I’ve been working on the drawer cabinets off and on for a couple days and have made some progress. Still cant find my camera though so, at least for now, no pics.The plan was thus:
- Each cabinet would be roughly 20” wide x 16” deep x 24” high and have a second, adjustable-height top that would be roughly 23” wide x 20” deep.
- Each top would have a 3 1/2” wide slat on each side with a 1/4” slot down the center for height adjustment. each cabinet would have a t-nut sunk in the inside with a 2 1/4” length of 1/4 20 threaded rod loctite-ed into it for knobs to lock down the height of the adjustable top.
- Each cabinet would also have a pair of 3” total-lock casters and a pair of regular swivel casters so I can put them somewhere and they’ll STAY there. The locking casters go on the front edge of the cabinets so I can reach the lock easier.
So I made the adjustable tops first. In order to deal with them, I made a quick and dirty panel sled and this helped lots, although I should have made the runner about 3” longer for stability. I cut them to size and made a groove 1” in from each of the shorter edges. I probably could have made stopped grooves but I wasn’t feeling that accomplished.
It was during this process that I learned that A ) the 5/8 plywood that I was using was actually closer to 9/16 or even 17/32, B ) Getting this width groove with a adjustable dado was not the easiest thing in the world. What I ended up doing was setting the dado for 3/8 and resetting the fence until I got the right width, and C ) I need a depth guide of some sort so all my grooves are the same depth.
Next, I took apart the old cabinets, which would have been to wide for this plan, cut the top and bottoms to their new dimensions and put edge grooves (rabbet?) in those. See above about using the adjustable dado blade with this plywood. Then I dry-fit the new top and bottom with the old sides, measured to figure out how much shorter they needed to be, cut them to length, and then glued and screwed the cabinets back together.
Once all this was done, I set the adjustable top onto the new cabinet, marked where I wanted the holes for the locking knobs and drilled a 1/8” pilot hole, then used a 1” forstner bit to create a recess for the t-nut (these cabs are getting drawers, remember), then drilled a 5/16 hole for the threaded rod to go through. I hammered the t-nuts into place and loctit-ed the threaded rod into them so they wont spin.
Finally, I cut some particle board I had leftover from an old desk into 1 1/2 squares, drilled 1/8 pilot holes and then 5/16 holes into them, hammered in some more t-nut and, Voila, knobs.
Next up: installing the height adjustment guide rails and then, Dun dun DUN, Drawers.
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