drawers


I have a silly question after partially constructing a cabinet. How to figure out the size of the drawer openings and size of the drawers(that would include slide extensions) the cabinet is made of 3/4 birch ply and will sit on the floor.
Len
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For all the slides I've used you add 1/2 to 9/16 to either side. What I like to do is split the difference and make the drawer 1-1/16 narrower than the opening. Make it too wide and you have to plane the drawer down. Since I use prefinished ply, I don't want to take a sander to it. It's ply, so I wouldn't plane it. A bit too narrow and you can easily shim the slide.
Dave
leonard wrote:

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Is this a trick question? You make them whatever size you want. Perhaps you could be more specific. What kind of drawer front, etc.
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false fronts.I have made cabinets before but with doors not drawers.
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Are you talking width, height, or both?
Slides take 1/2" per side. You don't want more than 1/16" oversize on that. Too tight and they won't fit, too loose and they will not seat properly, then you have to shim. Make the cabinet first, then make the drawers to fit. The instructions will tell you the spacings also.
As for height, divide the opening by the number of drawers and allow about 1/8" between. It gets a little tricky if you are making different sized drawers. In that case, I'd make the deeper bottom ones first.
As for the slides, the full extension ones are just a buck or two more than the shorter ones. Worth the extra money, IMO, to get the full extension.
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The maximum depth of the drawers is likely defined, if you've completed the carcase (cabinet). Most slides usually require a 1/2" on each side - so your drawer width is probably a given now too.
That leaves the height and spacing between the drawers. Aesthics drives this one. Will they all be symmetrical? If not, then you can research some designs on progressive door heights. It can be an arithmetic or geometric progression. Fibonnaci, etc.
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"leonard" wrote in message

To answer to your question properly, you must first decide upon the type of drawer slides you will use prior to building the drawers.
Basically, you design the drawer opening dimensions when you design the cabinet, then determine the drawer width based on that drawer opening AND the manufacturer's technical specs for the drawer slides you will use.
As an example, on most Euro side mount drawer slides of the Accuride and Blum variety you generally make your drawer 1" narrower than the drawer opening. For undermount slides read the package and see whether they are mounted flush to the drawer sides, if so, you may have to take the precise thickness of the drawer side material into account when figuring the drawer's final width.
In short, most drawer slide manufactures have a technical sheet in the package that will tell you how to dimension the drawer with their product. In some cases, like a few of the more expensive hidden, undermount drawer slides (Hittech comes to mind), the thickness of the drawer side, front and back material is an important factor in dimensioning the drawer width and depth.
Also beware of drawer _height_ for both undermount slides, and for those drawer slides where the drawer must be tipped to mount it on the installed slides, or you might have a clearance issue with the top of the drawer opening, a common rookie mistake.
Then there are wooden drawer slides that have been around for a few hundred, if not thousand, years. For a few ideas in that regard, see Page 3 of the Project Journal on my website below ...scroll down to the "A&C style end table" for a blow-by-blow with pictures on one method, of many.
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and
I think that's the precise answer the OP needed. I can underscore the attention to thickness. I recently re-mounted a large drawer in a very old maple workbench I just purchased. The drawer sides were 13/16" solid maple! I had to use the router to cut grooves on either side to accomodate the drawer slides, since I had not choice about changing the existing dimensions.
Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net says...

You'll get a lot of different opinions, but I install the slides first and then measure between them to get the drawer width.
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BNSF = Build Now, Seep Forever

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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 23:42:58 -0400, "leonard"

Make the carcass first. Be extra fussy about getting everything absolutely square--if not your drawers won't fit properly or might bind. Buy the extension hardware before you build the drawers. They should come with instructions about the clearance requirements and tolerances.
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I'm currently adding drawers to a few kitchen cabinets. Ash sides with Maple 5/8ths Ply for bottoms on "heavy item drawer" and 3/8th's on light duty ones. As long as the cabinet is square, you then use the specs from the door slides and add both slides widths and subtract from the width of the ID of the cabinet. The most important thing is that everything is square, otherwise you'll be playing for days getting the drawers to work seamlessly. Don't think that later you can shim or scrape so accuracy can be a "little" off. You'll pull your hair out trying to figure which side is off in/out, left/right, front/back

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Of course, the OP could always make drawers without slides. You know, those Neanderthal things :-). I only use slides for drawers that are going to hold a great deal of weight or those I want to pull out all the way.
I really like a Neanderthal drawer where the air pressure from pushing it in opens another drawer. I've managed to do that a couple of times and it always brings a big grin to my face :-).
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