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Roll Around Tool Cabinet #28: Jeez Louise, Did I Measure That Wrong?

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 03-18-2017 08:18 PM 4364 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: Spacers to be Used to Mount Drawer Slides Part 28 of Roll Around Tool Cabinet series no next part

I determined I needed a better spacer jig from what I started with in order to mount these drawer slides. So I went back to my big box store and bought two 3/4 by 24 by 48 inch small, easy to handle panels of MDF. I cross-cut both of their lengths to the 31 9/16 inches. This is the length I needed in order to mount my top-most 3 inch tall drawer. Then I ripped their widths. This dimension was calculated so with the panels pushed back against the back frame and panel its front edge would be the exact location where I will position the front edge of my metal drawer slides. This edge gives me the correct flush fit for all of my seven stacked drawers in this cabinet bay.

With the center divider I can use a spring clamp to hold the drawer spacer upright. Since I have the door hinged on the opposite side I have to figure out another way to hold that drawer spacer upright. I chose to use a wedged stick to hold it in place.

I trimmed the thin drawer slide spacer so it would be no wider than the width of the slide it would hold on its top surface and still allow the drawers to fit between the slides. I also measured the lip of every drawer false front cover to its drawer side surface. There were some variances among the seven drawers, but not much; maybe as much as 3/64 inches. I have the spacers labeled: L for left and R for right cuz there is a slight difference from one side to the other. details… details… And, it does seem to matter…

So with the spring clamp holding the slide in place, I pre-drilled the three screw holes with the center hole aligned drill bit and then fastened the slide into place with the #8 screws supplied in the kit. I had to handhold the right hand slide in place and perform all of these tasks with the other hand.

Now it was time to position the drawer between these mounted slides so I could begin fastening the slide to the drawer side with screws.

Jeez Louise! Did I measure this gap wrong?

My drawer was not fitting between these slides. It appeared my drawers were 1/8 inches too wide. I tried it again. I got my rule out. Measured the opening. Measured my drawer width. I measured the gap between the center divider and the poplar spacer on the opposite bay side; at the top, middle and bottom. Those measurements were all the same distance. I measured the widths of all seven drawers. They measured all the same.

What did I do wrong?

Did I measure the bay’s width incorrectly before I started cutting the drawer parts? Where was my shop journal? Did I record the cut measurements in it? I began thinking: how am I going to fix this screw-up? Make all new drawers? Route and chisel 1/8 inch deep channels, seven times into the right-side poplar spacers? Gee, the drawers I made were sturdy and the best I had done. I would hate to toss them on the junk pile…

Well, I need time to calm down and think this through. I turned off the lights and walked away for day. Time to think.

This morning with a rule in my hand I went back to re-measure everything. I also looked through my journal entries There was the measurement I made cuts to for drawers parts: the drawer front and backs. On page 92, gap distance for widths: 13 11/16 inches minus 1 inch for pair of metal slides gives a cut length of 12 11/16 inches. Actual current measurements of distance between this mounted pair of metal slides: 12 11/16 inches. Remeasured actual width of drawers: 12 11/16 inches. Every drawer had the same measurement 12 11/16 inches.

Tried to fit the drawer again between these slides. Result: TIGHT!

A sigh of relief, some relief…

I will get out my hand plane and some sandpaper. I will do the best I can to hand plane and sand the sides of these drawers; especially where the “pins” fit through the side board “tails” and may not be as flush as they should be.

Now I do not see, nor do I believe or fear I need to make new drawers or route and chisel “channels” to fit the slides into so my drawers will fit between these metal slides.

To be continued…

-- --- Happy Howie



21 comments so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

1932 posts in 2943 days


#1 posted 03-18-2017 08:25 PM

Roll around cabinet #28…......You’re thinking way too much about your next post and not paying attention to what you’re doing. #28 is my first and last look at this project, maybe I will look at your cabinet when it’s done.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View RichTaylor's profile

RichTaylor

421 posts in 164 days


#2 posted 03-18-2017 10:04 PM

I looked up charm and tact in the dictionary and did not see papadan’s picture there.

