Having been trying to learn something, I've observed that Swingman's
models for cabinetmaking feature more fine-woodworking integrity than
comparable projects in magazines, where projects may be "dumbed-down"
for the sake of creating entertaining media, perhaps. I hope you keep
preachin' Swingman (and others)!
Thanks for the kind words, Bill. Granted, some jobs require a measure of
uncompromising assholery to get things done, mainly because you're
dealing with other peoples money and dreams and, for whatever reasons,
they've already realized they can't get the job done themselves ... and
most would agree some of us are well suited to that task, and that that
attitude tends to spill over to other areas.
That said, and when someone asks a question, and I feel like I can give
a reply based on relevant experience, I will ... and at the same I will
also endeavor to _show_, using whatever technology at hand, why I feel
my reply may address the question/concern.
I'm well aware that that rubs some folks here the wrong way, probably
because their own insecurity makes them feel it's akin to "tootin' your
own horn". Fuck'em.
I will continue to "preach", as you say ... and couldn't give a rat's
ass less about them, or what they feel or think ... there's always the
killfile to allow them to feel better about themselves if that's what it
On Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:53:16 -0600, Swingman wrote:
You heard my excuse - what's yours?
There's nothing wrong with suggesting commercial solutions in this group
- we all learn that way. But turning up your nose at fitted drawers is
just reverse snobbery.
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and
carrying a cross.
Instead of getting all disingenuous and defensive about your already
self admitted "snippy" behavior, how about simply answering the question
you got all "snippy" about regarding drawers intended for a kitchen:
On 1/18/2013 1:49 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:
> On Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:17:15 -0600, Swingman wrote:
>> I meant to add that you will certainly want to consider,
>> before you make a decision about your drawer side thickness,
>> the type of drawer slides you will be using.
> Unless the drawers are to handle heavy loads, I see no need for any
> drawer slides at all. A traditionally fitted drawer is much better.
Better for what?
local Menards. Drawer size is approximately 18" square.
I personally prefer the thinner drawer sides aesthetically plus if one
is using a side-mount slide one loses an inch of opening for the typical
and 3/4" stock costs another 1-1/2" -- that's a lot of space to give up
unless there's just unlimited room available.
I generally use either oak or soft maple to be stiff/strong enough and
go no more than 1/2"--often even 3/8" for smaller drawers. Even a deep
file drawer in oak is plenty stout enough w/ 1/2".
I also will round over the tops--I don't like the square edges.
Hadn't thought of the wide rabbet for the tray--that does handle the
visual problem nicely but not the total width loss. If I'm going to do
that I'll make a dado and inset a ledger strip and keep the same total
Thank for your earlier post about using whatever stock "fits",
What are your thoughts on bottom vs. side-mount slides, in general?
At the risk of hijacking this thread, do you have a source that you
like for slides? I'll only need 5 sets for my kitchen.
Check out KV's MuV (Knape & Vogt) premium undermount drawer slides.
Very nice slide, smooth as silk action, and I've found they perform
equally with any of Blum's comparable slides at a better price, and they
are easier to install.
I've used the MuV's in three full blown kitchens and one remodel now,
and I like them better then my old favorites that I used for years,
Hettich slides ... the MuV's are much less fussy to install, and a good
bit more forgiving with regard to fit.
The Hettich's are excellent slides, but are bears for requiring an
absolute perfect fit.
Check your math. That "costs another 1 1/2" above is only operative if
you're using no drawer sides at all. ;)
With today's undermount drawer slides it's even less. You rarely see a
modern kitchen with sidemount drawer slides these days, particularly with
the dovetail drawers that many around here are going to shoot for.
Yes, obviously that's the total out of the drawer opening, not the
difference. That's still quite a lot to sacrifice in smaller kitches.
Still a half-inch in a 12 inch drawer is noticeable and when added up
over more than one...
The tradeoff there is the depth, though. There's no free lunch... :)
I replaced a set of the old single undermount roller w/ the front side
rollers w/ a centermount slide type that is also able to fit in the 3/8"
bottom lip thickness as a trial here. It's pretty good excepting for
the 3/4 length pullout. I'm looking at the possibility of using an
overlong slide for the drawer to get extra extension but haven't gotten
around to actually doing it.
I've not done a new kitchen in over 20 yr where the sizes are so huge
any more--even in the old houses in Lynchburg often kitchens were very
small comparatively (many of them actually had the "real" kitchen in the
basement or an outbuilding for the staff rather than being in the house
as a full-fledged kitchen as we know it today so they had to be
scavenged room taken from other adjoining areas which generally meant
they were also small. The kitchen in the old farm house here which was
an add-on in the 20s to the house built in the early/mid-teens has only
about six feet of _total_ counter length and that includes that 4-ft of
it is around a 90 that has a lazy susan in it for storage. There si
space for only three drawers along the counter top row so even a half
inch is a loss.
