Need advise regarding a drawer remodel/reuse project

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Forum topic by scottishrose posted 03-21-2010 12:51 PM 1151 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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110 posts in 3133 days

03-21-2010 12:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: furniture repurposing butlers henges joinery faux wood design help

I have one of those “Hidden fasteners (plastic pocket screws) are my friend” Sauder faux wood desks that I bought years ago before I ever had a computer. It is basically an old oak style with a roll top design(sans roll top) hutch on top. One of these days when my woodworking skills improve as well as my tool supply I want to build a craftsman style desk. In the mean time since this desk is sitting around not being used and the place I do most of my work is not functional I thought maybe I could do a few revisions to make it work. The first project is to change the middle drawer into a keyboard tray. I bought two butler’s tray henges with 1/2 inch brass screws and a couple of rare earth magnets I thought would help hold the drawer front upright when not in use. The drawer is made from pressboard with a grove about 1/4 inch wide the bottom of which is 1/2 inch from the bottom of sides of drawer. My thoughts were to get maybe a piece if 1/2” thick pine to replace what looks like masonite as the bottom of the drawer. From the top of the groove to the bottom of the drawer it is about 7/8”. The drawer is about 15”x20” so I think I could easily get a 15” wide x 1/2” thick piece of pine at the “home despot”.
On the front of the drawer is a piece of faux dark stained oak with cove around the outside. This piece is 3/4” thick and is held on to the drawer by two screws through the back of the drawer. The drawer has metal slides mounted to the sides of the drawer that roll under the side and do have screw holes on the bottom which might come in handy to secure the bottom of the drawer to the sides if I remove the grove. The front and back pieces of the drawer are attached to the sides with two screws going into the side of the front and back piece through the side pieces. I am thinking that without the bottom grove a few judiciously placed brads through the sides back and maybe some screws through the slides on the bottom will hold the deeper bottom in place.
I’m hoping you are getting the picture here and this doesn’t sound completely confusing. My biggest problem here is how do I get the front to fold down easily? The front of the drawer will abutt the bottom with the butlers henges mortised on the inside of the drawer. do I need to change the front of the drawer to give it ease to move? or do I need to cut both pieces at an angle so the front of the drawer will lay flat when in use? Do you have any other suggestions?
I would be greatful for any suggestions to make this work. I do not have a table saw but do have a router and a good selection of bits – soon to be able to be used in a router table I am assembling, and a sliding compound miter saw with a 12 inch blade, I also have a circular saw. Hope this info helps with any solutions.

1 reply so far

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3168 days

#1 posted 03-21-2010 02:39 PM

Scottishrose, don’t think you need to do any angle trimming to the drawer front or bottom. Once the hinges are mortised in, the front will ride above the bottom of the drawer. That may not be the look your going for. However, they do make a drop down drawer front hinge.

I think this would be a better option.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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