I frankly appreciate the detail that goes into Howie’s posts. That takes a lot of effort.

-- This space intentionally left blank

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

856 posts in 515 days


#3 posted 03-18-2017 10:08 PM

The drawers will fit tightly between the glides. The glides will glide once mounted. I usually start at the bottom when doing a stack of drawers. Make spacers for each side, that works for all of the drawers spacing and then place them on the bottom and work your way up. I haven’t looked thru your design, so don’t know if that works for you.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View papadan's profile

papadan

1932 posts in 2943 days


#4 posted 03-18-2017 10:13 PM



I looked up charm and tact in the dictionary and did not see papadan s picture there.

I frankly appreciate the detail that goes into Howie s posts. That takes a lot of effort.

- RichTaylor


Sorry Rich, but he didn’t tell us how far it is to the borg or what he drove!

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

856 posts in 515 days


#5 posted 03-18-2017 10:17 PM

LOL well why did you read all 28 entries? Must have been of some interest to you. :)

Sorry Rich, but he didn t tell us how far it is to the borg or what he drove!

- papadan


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3673 posts in 1779 days


#6 posted 03-18-2017 10:44 PM

Hello Not So Happy Howie

Lose the measuring devices, journrals, calculations and just have a story stick and then build to fit.
On the good side at least we can enjoy life without one pesky member for a while. (maybe)
Keep at it, at least its not too small

-- Regards Robert

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

432 posts in 1520 days


#7 posted 03-19-2017 08:20 AM

I have only taken positive things away from Lumberjocks. For the novice that I am in woodworking, I have only received great advice, pointers and help on this forum.

Certainly I know that my writing or posts are not for everyone. I probably wound not follow myself with this amount of detail I write. In fact, other than the few comments some make I do not know if anyone is reading what I write anyway. It hasn’t been made like homework required reading, I don’t think.

What I do know is that for me writing at the end of the day is therapeutic. Maybe I just have too much time on hands. What I am just trying to do is get through my days. Woodworking and writing takes my mind off my troubles. If I am loading too much of myself on you all I am sorry. I can quit. The truth is it has been surprising for me to read that some have encouraged me to continue to write… So I have. But I know I am not required to…

Since I have started this hobby in 2014, I have only had fun. I do not have to earn a living from it. I do not have to satisfy anyone else’s expectation for quantity or quality of work. I don’t have of quality scale of measurement other than my own expectations along with my desire to learn new things and techniques. I make mistakes, but I try to solve my problems and errors. Some more experienced here have been very helpful to me and I appreciated it. I hope I have said so. The wedged corner block really comes to mind that helped me fix the legs on my walnut nightstand project.

I am an engineer by education and vocation. In that trade I have been taught not only how to make things work, but also why things work they way they do. It is part of my personality. It is probably why I am detailed to a fault. My workshop journal is just an extension of my lab work and record from college physics and chemistry some forty plus years ago. It gave me a process then to use in education and work, it is part of my personality; however, how bland it may be to some.

I have a single man shop. I do not know if a woodworking master lives in a neighborhood nearby mine. I would love one-on-one instructions. What I have done is take few online instruction offers that I enjoyed: Epic Woodworking with Tom McLaughlin and Charles Neil Woodworking. What I liked most about their instruction other than their expertise? I liked them. I felt they were very good morale men. Someone I would refer my sons to for instruction.

I would be glad to learn how to use a story stick. What instruction videos I have seen so far, even by Charles Neil, has been confusing and complicated for my mind. If you have video taped instruction or can refer me to a source, I’ll take it.

I have only enjoyed this hobby. It has been a fun experience for me. I can look back on everyday and get satisfaction for what was built or done for that day and to set goals for the next. I cannot work for long periods of time in a day so it takes quite a while to complete a project. If short deadlines was the goal, then I would build only simple things. This project has been challenging and a worthwhile experience for learning for me. I hope I have conveyed that thought in these posts.

