Making (sewing notions) drawers with clear plastic faces

If I were to make a huge cabinet to store all of the sewing motions kicking around the house, and I would want to use clear plastic drawer fronts, what would be the correct way to mount these flat clear plastic faces to be the front of the drawers. I would most likely be cutting the plastic, and drilling the holes from a big sheet, though you can order both done when buying. I have learned how to use a cloth wheel to round the edges of plastic, the coloured kind anyways: don't know if the clear plastic I am thinking of is any different from what I used to make Pacman keychains. Everything else would be plywood, possibly painted. The drawers could range in size from anywhere from say 1-1/2" High to 8"High, say, and the width could be 48"-58", possibly 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 or full width including a max 48" x 8".
I may be able to make some drawers flip down to expose threads positioned on pins by colour. Probably take a 1-1/2" x 58" x full depth (maybe ~20" drawer.
Any ideas or have you seen anything like this.
I've got a space 58"W x 7-8' high, and full depth, and I mean its kickin.
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I think I would make a wood "picture frame" with a plastic or glass window in it for the drawer face.
The only ways I see to make the face completely of plastic require either making the entire drawer of plastic bonded together with methyl chloride or making the faces of heavy plastic (1/4" or more) screwed to the drawer carcass sides and bottom. ___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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There's more than one "correct" way. If I was doing something like this, I believe I'd just cut a saw-kerf wide dado about a 1/4" from the front edge ot the sides & bottom of each drawer, and drop in an appropriately sized piece of plexiglass. Size the plex so that there is enough room to hook a fingertip over the top edge to pull the drawer open.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 18:19:12 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net () wrote:

In that case I think you'd need to make the drawer bottom thicker than normal and perhaps dovetail it to the sides or another strong connection. I think I would just screw the front to the sides and bottom, with a piece of wood glued to the underside of the bottom to give enough thickness to screw into.
-Leuf
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I definetely have some ideas I didn't used to, but I think I am still missing the boat. For instance if I could dado or even rabett in rthe front edge, what kind of example would that be? Wouldn't that mean I'd have to make the sides/back/bottom one piece? Otherwise wouldn't the bottom and front being held by the sides/back? Is that ok? I am thinking engineer-wise. If I just drilled it on the front to hold it, I don't know, it would just be kinda hanging there, no rigiditity. I can't really plan on strips on the top and bottom if I don't know what I'm trying to achieve. I am just against doing anything, and just doing something is a little ridiculous.
Right now, I am stuck in the thinking that I NEED to support the bottom as much by the front as by the sides/back.
the plastic must replace a wood piece with serious rigidity.
Hmmm I wondr what would happen if I took off the front of a drawer (w/ a floating dado bottom), ansd replaced it with a screwed on piece of flimsy plastic?
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I like the idea of a face frame for a front, with a groove for the window, but it will not will suit when designing for having smaller drawer sizes.
i could use square dowels side to side on top and bottom, possibly w/ groove, or rabbett. I'm stuck here. Should it have a free floating bottom, or attached at all/any edges? Due to the quantity of drawers unknown I don't know whart to glide them on, and so, doubly not sure how (a potentially large) 3 sided box would perform with any contents
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i think its a short stretch to realise i could attach the plastic rigidly, having a four sided box, and do a semi- or full floating bottom
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bent wrote:

Good question, this; it stretches the imagination.
For a small drawer (less than 3"x5" front) a face frame won't work well; the wood wants to be several grain-spacings deep at all points, for strength. One could box-joint or dovetail a wood front with routed inset for the polymer at 3x5 or larger.
How about a thru-dovetailed front in plastic? You could drill/pin with a nail, or use suitable glue (dark adhesive caulk?). The dovetails would work OK with a bandsaw in polycarbonate plastic. You might be able to chisel it, even, with a hot-blade cutter (this is a common bit in soldering-gun kits).
Or for a small drawer, maybe bend the plastic to make front/bottom/back in one piece and glue wooden sides on? The full joint size would be large enough that glue strength isn't critical. Dipping the plastic in a kettle of boiling water will soften it in a few seconds, then clamp it to a form to cool. Remember that your form has to allow a radius for the bend! I've always liked being able to see through the bottom of a drawer full of parts.
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Sounds like a lot of unnecessary effort to me when something much more simple would suffice. Something as simple as two flathead screws fastening a plastic window directly to the front edges of the drawer sides. There's plenty of visually appealing screwhead types available that would make any project like this look good.
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