Need help figuring out how I'm going to install the drawer I have to plan to build

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Forum topic by BentheViking posted 07-22-2013 02:22 AM 1159 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1782 posts in 2762 days

07-22-2013 02:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drawer drawer slides hardware

So I am thinking ahead a bit, but I have to figure out what to do with this space underneath the microwave.

Originally, we had planned to use the drawer front with a piano hinge and magnetic catches, but after nearly a year without anything it seems to be that this area is a great junk collector and if you want to find anything inside you have to lay on your belly and reach inside.

So I want to figure out a way to do a drawer. The area is really large (something like 36” by standard base cabinet depth). I need to figure out not only how to mount and install the drawer within the cabinet (it is a face frame) as well as how to construct the actual drawer (can’t do dovetails so don’t suggest it.

Also keep in mind that the only way to access the space is through the space shown so getting certain tools in there could be difficult. Other than that any tips or brainstorming ideas are appreciated!

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

6 replies so far

View UpstateNYdude's profile


917 posts in 2181 days

#1 posted 07-22-2013 02:28 AM

For construction use box joints or even easier rabbets, for attaching I’d buy some full extension drawer slides and mount my drawer to that then all you have to do is look down at everything in the drawer and pull out what you want.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View kdc68's profile


2691 posts in 2475 days

#2 posted 07-22-2013 02:39 AM

How about a lock rabbet joint
Video how to via Fine Woodworking
If you can get your arm inside the opening with a drill/driver you could mount ball bearing slides with the use of a spacer block. Place the spacer block inside the opening. Place the slide on top the spacer block and fasten. The spacer block size relates to the location of the slide on the drawer
Because you have a face frame, you will probably need to add a filler strip first. Make filler strips that’s a bit wider than the drawer slide, and thick enough to be flush with the inside edge of the face frame. The width of the drawer box would be the measurement from inside edges of the face frames minus 1” (allowance for drawer slides)

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2674 days

#3 posted 07-22-2013 11:55 AM

Ben, the answers before me seem to be right on track. Due to the location and small space you might want to consider making larger wood spacers up and install the drawer slides before placing them in the carcass. This would allow you to work the smaller screws in a more comfortable position.

Hope this makes a bit of sense, it’s early and I’m rushed.

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2874 days

#4 posted 07-22-2013 01:24 PM

I have a suggestion: cut your opening bigger. (taller)
clamp a straight edge, get help with a shop vac!, blue tape the cut line and use a 60 tooth blade….. easy.

My guess is the floor for the MW is flush with it’s opening, right?
That means the horizontal 4”? face frame could be cut down to 1 1/2” min. That’s 2 1/2” – which is a lot for this drawer’s needs. Also gives you more room to install fillers and drawer slides.

Consider making the drawers out of 1/2” Baltic birch plywood (3/4” would be better) with rabbet joints, screwed and glued. 1/4” ply. (I like maple) set in a 1/4” dado for the bottom. Ease the edges with a 1/4” cove router bit. Clear varnished.

Lastly, they make a full extension HD drawer slide with a floor mount if you can’t make the side fillers, which are the better choice. Pay close attention to the size of the drawer width – 1” less than opening, if it’s too wide the slides will bind and you can’t fine tune/ belt sand plywood sides compared to solid maple.

Should be a fun project…not too hard and great results!

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2762 days

#5 posted 07-23-2013 02:08 AM

Unfortunately the drawer face is already made (as it used to be the false front in front of the cooktop), so cutting the microwave support wouldn’t be an option. I am intrigued about what you referred to as floor mount drawer slides. i am guessing that they would attach to the bottom of the drawer and the cabinet floor. I did a quick google search and didn’t see much that jumped out as a possibility.

I also would have to see since I they aren’t the best cabinets. the sides and the floor are very thin plywood and it might be tough to get it a screw to hold. More likely I am going to have to preattach the slides to some fillers and glue those in the place maybe with a tack or two to hold it in.

Really not concerned about the construction of the drawer itself. I’ll rabbet the back to the sides and pocket hole the drawer sides to the face. Also probably dado the shelf bottom in, just have to figure out how thick I want it (probably 1/2” as I want a lot of strength to support the large span as well as the heavy dishware I am sure my wife will want to load in there)

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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893 posts in 2874 days

#6 posted 07-23-2013 11:12 AM

I figured you would make a new drawer front considering your lazy Suzan doors are plain plywood.

The drawer slides are standard ball bearing slides with an angle bracket attached with little screws so you can screw it to the floor – which is probably 1/2” thick. The filler blocks are a better option with less room for alignment error. Screw them in so you can remove them for adjustments if needed. no glue needed, they’re sitting on the floor – not going anywhere.

1/4” plywood for the drawer bottom is plenty strong, 1/2” only adds weight.

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