I know that not all people enjoy the journey to a destination. I am just a person that enjoys the destination and the journey to it. I have spent severals days at Grand Canyon and the Monument Valley Four-Corners area and I have enjoyed the drive through the mountain passes and the beautiful valleys along US Highway 89 to get there and back.

Happy was nickname that was given, not chosen. Someone thought I was happy, maybe. I was just trying to get through bad days in the office that had a sour morale. Instead of bad-mouthing our boss behind his back, I tried to lighten the mood by commenting as I walked into the office about the beautiful morning, the sunrise, or the happy song I heard a bird sing before entering that door, that morning. I believe the nickname was just a way to mark me as being different from them.

Woodworking has just been a fun thing for me to do. I can do it singularly and quietly, if required or requested.

-- --- Happy Howie

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3673 posts in 1779 days


#8 posted 03-19-2017 08:51 AM

Hello Happy Howie

Work around the measuring devices, journrals, calculations and just have a story stick and then build to fit.
You still need to measure but the reference measurements are documented there once only.
They come to their own with repetition work. They may be as simple as a piece of wood with screw layout holes positioned on them. lay it on the work and drill away confidently knowing each will correspond exactly

You would have used them but possibly did not realise what their name was.
I dont recall how many matching mistakes I have made by just using two different tapes.
On the good side we all enjoy our woodworking regardless of it ends up in the waste bin/footpath or whatever
Being at least above the ground each day we can enjoy the current life.
Keep at it, at least its not too small

-- Regards Robert

View cutmantom's profile

cutmantom

397 posts in 2610 days


#9 posted 03-19-2017 12:24 PM

I start at the top and work down, you can use the same piece of wood, cutting it shorter each time, reducing the chance of accumulated​ error by referencing the same point for each drawer


The drawers will fit tightly between the glides. The glides will glide once mounted. I usually start at the bottom when doing a stack of drawers. Make spacers for each side, that works for all of the drawers spacing and then place them on the bottom and work your way up. I haven t looked thru your design, so don t know if that works for you.

- builtinbkyn


View htl's profile

htl

2494 posts in 734 days


#10 posted 03-19-2017 02:27 PM

When I’ve had tight cabinet draws [and I’ve had my share] I’ve just run them threw the table saw to shave off a tad on both sides and all was good.
I haven’t read throw all the posts just this one but I too love writing about my work after a day in the shop.
It may not help others but love being able to look back and see the progress I’ve made and then a year later read it and remember all the work I put in to it.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View HappyHowie's profile

HappyHowie

432 posts in 1520 days


#11 posted 03-19-2017 08:07 PM

I have pondered this past day why I write. I have never been good at it. To write a few sentences is not an easy task for me. I recall wondering if my friends in school who could write so well, so easy and fluently had they received that talent as a gift.

English and writing was my huge weakness all through school, including my undergraduate studies.

It was only in graduate school where I began to learn how to write. I was challenged by a very demanding professor. Twice a week he had us submitting written case work studies. After reading the case we had to analyze the company, its executives and the business problem described although those issues may be vague as in real life. Without the Internet and Google much of our research was in the university’s library and its resources. These were real business issues we had to solve.

Dr Jimmy Dean Barnes expected us to clearly present the critical issues that had to be solved. We had to write a winning action plan. We were expected, if required, to also present an oral argument of our proposal to that company’s board of directors—our classmates and our professor. A single word typo would cost you a grade. Your paper could have earned an A but with the misspelled word or typo error it only got a B. Two words misspelled was a C and in graduate school that was failing. That was a motivation to be thorough in my proof reading.

I learned a lot from this professor, but I know I have not mastered writing skills. So I continue to practice. What words should I use? And, what order or sequence would work best? That is how my engineer’s brain analyzes my attempts to communicate. Left brain or right brain. I can use only what I bring to the table or what God has bestowed on me.

