Ayup, both top and bottom, and the wider drawers came with a central
slider on the bottom. There's a strut on the bottom of the drawer
which slides on it.
The problem with borrowing money from China is
that thirty minutes later, you feel broke again.
--Steve Bridges as Obama
That they had that structure from the original construction of the cabinets.
What they didn't have was anyplace to install slides... For either side
mount or under mount I'd have had to build new internal structure in the
carcasses--a pain in itself--and I'd have lost storage capacity. Making new
drawers that fit properly was far easier and actually gained me a little
capacity as the originals were a little too small for the opening.
That's 'cuz they sit in the corner of the frame opening and the distance
thereto is therefore fixed. If I were to use one for these very small
spaces, I'd likely make the bottom match the distance then essentially
take the rabbet idea previously mentioned and extend it the full
interior drawer depth to keep the outer dimension tolerances but still
have the thinner drawer side visible. Building it that way would
probably entail a glue joint of the two thickness pieces, then cut to
final width. _I_ really do not like the visual thickness whatever the
current housewife thinks! :)
For them back to the depth, I just looking at the datasheet--there's
1/2" min under bottom to drawer side bottom and 9/16 more to the rail
clearance. So there's 17/16" plus bottom thickness out of the opening.
The drawers here have 3/8" to drawer side + 1/8" above rail clearance a
net gain of 14/16" for same bottom thickness.
Now, granted, there's no self-closing feature and the centermount KV
isn't nearly what the MuV is in capacity but it works better in the
constrained spaces here...
_IF_ (the proverbial big if) I were in the business of satisfying
somebody else and selling in today's market, that would be an entirely
different animal...fortunately, I've been able to get out of that
environment for 10+ yr now...it's only Mom Nature and drought, plague,
input costs and farm program uncertainties that control now! :)
In practice it actually comes out to 13/16" out of the cabinet opening
for the max drawer height that can be used for the slides I mentioned
... use that figure for them and you can take it to the bank that your
drawer height will fit nicely with sufficient clearance ... see above,
taken from the data sheet parameters for those slides, and used to
actually build five or six dozen drawers for the slides that were
mentioned, not just talk about them. :)
Being a contractor you'll knock heads here on a few things. Being a
good contractor you give your clients choices. Some are doing a quick
turn, some are building a dream house, and some are on a strict
budget. Before I got hurt I was an electrical contractor and found
the best way to bid was to present the options as it sounds like you
do. That way at least if they went for the lowest price you might get
a chance to educate them. If they were't interested in discussion
they might not be a good customer. Every remodel brings problems.
Sounds like you do an excellent job of showing the customer their
That's another thing that will surprise many folks about the modern
kitchen user, it did me at one point.
I've designed and built quite a few custom kitchens in the past 12 years
and, in doing so, one thing is notable ... when you sit down with
someone to discuss all the details of a custom kitchen _design_ , you do
so with the goal of finding out what is important to them, as
individuals ... and things are seldom what you would expect.
Drawer _height_ is a perfect example.
I can't recall one client in ten years who has asked for taller drawers.
Almost without exception, modern kitchen users seem to prefer a
shallower drawer than the actualy cabinet opening will accommodate.
Deeper drawers hold more stuff, but in layers, and the modern kitchen
user will quickly tell you they would rather have more drawers, than
taller drawers, and without having to dig through layers of "stuff".
In short, drawer side height is not as big a concern when designing a
kitchen as it once was, and you rarely have to design to maximize for
the cabinet opening as you once did.
And that's a relief, since, as a rule, undermount slides require 1/2"
clearance at the bottom to operate, you can actually use thicker drawer
bottoms without fear of taking up too much drawer interior real estate.
Thicker bottoms make for a stronger drawer, and one that sounds so much
more "expensive" when the lady of the house first opens one ... I've
seen them stand there and open and close every drawer in a new kitchen
for thirty minutes, with a smile on their face. :)
The loss comes in trying to get in more shallower in the same space as
fewer taller. In the layout I described earlier, there's one reasonably
deep one at the bottom that works well for dishtowels, etc., and two of
appropriate size above for utensils, etc.
