Friday, February 1, 2013

Tips on Building Drawers

Here are some of the things I learned while building 8 drawers.
1.  Definitely listen to Ana White, and buy the cheap euro-slide mounts.  Don't install the dresser/cabinet back until your drawers are mounted.

2.  If you are making more than 4 drawer boxes of the same size, you will likely need to rip 2 sections for both the sides and the fronts/backs.  The picture below shows my cut lines for making 8 drawers each 5 7/8" high.  For an easy way to keep the boxes square, label as shown below.  As long as your cuts are straight, making making 4 drawers of  "1"s and "3"s  and another 4 of "2"s and "4"s ensures that they are all exactly the same size.  My husband (engineer, of course!) did this.

3.  Art from Woodcraft taught us to make drawers my keeping the sides of the drawer the full desired length so they would have a clean look.  If you are using drawer faces, you can keep the pocket holes hidden by drilling them in on the front of the drawer and the very back of the drawer.  The drawer face will cover the front holes, and you will never see the back of the drawer.

4.  Here is a simple way to make sure you drawer faces are even.  The inset drawers need an 1/8 inch spacing all the way around.  You can find craft wood at Michaels that is 3x12 and 1/8 inch thick.  I cut one and used one piece on each side and then 2 full pieces on both the top and bottom.  The length made sure the drawer was supported and didn't go wonky and made the job much easier.

5.  As I fitted each drawer's slides to the opening, I marked in pencil on the back of the drawer where it had been fitted.  So if it was the top right drawer, it was R1.  This way, I always know which opening it belonged to.  If each opening and drawer were perfectly square and perfectly the same in measurement, you wouldn't need to do this, but mine had very slight variations.  Even the 1x8s that I used for the drawer fronts were also very slightly different, so it helps to keep them straight.

6.   Make s simple jig to drill precise holes for your knobs.  I used a scrap of the same wood from the drawer front with i piece of 1x2 on the top and on one side.  The 'drawer' part should be centered on the 1x2s so there is overhang on front and back.  I drilled 4 1/2 inches from the side.  (Make sure you are drilling straight into your wood!  It is very easy to push the bit through on a slight diagonal which will make your knobs slanted.)

On the right hand side of the drawer, clamp the jig so the 1x2s are on the top and side and drill.  For the left side, turn the jig so the 1x2s are again on the top and side, clamp, and drill.  This method ensures that not only are the holes the same distance from the sides but from the top as well.  (I had noticed that my hole wasn't precisely centered vertically, but since the holes are the same distance from the top, you never see it!)

 *This post was written before I changed the name of my blog.*

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