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Attaching drawers to a workbench

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Forum topic by twisty posted 11-05-2015 02:58 AM 625 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


11-05-2015 02:58 AM

I’m building a workbench and plan on adding very simple drawers on drawer slides. The ‘cabinet’ half of the slides would be attached to 1×2’s, and the 1×2’s would be attached to the upper and lower frames of the workbench, as in this diagram. The 1×2’s are in yellow:

The 1×2’s on the left and right edges would be secured to the legs, while the six 1×2’s in the center would be secured to the upper and lower frame. I was planning on using pocket screws and glue for this, but now that I’ve got the workbench together, I doubt I’ll get a tight enough mating surface for glue to be effective. I used SPF 2×4’s and this stuff is twisty. I can drive a lot of pocket screws into the four 1×2’s on the right and left side, so those should be fine even without glue, although with the long mating surface, flexible 1×2’s and a lot of screws, I can probably use glue here.

I’m concerned about the center 1×2’s, which would only be secured by 2 pocket hole screws at each end. Is that going to be enough?

I could try to plane the surfaces that the 1×2’s are secured to, hopefully yielding a glueable surface, but figured I’d ask if there is a better way secure these 1×2’s that doesn’t require special tools (no table saw)?


12 replies so far

View mtnwalton's profile

mtnwalton

13 posts in 493 days


#1 posted 11-05-2015 04:18 AM

One way is to replace the inner 1×4’s with 1×6’s and notch to fit the rails. Secure with screws and glue if wanted.

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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


#2 posted 11-05-2015 04:36 AM


One way is to replace the inner 1×4 s with 1×6 s and notch to fit the rails. Secure with screws and glue if wanted.

- mtnwalton

I misspoke – those are 1×2’s, not 1×4’s (corrected first post), though I suppose that doesn’t change your suggestion.

Not sure I follow – what do you mean by ‘notch to fit the rails’? Sounds like this would require a router (don’t have, though maybe I can borrow a friend’s)?

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 908 days


#3 posted 11-05-2015 05:18 AM

I wouldn’t worry too much about getting a glue joint at the end of the 1×2’s. The load here is almost all straight down. You just need them to stay put. Pocket screws will do it. You may get a little bending in the 1×2’s, though. I might consider splitting a 1×6 into two 1×3’s (2 1/2 or so, net) instead.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#4 posted 11-05-2015 03:34 PM

Screw them to the sides of the rails on the workbench instead of standing them on top.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


#5 posted 11-05-2015 05:48 PM



Screw them to the sides of the rails on the workbench instead of standing them on top.

- rwe2156

That would certainly be sturdy, but it eats up too much drawer space, and drawer space is like clamps – can’t have enough!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5183 posts in 2661 days


#6 posted 11-05-2015 06:57 PM

If you’re looking for drawer space under the bench, how about this idea….A cabinet full of drawers….I built this for mine several years ago, and it has different size drawers, and all on BB slides….Just a thought..

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#7 posted 11-05-2015 07:32 PM

I was thinking along the same lines as Rick^ I think if it were me, I’d just build a box of drawers that are a little smaller than the space and then just sit the “cabinet” under the table on the stretchers. It’ll be a whole lot easier to get everything squared up and get the drawer guides installed if you built it independently. And, that way, if you decide to reconfigure your bench in the future, you can just pull the cabinet out.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


#8 posted 11-05-2015 07:54 PM


If you re looking for drawer space under the bench, how about this idea….A cabinet full of drawers….I built this for mine several years ago, and it has different size drawers, and all on BB slides….Just a thought..

- Rick Dennington

Interesting idea, but I am trying to fit a couple of larger items (circular saw, miter saw, etc.), so lots of drawers wouldn’t work. In fact, I’ll have only 4 drawers. From the diagrams in the first post, fully half the storage space underneath the bench top is dedicated to the miter saw. I’m also a bit constrained on overall bench size (~2ft x 4ft; and frame is already built), so that also limits how much storage space I’ll have underneath it.

But for a larger workbench that includes lots of storage for smaller items, a modular cabinet of drawers that sits on the lower stretchers is a great idea!

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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


#9 posted 11-05-2015 07:59 PM



I wouldn t worry too much about getting a glue joint at the end of the 1×2 s. The load here is almost all straight down. You just need them to stay put. Pocket screws will do it. You may get a little bending in the 1×2 s, though. I might consider splitting a 1×6 into two 1×3 s (2 1/2 or so, net) instead.

- jerryminer

Good point – those 1×2’s are quite bendy. I have some 1×4 and even that is a bit curved, but not as much as the 1×2.

It also occurred to me that I could laminate two 1×2’s along their faces to create a stiffer, less bendy 2×2. It would be a little bit thinner than a 2×4 (i.e., slightly less than 1.5” thick as the 1×2’s I have are slightly thinner than 3/4”), but not enough thinner (thus not eating as much into drawer size) to justify the extra work over simply using 2×4.

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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


#10 posted 11-05-2015 08:04 PM


It ll be a whole lot easier to get everything squared up and get the drawer guides installed if you built it independently.
- HokieKen

Yeah, this is my first time working with 2×4’s in an application where I cared about edges being level and surfaces mating nicely for good glue joints, and I’m realizing that dimensional lumber from big box stores is not great when you want things square/level if you don’t have a jointer/planer/table saw.

Plywood is a blessing for those of us with limited tools (and limited patience for hand planing)!

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#11 posted 11-05-2015 09:40 PM


Screw them to the sides of the rails on the workbench instead of standing them on top.

- rwe2156
That would certainly be sturdy, but it eats up too much drawer space, and drawer space is like clamps – can t have enough!

- twisty

How? You’re losing the thickness of the 1×2 either way.
You’re just making the center bank wider and the outside bank narrower.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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twisty

7 posts in 401 days


#12 posted 11-05-2015 11:25 PM

Screw them to the sides of the rails on the workbench instead of standing them on top.

- rwe2156
That would certainly be sturdy, but it eats up too much drawer space, and drawer space is like clamps – can t have enough!

- twisty
How? You re losing the thickness of the 1×2 either way.
You re just making the center bank wider and the outside bank narrower.

- rwe2156

Ohhhh. I misunderstood your post. Taking one of the center 1×2’s for example, I thought you meant screw a 1×2 into both sides of the rail. So instead of losing the thickness of one 1×2, I’d lose the thickness of two 1×2’s.

But I see your point now. I’d still only use one 1×2. The change would be that one of the drawers would be narrower and one would be wider, both by the thickness of a 1×2. Good idea! And by screwing the 1×2’s into the face side of the 2×4 rails, I’d probably have enough surface area to get a good glue joint – I’m thinking that since 1×2 is fairly flexible, a few screws should be able to pull it flush to the 2×4 and ensure a good glue-up; that way I don’t leave small screws to absorb the shear force inherent in this drawer support setup.

I suppose I can drill holes in the drawer slides if there aren’t already holes that line up with where the 1×2’s get mounted, or if I use wider 1x boards as suggested earlier, that might reduce the need to drill holes in the slides.

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