Im going to build a desk / hutch for my son. Ive always avoided
building anything with drawers because I have no idea exactly how
theyre made. I know how to make the drawer itself, but have no idea
howto figure out what size to make the drawer for the hole its going
to be sliding into. I mean Ive made plenty of end tables and
different type cabinets with doors and shelves inside, but I dont know
how to configure the cabinet when there are going to be drawers
instead of shelves inside. How do the drawer slides attach? How do I
know how much clearance I need for the drawer? How do you measure ho
big the drawer itself need to be to fit exactly onto the slides?
Will this work?
1. Make a carcus (there will be a face frame)
2. Glue a runner inside the carcus which the slide will attach to, so
that the slide will be flush with the face frame (not hit the face
frame when it tries to slide out)
3. Then measure the width between the slides to determine how wide
the drawer need to be? Even then, could I slide the 2 pieces of the
slides together (before the one piece it screwed to the drawer) and
measure the required drawer width?
4. This still doesnt account for how tall the drawer needs to be. Is
there an easier way?
I guess I could stick to a door and shelves.
Most drawer slides need 1/2 inch per side, so subtract 1 inch from the width
of the drawer opening. This will be the width of the drawer. The slides are
attached with screws supplied with the slides. When you buy your slides
instructions are supplied as to the needed space for the slides.
You do realize that you don't have to _buy_ drawer slides? Properly made
wooden drawers work well, look better in most cases, are often easier to
fabricate, and there are a number of ways to do them, including many that
use scraps from the project at no added cost.
Take a look at a couple of ways that might give you some ideas on the
website below ... page 3 and scroll down about half way.
There are plenty of folks here who can give you tips on wood drawers and
Second the motion!
IMNSHO, drawer slides are a sign of cheapand inferior construction. Not
to mention the wasted space.
I've got two cabinets in my workshop with 12 drawers each, a workbench
for my model railroad with 10 drawers, a desk with 6, and several
smaller projectsd with one or two. Not a drawer runner in sight.
For your first drawers, I would keep it simple:
1.Build the desk with faceframes as usual.
2. Get the slides - I like full extension side mount
slides - specify that you want face frame slides
and get the brackets that attach them to the back of
your cabinet. The brackets have about 2 inches of
adjustment (so if your inside cabinet is, say, 23 inches,
get a 22 inch slide.
3. Build the drawer. Ususally slides have 1/2" thickness,
so make the drawer 1 inch less in width than the openings.
Be sure to measure each opening since there may be slight
differences. Don't obsess about this - you can always
sand/plane a little off the sides or even use shims if they
are not perfect.
4. If your drawers are "overlay" (what I would recommend for your
first time), get everything adjusted so that the drawers are
working well, then center all the fronts on the desk. For example,
you could use double stick tape to adhere them, then slide the
drawer out and screw the front to the box from inside.
5. I like to do the drawers before I attach the top (of the desk in this
case) since you can work with the hardware brackets and drawer
fronts more conveniently.
Decide what kind of slide are your going to use. For starters, I'd recommend
something like Knapt and Voight 1284's.
They're only 3/4, and bottom mounted - but they're *easy* to install.
You'd size the opening 1" wider (1/2" on each side) than the drawer width
and 1 1/4" taller than drawer height.
Note that this approach will look best if you attach a drawer front.
Other slides need other dimensions.
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