|Project by JD13||posted 03-18-2016 02:21 AM||4073 views||29 times favorited||23 comments|
I have a set of those rolling black wire shelves in my shop that held various “stuff” but decided it was time to properly organize it. So, I made the first of what I hope to be 3 sets of drawers to exactly fit the rack space. I wanted this set to be thinner to hold various tools like calipers, allen wrenches, stuff that normally goes in the thin drawers of a tool box (which you can see the red Craftsman metal one in one of the pics that these are replacing!). I made the carcass out of cheap 5/8” plywood from Home Depot – the B/C oak stuff – and the drawers out of 3/8” sides with 1/4” bottoms. The drawers are made museum-style – tons of flat drawers (also apothecary or index card drawers). I made simple dado sliders from the bottom of the drawers by gluing/nailing them to the drawer box bottoms and extending them out 3/8” or so on the sides. I have seen lots of shop drawers made this way and figured it was simple enough for small drawers like these. Otherwise, there is nothing special going on. I got some cheap index card pulls online and used knurled brass thumb nuts with matching brass screws as simple pulls (also cheap online). I wanted something different (and smaller) for pulls, so I liked this look (made it more like the museum ones). I spent the VAST majority of my time trying to figure out the finish. Since they were cheap, I could have just gone simple, but I wanted a finish like you would see on museum drawers which are typically made from real wood like cherry. I read and re-read my Flexnor and did web searches to see how others did it. I tried over 20 different finishes before finally settling on this one. I couldn’t get a good cherry-looking finish that I liked – too hard to get cheap plywood to look like anything but cheap plywood. I got this sort of warm-looking orange’ish oak finish that I’ve seen in pictures of Arts & Crafts houses and Shaker stuff filled with Oak, so I set this as my goal. With my limited experience, I got as close as I could using a coat of General Finishes Pecan, followed by General Finishes Black Cherry, then using GF orange dye stain mixed with their water-based Enduro-Var to give a final amber tint. And before I did all that, I filled the pores on all pieces by mixing Elmers Wood Filler with a little water to make it easier to spread (using just my hands, no tools). Sealing the wood made it look a LOT more even and less grainy. At least now I know what I like, so making the other 2 should go a lot faster. Oh, and I started with an Espresso stain, very dark – almost black – and sanded it all back off (not easy to do on plywood – not recommended!). Also, I don’t recommend 5/8” plywood. I picked it because 3/4” was really to bulky, but 1/2” seemed too light. What I didn’t consider is the dados on the carcass – if you go 3/8”, 1/2”, or 3/4” (nominal sizes, so really 11/32”, 15/32”, and 23/32”), you can buy matching Freud or Rockler router bits to match those sizes and make the dados in one pass. I had to setup a jig and make 2 passes because no one makes one for 5/8”. The last picture shows the drawers in their final resting place. I have since started labeling the drawers and filling them up!
-- JD from Elk Grove