Creating and fitting the drawer bottoms was the last step for me in the drawer creation process for the cabinet. The conventional approach for installing drawer bottoms is to create a groove in each of the sides as well as in the drawer front. These grooves are carefully marked to maintain enough material below the groove while keeping the groove itself as low in the drawer as possible. Another consideration in the location of these grooves is to not affect the dovetail joint, or at least the visible part of the joint. Once this is performed I needed to create the drawer bottoms.
The drawer bottoms fit into the grooves in the sides and drawer front. The drawer bottom is accurately fitted so the grain orientation is from front to back. This allows the drawer bottom to remain tight in the grooves and instead any movement is directed towards the back of the drawer bottom. The thickness of the drawer bottoms is another consideration. I wanted to maintain strength in the bottom but at the same time make the bottoms fit into the narrow grooves. This is accomplished by rabbeting the drawer bottoms to fit the grooves while the rest of the drawer bottom remains thicker, in this case a little over 1/8 inch thicker. The rabbets are also created while maintaining a small reveal in the two sides and the drawer front. This can be seen in the above photo. The drawer bottoms are now strong, fit tightly, are replaceable, and are pinned to the back of the drawer. The drawer bottoms are loosely pinned to the drawer backs to allow for wood movement.
Next I will continue to fine tune the fit of the drawers into their respective drawer compartments and then I will create and fit the drawer pulls.