If I were to do this one over again from scratch (I did the roughin
cabinetry for folks in the early/mid-80s when they redid the old house)
I'd likely do as the other poster above mentioned--just fit cabinet
drawers instead. It would be a pita now to add the internal casework to
set 'em on, but it could be done....I might give a rethink at least a
little before I do any more of the swap out of the worn out roller ones
And that brings up a point with regard to material thickness and the use of
modern metal drawer slides, which most likely points to a key, subliminal
reason why professional designers go for the thicker materials in modern
Besides "fit and finish", and "look and feel", the sense/aspect that ties
both these together, as well as the overall perception of a magnificent
job, is often unspoken and not consciously realized in the mind of the user
... the sound the components make in operation/use.
Thinner materials in drawers, in combination with modern metal drawer
slides, often leave a vague, unsatisfying impression of cheapness in the
mind of the user by the sound made when operating ... and I would imagine
painfully so by those well schooled in traditional woodworking methods,
like John G.
Many of us have experienced that cheap, hollow sound of a thin plywood
bathroom vanity drawer, with 1/4" plywood bottoms, and .99 cent side
mounted slides in homes with "builder grade" cabinets ... open a drawer in
an upstairs bath at the other end of the house and you can hear it on the
patio out back :)
A well made, "traditionally fitted" drawer, regardless of material
thickness, and sliding on wood, won't normally leave you with that
So, for those of us who must use modern methods and materials to make a
living, a drawer made with thicker material, say 3/4 sides and 1/2" bottom,
being heavier, and even when using less than top quality metal slides, will
give a decided impression of quality simply through the sound made during
operation because of its increased mass, something that is not often
experienced with the lighter drawers made from thinner materials
Scoff at the above thought at your peril ... It is the sum of the little
things like that that add up to you getting the big bucks, as well as the
satisfaction, for your hard work. :)
Don't (and didn't) "scoff" at the problem of inexpensive slides and
_excessively_ cheap construction...the quality of the slide is probably
95+% of the problem in a well-built drawer not feeling solid; in much of
the home box-store entry-level cabinets the stapled hardboard boxes
themselves are just flimsy as well.
But, one can certainly take a box w/ hardwood sides and thinner profile
and have it perform as nicely as needed--but it may well be that indeed
to do so in scale and have a reasonable return essentially mandates the
common form. Certainly today's glides are designed for it--one has to
go to some lengths to work them into anything else and that, of course,
is time which is the bane of production anything...
I'm certainly glad I'm in position to not have to be in production any
longer--I'm too crotchety in my old age to do anything any way but how
_I_ want it.. :)
I've spent most of last couple days repairing a very old chest that's
stood in the basement for work gloves, etc., and a place to pile hats,
etc., for as long as I can remember and the piece goes back to the '20s
It was initially a very nice factory-built piece of oak but the drawer
sides and bottoms were red gum. It's a short piece so only two
uppers/one lower; top about 5", bottom 7 or thereabouts deep. Three
drawer sides had split/broken at the kerf for their bottoms and somebody
(I presume Dad but it may have gone back to grandfather) had just tacked
them up and gone on. I opened it the other morning to rifle thru for
pair of heavier insulated gloves and the bottom of the top drawer fell
completely out so that was impetus to fix the whole thing. Glue had
pretty much failed in all joints so could knock the sides off the fronts
(machine-cut dovetails w/ the rounded-over tails) so just trimmed off
the bottom just below the last tail above the drawer kerfs on the bad
sides and glued on a new piece of same thickness. Then, recut dadoes
and the missing pin to match and made a new bottom for the lower drawer
that had warped and cracked -- one of signs of the age of the piece; the
drawers were 1/4" solid pieces of 14" in width--not ply.
Now that the drawers all fit and work again, Lynda thinks she wants it
refinished and move it upstairs... :)
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