:) Well, that's what you would think ... but, that is not necessarily
the case when it comes to modern drawer slides, as non-intuitive as it
With the undermounts I've been using lately (KV MuV), you actually
deduct less from the width of cabinet opening, _the thicker the side
IOW, you actually make your drawers wider with thicker material. Here is
chart from the manufacturer that I use in my spreadsheets for
dimensioning drawer widths for the kitchens we've been building lately:
5/8" (16mm) 3/8" (10mm)
9/16" (14mm) 9/16" (14mm)
1/2" (13mm) 5/8" (16mm)
Max Drawer Height = Opening Minus 13/16" (20mm)
Note that that's total, NOT per side, and it illustrates that things are
no longer as they used to be with modern slides (IOW, no longer the
blanket 1" as with the sidemount you mentioned).
In effect, that means you can make your drawers wider and gain/offset
interior width with thicker drawer sides than previously possible with
the older style slides.
And, as you said yourself: "when added up over more than one..." :)
I replaced the drawers in my vintage built-in kitchen cabinets with solid
wood drawers that I put together with hand cut dovetails. I didn't use
drawer slides... rather I fit them to the casework like I would drawers in a
fine piece of furniture. It is the same approach Frank Klauz presents on his
Because each drawer was built to properly fit the opening they slide in and
out just fine on a coat of paste wax. Old school perhaps but they work with
the kitchen and they function well. Also, to use slides I would have had to
build structure in the cabinet to which slides could be mounted--that would
have been an annoying venture.
I bet they are beautiful and work wonderfully as you described.
Rest assured I certainly appreciate what you accomplished and I can, and
will do exactly that for a client, if that is really what they want ...
for that is name of the game, and the keys to the kingdom.
Reality however, is that most will head to Ikea quicker than you can
drop you're hat when they find out they won't get their self closing
drawers, soft close pullout pantries, toekick drawers, custom pot
pullouts, lazy Susan corner cabinet inserts, and drawer dishwasher
... that is, if they don't choke on today's labor costs of your above
All that notwithstanding, my hat's off to you. Got some photos? ... I
would genuinely love to see it. :)
No photos at this point... the kitchen is still in process in that I've been
stripping the frames and cabinet fronts so I can repaint the whole thing.
Some minor repairs have been made to the frames and I also made a couple new
cabinet doors. Quite frankly, it is in a state that it looks like Hell! LOL
As my "whole house" renovation progresses the kitchen will be ripped out and
reoriented. It will take me at least another 3-4-5 years to get to that
point and I couldn't bear to live with the poorly functioning and damaged
things that were there.
I understand the labor cost thing. I'm proficient at cutting the dovetails
by hand and in fact do not own any kind of router jig to do so. If I were
making a living at this and had 10, 20 or more drawers to do it would likely
be a different story. In my case the materials used were all left overs
from other projects so the drawers cost me next to nothing in terms of
I must say that the new drawers fit much better than the originals. The
originals were undersized and would rack and droop so they did not slide
smoothly. For a few hours work with left over materials it was one of those
"good deal" projects.
On Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:13:33 -0500, "John Grossbohlin"
Bravo! I had the pleasure and honor of attending some of Frank's
seminars and to work with (for) him at a WW show years back. Great
guy. Best dovies in the world, too.
Mine are cheaper plywood drawers, but they're on wax, too. With he
exception of the tool drawer, they all slide easily when waxed a
couple/three times a year. I make sure to -declutter- them on those
days, so it's really A Good Thing(tm).
That would have been a PITA.
The problem with borrowing money from China is
that thirty minutes later, you feel broke again.
--Steve Bridges as Obama
I met Frank a while back too. A show somewhere in PA as I recall. He was
messing around with a European combination machine.
A couple years ago I gave lectures at the Northeastern Woodworkers
Associations show in Saratoga Springs, NY where I cut dovetails much like
Frank does... but I used all the "wrong" tools. I used a 12 pt. 22" cross
cut panel saw, a marking gauge, pencil, 1/2" Marples carpenter's chisel, and
a hammer. No dovetail saw, no bevel gauge, no ruler, no mallet...
The whole focus was on process and how to visually tell if you were cutting
straight, which side of the line was waste, etc. Quite frankly I thought I
lost the attendees as I was going through it in real time... the room got
really quiet. I was relieved when I put the joint together as it went
together with no messing around and no gaps... the group broke out in
applause as they could see on the monitor, when the camera zoomed in tight
on the joint, that it was a nice clean fit. I joked around a bit about how
you don’t need mirrors, a million lines, landing lights off a 747, variable
pitch dovetail saws, layout gizmos or things to hold the saw... keep a few
basic things in mind and it works.
Speaking of the NWA Showcase, it's coming up on March 23-24. This year it
was requested that I talk about woodworking with youth. This as my sons have
been regular winners at the show since they were about 6 and 8 years of age.
Doug Stowe and I are pretty much on the same page in regards to this and I
ran a few things by him for his opinion. He has met my sons and over the
years posted photos of them at work on his blog "Wisdom of the Hands." After
that exchange I agreed to do the program.
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