“Size matters on drawers”
Time to get down to the drawers. It’s kinna like getting into the underwear (not in a dirty way) of the cabinet. Call it the “Fruit of the Loom?”.When making drawers, size matters, so I will work on getting every 1/8” I can (or mm for you, Europeans).
The first step is making the face frame thin. Or in this case, no face frame, just 3/4” thick dividers. European style cabinets are a good way to do this, I just don’t like that for a Shaker style dresser.Calculating the width is easy with these euro-slides; width of opening less 1”.
The depth depends on backing and method of drawer front. I will have a 1/4” back to close off the back of the dresser, but it will be nailed to the back, no dado, because this will cost me too much depth. The drawer front will be inset, in other words flush with the face of the dresser. This will cost me 3/4”. But I like that style and it will match the rest of the house. I could save another half inch in depth by not having a false drawer front, but this is too much work. This is the front of the box be hind the visual drawer front.
To maximize the height I will nail (staple) the the 1/4” bottom to the bottom of the drawer box, instead of a dado 1/4” up, 1/4” wide and deep. We will gain 1/2” with this. And with a little glue, this will hold up just fine. The bottom will get also support from the drawer slides anyway. This will also prevent the slide screws from breaking that 1/4” by 1/4” plywood on the bottom. Best is, build a test drawer and see how tall you can make it without hitting the cabinet. And next is the cutout needed to get the drawer in and out of the cabinet. With face frame cabinets I was able to get away with a half oval shape, as shown below. As you put the drawer in the cabinet, you hook it around the upper part of the face frame so to say.
But with this dresser I have to remove the whole back upper end of the drawer.
To cut the relief in the drawer sides, I build a jig for my router table.
Before I take the router to it, I will first rough cut it on the band-saw. The jig has two hold-downs to keep the drawer side in place. (These are some cheap Harbor Freight clamps, but it works!)
There are a lot of different jigs on the market for mounting drawer slides. They are all based on holding the slide in place. This gives a lot of room for error. With a heavy screwdriver in hand, screw on the tip, you are aiming for the center of that larger than normal hole in the drawer runner. I came up with a very simple jig using 1” drywall screws in some left over 1/2” plywood (drawer stock).
I posted this Jig as a project a couple of days agao.
The screws line up with the holes of the drawer slide. Put the jig in place, wacky the screw heads with the mallet and you have the starter holes for your drawer screws. You will see that this is a lot more accurate. The reason for the double row of screws is left side and right side. The jig on the picture was build with 3/4” inset drawer fronts in mind. If your drawer fronts are overlay, your screws would positioned 3/4” more forward and so on. Another little footnote would be, to use a drill-press for the pilot holes, to be sure that the accuracy from the front pf the plywood jig is carried on to the back, where the accuracy of the placing of the tip of the screws counts most.
After you put the drawer slide jig in place, give a nice tap on the screw heads and you have the pilot holes for your drawer slides in place.
Okay, I will leave you with this, they are calling me for lunch, gatta go.
-- rhykenologist and plant grower