharing this with me.
Mike
Hi Mudman,
This is late in responding, but I hope that it is still useful.
There are three extra considerations in selecting the heights of graduated drawers, all somewhat related. They are (1) the proportion of the shortest drawer to the tallest, (2) the ratio of the drawer heights to width, (3) and the proportion of the drawer pulls to the drawer heights.
As you can see from the attached photo, my chest of drawers with a 2:1 ratio of bottom-to-top drawer has these problems. The bottom drawer looks boxy; it is too tall for its width (the photo's perspective makes it look better than it is in a straight-on view). The top drawer is too slim. The drawer pulls are proportioned okay for the middle drawers, but too small for the bottom drawer.
In my next rendition of this chest, the ratio of the bottom drawer to the top drawer is 1.5:1. Its not done yet, but I will be posting it in a few weeks.
Good luck with your project.
Thanks for the help.
Mike
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