Shop drawer heights

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Forum topic by MarkCh posted 07-28-2020 08:13 PM 254 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 80 days

07-28-2020 08:13 PM

Hi all, It’s shop buildup time. I’ll be converting a shelf with volume 44” w, 20”d, 20”h to drawers, and want to decide on most convenient size divisions for the drawer heights. This will store your standard shop fare: quart finishes, hardware, a couple of planes, chisels, saws. etc. The goals are to fit everything, and have geometric progressions to look nice.

One possible division I’ve sketched up is:
3 equal columns of 4 drawers:
6 3/4, 5 3/4, 4 1/2, 3”

Another is two columns of 3 larger drawers, and one column with the middle divided:
2×8 1/2, 6 1/2, 5
8 1/2, 3, 3, 5

Almost anything will work, but want to check the collective mind here.


4 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6206 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 07-28-2020 08:24 PM

I’ve been making my top drawers about 6”, and the middle drawer 12”, with the bottom drawer about 13”.
I’m very happy with that layout for hand and power tools. As close as you can come to that should be fine.

Mainly I want to have fewer drawers and deeper drawers. Love those tall drawer sides that fit almost anything.
Plus—- fewer drawers to build!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View John Jardin's profile

John Jardin

82 posts in 492 days

#2 posted 07-28-2020 08:44 PM

My vote would be the 12 draw design.
You might want to consider side hung drawers as 20” height needs as muck drawer space as possible.

View MarkCh's profile


10 posts in 80 days

#3 posted 07-28-2020 09:05 PM

Wow, I’ll imagine this when I look at my repurposed office park desk with bolted on diagonal 2×4 supports.

View therealSteveN's profile


6266 posts in 1426 days

#4 posted 07-29-2020 06:19 AM

In the process of building cabinets for the shop, and I am a blended woodworker, and as such I have quite a few thin layout, measuring, and smallish hand tools. They live best in drawers no more than 2” high, and most do better in shallower drawers yet.

I would think most of us have more small tools such as these, at least more than we have circular saws/track saws, and routers, and drills. They could go into those deep drawers, though some drills would get buried, however when I see so many shop design drawings, most of the drawers are the deeper ones. I visualize a lot of tools buried in too deep a drawer.

-- Think safe, be safe

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