I often witness people with great writing skills. They are great story tellers. I recently asked Charles Schwarz how he became such a great writer, story teller. Was it simply his DNA? His reply was not unexpected. For him it started from being assigned to write 500 articles in a year for the newspaper that employed him. Like his woodworking skills: it has been practice, practice, practice.

I know I need to improve my skills in wood work and communication. When I write for this blog I am trying to exercise and master a challenging skill to take my thoughts and ideas and to present words logically and clearly so a reader will understand my point. If I did the work right, it should have been easy task for them.

This will be my last post. Papadan was right. I have spent too much on this part. I will take the time spent here to learn a new skill set. I hopefully can learn how to sketch, draw and paint with watercolors. I think that will be fun and challenging too. Maybe impossible for this engineer, but being challenged has never deterred me.

Thank you all for your help and advice given me freely. It has been much appreciated.

-- --- Happy Howie

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

856 posts in 515 days


#12 posted 03-19-2017 09:27 PM

In my opinion, you are introducing way more chance for error. Your method requires measuring and cutting multiple times. I only need to measure once and make a single spacer that fits between the location of each successive drawer glide, using the previously installed glide as support and reference for the spacer. I use the same spacer for the left and right side. Provided the drawers are all of the same size you only need one piece of sheet goods. You just have to ensure the bottom glides are both level front to back and side to side. Referencing off of the bottom is usually fine for this, but I always check. If the drawers are of differing sizes, you just need to make a spacer to accommodate that difference. Why make multiple measurements and multiple cuts where something can go wrong?


I start at the top and work down, you can use the same piece of wood, cutting it shorter each time, reducing the chance of accumulated​ error by referencing the same point for each drawer

The drawers will fit tightly between the glides. The glides will glide once mounted. I usually start at the bottom when doing a stack of drawers. Make spacers for each side, that works for all of the drawers spacing and then place them on the bottom and work your way up. I haven t looked thru your design, so don t know if that works for you.

- builtinbkyn

- cutmantom

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View htl's profile

htl

2494 posts in 734 days


#13 posted 03-19-2017 09:37 PM

Please don’t let one voice stop your progress.
I went back and read about half your posts and there’s some great incites for someone starting out in wood working.
Some don’t like to read posts [I won’t name names LOL but they do quack] others like me get more out of written posts with pictures than I do videos.
Did you happen to see how many have read this post?
Over 2500 !!!! Need I say more.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

856 posts in 515 days


#14 posted 03-19-2017 09:50 PM

Have to agree here. I wouldn’t let anyone spoil what gives you enjoyment in the hobby. I blog about my projects. It helps me to see the progress and where I could have done things differently. I also hope it helps others or it at least gives them an idea of how a finished project went together and the thought process that went into it. I’ll always be a novice woodworker and having a written and pictorial record of things is something I can look back on for reference of how to or not to do something.

However I will say this – I blog incorrectly – meaning I use one thread for the entire project rather than a separate blog entry for each stage. I know it’s wrong, but it’s also easier to follow as a reader rather than having to click thru every blog entry link. So my blog gets buried. That’s fine. If anyone had interest in the subject, they’ll subscribe and follow along or at least keep tabs on it when it pops back to the top of the “Pulse” page for a time and maybe someone new finds it too. Otherwise it’s there just for me to look back on :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View jbay's profile

jbay

1109 posts in 474 days


#15 posted 03-19-2017 09:56 PM


I start at the top and work down, you can use the same piece of wood, cutting it shorter each time, reducing the chance of accumulated​ error by referencing the same point for each drawer

- cutmantom

+10

No chance of accumulative variances adding up to make your next guides unlevel.

I mark my drawer front positions and spacing in between the fronts on the edge of the cabinet. When I cut down the board for the next size I just measure the appropriate mark and add 1/4”. Since I put all my guides on in the same drawer location it puts the bottom of each drawer 1/4 ” up from the bottom of the drawer front.
Never a problem. At worst, it uses a little bigger pc of wood but I always seem to have scrap that works.

That’s my system. Use what ever system works for you, no wrong or right!

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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