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Forum topic by deadherring posted 11-25-2013 06:24 PM 1871 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


11-25-2013 06:24 PM

Hi there,

I’m in the process of making a cabinet with drawers—my first time doing a project like this. I’ve got the cabinet pretty much squared away, but had some questions about how to do the drawers. I’ve looked at a bunch of youtube videos, but had a couple follow up questions about how to calculate the dimensions.

I have an Incra fence on my router and I’m going to try making some box joints for the drawers.

How do I calculate the right dimensions for both the drawer and the front of the drawer. For example, if I have 30” vertically on the cabinet and 20” horizontally, how do I figure out what the dimensions should be for both the drawer side to side to accommodate for the slides and also the piece that will go on the front of the drawer. (I’m planning to make a box out of plywood for the drawer and attach a piece of oak to the front).

How do I calculate for the spacing I’ll need between the drawers?

Anyway, thanks for the help, any direction on how to figure everything out so that it comes out right is greatly appreciated.

DH


13 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2280 days


#1 posted 11-25-2013 06:31 PM

We really need more information to give you a good answer. For instance side mount ball bearing slides usually require 1/2” of space on either side. Undermount slides are a different setup.
If the drawers are inset, I plan for a 3/32” gap between the drawer front and the case. If they are overlay drawers, the measurements are not as critical .

Sizing the drawers is more about the function you need, as well as aesthetics.
Do you use sketchup?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#2 posted 11-25-2013 06:40 PM

Do you plan on having drawer fronts that are flush with the cabinet frame, or that overlay it? Overlay drawer fronts are easier because you can install the drawers first, then make slight spacing adjustments when you install the fronts onto the drawers.

As far as sizing the drawers, first you need to know what type of drawer slides you want to use. The instructions for those slides will tell you how much space to allow between the size of the drawer and the size of the opening. For example, a set of side-mount drawer glides might tell you to allow 1/2” spacing on each side, so a 20” opening would require a 19” wide drawer.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


#3 posted 11-25-2013 06:51 PM

I think what’s being asked is if I am planning to have the drawer front be exactly as wide as the cabinet or be wider than the width of the cabinet?

(Sorry, I have not used Sketch up)

I hadn’t considered wider as a possibility (heh, this is my first time doing this). I need the cabinet butted up against something else so I’m going to aim to have the drawer front exactly as wide as the cabinet.

And, as far as the drawer slides, that make sense to me. Figure out how wide each slide will be and then subtract that from the cabinet width to get drawer width.

What about the height of the drawers? Do I just take the total height available and then distribute the height between the drawers? And, how do I accommodate for the height of the drawer front which may not be exactly the same as the height of the drawer front?

I hope I’m making sense.

Thanks.

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pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2280 days


#4 posted 11-25-2013 06:59 PM

The drawers don’t all have to be the same size.
In a space 30” tall, I would usually have three drawers graduating in size. However that depends on the style and function you need. Sketch them out to scale, with two or three variations. It will quickly become clear.

Learning to build drawers is probably less challenging than learning to use sketchup!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View TaybulSawz's profile

TaybulSawz

149 posts in 1149 days


#5 posted 11-25-2013 07:34 PM

If you decide to use side slide, which it sounds like you are, then your drawer sides should be, IMHO, 1” less than the height of your opening and the finished width will be 1” narrower than the width of the opening. Their depth should be 3/4” less than the depth of the cabinet. Does the cabinet have a Face Frame? Will you be using drawer dividers? Both of these will make a difference on how you attach the slides and on the height of the drawer boxes. If you don’t have a face frame then using Drawer fronts could be problematic.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#6 posted 11-25-2013 08:10 PM

When I flush with the cabinet frame, I meant like in the photo below, as opposed fronts that overlap the frame.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


#7 posted 11-25-2013 08:35 PM

Ok, thanks everyone, this is starting to make sense.

Dumb question: I’ve seen face frames used before—is there any advantage to using one vs. not? If I plan to have the drawer fronts overlap the cabinet frame, is it not needed because the drawer fronts will cover the plywood?

Thanks.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16244 posts in 3685 days


#8 posted 11-25-2013 08:37 PM

You should be fine. It sounds like you are planning to do it the same way I did these:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


#9 posted 11-25-2013 08:38 PM

Exactly. Thank you Charlie. (looks like a really nice piece, BTW).

View TaybulSawz's profile

TaybulSawz

149 posts in 1149 days


#10 posted 11-25-2013 08:51 PM

In the absence of a Face frame then your drawer dimensions can be what ever you want. You should be aware that they should be space 3/4” top to bottom to allow for “Tip Out” Removal of the drawers from the slides. Soo… If your drawer heiight is 5” the drawer above it should be mounted 5 3/4” above the previous slide. That’s if you’re using a standard BLUM style slide as slhown in Charlies’s pic.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

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deadherring

35 posts in 1110 days


#11 posted 11-25-2013 09:29 PM

@Taybulsawz: Great point, thanks. Definitely would have been frustrating when I finished everything and couldnt get a drawer out.

Just to clarify: If your drawer height is 5” the drawer above it should be mounted 5 3/4” above the previous slide.

I think this means to leave 3/4” between the top of one drawer and the bottom of another? (the drawer frame, not the drawer front, right?)

Thanks.

View brtech's profile

brtech

906 posts in 2389 days


#12 posted 11-25-2013 10:38 PM

That’s assuming the BLUM style shown, right? If you use the full extension slide (Accuride or equivalent), they slide straight in and out. Still need spacing, but not so much. Maybe 1/2” or even less.

Of course the drawer front is normally bigger than the drawer box front, and there isn’t a whole lot of downside to making the sides a bit smaller to get more spacing.

View TaybulSawz's profile

TaybulSawz

149 posts in 1149 days


#13 posted 11-26-2013 01:00 AM

Yes You understand correctly what I was meaning. The Drawer box not the final Drawer Front.

-- Still got all my Fingers!!!

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