I'm completing two kitchen flatware/utensil drawers for a built-in cabinet using Blumotion Tandem slides #563H, 21".
The drawers are 5/8" maple, 3/8" bottoms, with hand cut dovetails and a couple coats of Zinsser Sealcoat. They're ready for General Finishes High Performance Top Coat, Flat, to be sprayed.
Making the drawers was epic (as is this kitchen renovation they'll join)... it's been years
since I've hand cut DTs (and then only just a very few
) and my first time using Blum drawer slides ... whose measurements were more anal and convoluted than anything in memory for a drawer. Add that to the layout for the DTs and all the hand work and it's hard to imagine the work (errors, and hand wringing) that went into two modest looking drawers. Btw if you carefully look at the nearest drawer corner in the first photo, you'll note that the first full dovetail pin from the bottom is narrower than the rest. I originally planned on making pins thinner then I'd ever made before (combined with wider
half pins) but too late and at the moment of truth I discovered to my chagrin that my 1/4" chisel was much too big to chop out the waste of such narrow pins without resorting to convoluted chisel acrobatics. So lacking either a 1/8" chisel or a grinder to reshape my extra 1/4" chisel - and being time pressured in a manner rarely recalled in recent memory - that put the kibosh on the narrow pin plan and replaced it with a to my eyes slightly less elegant 1/4" pin size. That's the rear of the drawer so will never be seen by anyone besides you or I.
Being a rookie with Blum slides I'm not sure what the real world allowances for tolerances are and where they can be fudged. Unbelievably, after the DT layout and assembly everything came out to a Blum pleasing 64" of an inch. Don't ask me to repeat it. It was a trial by fire and along with consecutive projects represents an improvement in my nascant hand tool skills. The only measurement that's a little off is the depth of the base under the drawer bottom, which is a required 1/2" according to Blum. My drawers have a little extra space at approx 35/64" - 9/16" (approx. 3/64" - 1/16" too deep) a matter solely between my ersatz router table (so called) and Lee Valley's drawer slotting bit and a (perhaps poor) judgement call to trim to fit later. The drawers look eminently presentable though in truth they contain enough errors to make my skin dance and required concerted corrective measures directed by the great Tage Frid overlord with additional all purpose muse juice provided by Charles H. Hayward.
And now my question:
Should I plane the side bottoms to exactly 1/2" (or alternatively add shims to the drawer bottoms) before I shoot the top coats? Will the increased dimension interfere with the slide functioning?
Worth mentioning are the half pins at the bottom rear of the drawers, bordered by the notched cutouts. When laying out the drawers I realized those half pins would end up orphaned ... and read online concerns of others using DTs on Blum drawers. Is it good idea to drill and insert a 1/4" (or narrower) diameter dowel up through the orphaned half pins to secure them?
Also as regards installation:
The cabinets are built-in and as such they contain no backs, wherefore the wall functions as the back. I've attached a plywood cleat to the wall (old plaster and lathe) and was intending to utilize the Blum metal rear mount brackets screwed to the cleat and screw the front of the slide to the cabinet's face frame. My efforts in exegesis of Blum's obsessive, excessive, and uninterpreted instructions suggests that mounting the slide in this manner allows some modest degree of side-to-side play to permit the slides to self-align themselves. Opposing scholarly commentaries in exegesis of the Blum texts suggest that rear mounted brackets should be shunned, scorned, and in truer form replaced by the introduction of side blocking inside the case flush with the inside edge of the face frame, for a more secure mount. [My case sides are stepped on their interior surface due to my increasing the depth of the cabinets - by extending the 100 year old sides with plywood - thus necessarily complicating the use of side blocking. Further, I doubt the case sides are exactly 90 degrees to either the face frame or wall as everything in this kitchen is old and crooked. Stepped and tapered side blocks anyone?] Rear brackets seem an easier solution.
Oh. I forgot.
This is part of an epic grovel through hell.
I took a break ...which unexpectedly lasted two years (didn't really have opportunity to make more of a mess or use machines). I had a chance ... and the drive ... to resume so I've been getting the drawers and countertops done ... and if I can manage it, get at least some of the cabinet doors completed.
Anyone with deep experience regarding cabinet doors, fittings, adjustments, countertops installation, and especially sourcing matching hinges (in both dimension and hole pattern - which has been a complete dead no matter where I've looked, and I've looked long and hard) keep an eye open as I may need to draw on your expertise.