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I've built a kitchen-style cabinet for my office and I'm wondering if I've put enough legs on it. I couldn't find any standards for this sort of thing in my Googling, so here I have turned to the internet for advice.

The unit is MDF, 1400 x 500 x 710mm (wdh) and constitutes 3 equal width (or close enough for me) compartments with a set of drawers between 2 regular cupboards that will have internal shelves.

For construction I've got a solid bottom and sides, with 2 stretchers across the top. For the dividers I have pocket screwed into the base and screwed throught the strechers.

I expect the units to take a fair bit of weight for storage of art supplies and anything else laying around my office.

I'm just wondering if the following leg layout will be enough to prevent any sort of bowing/sagging.

For context, I am using standard Hafele kitchen legs:

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Bottom view

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Leg offsets

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  • The edges will be stronger to attach legs than the centre of the bottom. The type of legs will matter. A few pointy type legs is harder on the floor/ing than something like 1x4s running the length/width.
    – crip659
    Jul 29, 2023 at 19:48
  • That would depend on the structural design, or lack thereof.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 29, 2023 at 19:48
  • @crip659 I've added the legs I am using. Perhaps I should add a couple more at the points where the vertical dividers are just for extra support - just in case?
    – physicsboy
    Jul 29, 2023 at 20:28
  • For context I have a 60s HI-FI console. It takes two people to pick up, short distance only, it only has four legs in the corners. The construction is important where to place the legs. Plastic legs, really?
    – crip659
    Jul 29, 2023 at 20:36
  • I’d leave it. Without knowing construction details, my gut says it’ll be sufficient. And if it sags, put two more feet under the dividers. Jul 29, 2023 at 21:43

2 Answers 2

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Hafele.com no longer shows that kind of cabinet leg. However, a similar kind of plastic leg on Hafele.com has a 150kg (330lb) weight load limit. Filling the cabinets with pillows will probably be nowhere near too much. Lead ingots, meh, could be a problem....

One trouble could come from what's put on top of the cabinets, considering where the legs are mounted. You show a 65mm offset on the sides and 45mm on the back. Most MDF sheet stock for cabinets are 16-19mm (5/8 to 3/4") thick, or if you paid for premium (!) MDF cabinets 25mm (1") thick. Backs are often cheaped on as well, using often 3-12mm (1/8" to 1/2") material. This means your legs are completely on the bottom piece of the cabinet, with only the joint between the bottom piece and the sides/back holding up the rest of the cabinet and top-stored load. If there is too much load up top and the sides are not thoroughly-custom-cabinet-shop-quality attached to the bottoms, the sides could shear off the bottoms and collapse. Moving the legs on the sides so they partially sit under the sides of the cabinet, and adding more legs, total of eight, so there are legs under the side-to-side joints at the middle cabinet, will substantially increase the load capacity.

eight legs, mounted under cabinet sides

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  • You make a good point. As it is... I've got this situated in an alcove with an end panel on one side and a filler piece to the wall on the other to hide any crimes, so I could whack another leg (even if not attached) on either side just to make up for it. The other feet don't need to be beneath the dividing lines as this is one long cabinet rather than 3 individual ones. I originally had 3 but then didn't like it as it's all on carpet as was awkward etc so decided to redo it all :D
    – physicsboy
    Aug 30, 2023 at 7:32
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If these are all separate cabinet boxes, basically slapped up against each other, you want feet as close to the walls as possible. Feet in the middle of a horizontal panel will subject the panel to more bending force. I'd put 4 feet in the middle cabinet, basically replicating the locations you have for the outer cabinets. This assumes the adjacent cabinet walls are all fastened together.

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    I did initially build this as all separate cabinets as that's what I'd seen online and how you can buy cabinets etc about 6 months ago. I did have an abundance of feet on each cabinet as you stated. However I wasn't happy with my construction or how they were difficult to level on the carpet with relation to each other etc, so I've made it as all one long unit - A massive time save!!! So yes, I'd seen people just do the bare minimum of feet but I want it to not sag as it's on carpet, so I've added 2 feet extra under the vertical dividers. :-)
    – physicsboy
    Jul 31, 2023 at 10:28

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