Check my math, give me some opinions. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-03-2012, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Question Check my math, give me some opinions.

Working on some built-ins - we're still in the planning phase b/c I'm helping someone build and not just doing it myself.

The built-in is a desk (12 1/2 feet long) with two stations - there will be two filing cabinets and two "PC" boxes on each end and a lateral file in the middle to separate the stations.

Here come the details:
- The desk height will be 31" from floor to writing surface
- as of now, the writing surface will be 3/4" veneer plywood with a 1 1/2" edge band on the front
- NO toe kick, face frame will go to the floor (the cabinets will be 1/4" undersized on height to allow for shims)
- The cabinets will be built on the floor and laminate will be installed around them
- there will be two filing cabinet drawers on each filing cabinet, except the lateral file which will have one drawer on the bottom, two smaller drawers on the top and an open cubby
- 3/4" quarter round will be installed once the flooring has been installed

My sticking points are (I've never built face frame all the way to the floor) and with two drawer filing cabinets, 1/2" overlay, 1/2" reveal, 31" desk height, 3/4" quarter round, 11.5" tall drawer faces...the numbers seem really tight..I want to make sure the aesthetics are there w/o having to re-do everything.

Still reading? Thanks!

From the top down:
3" top rail
1 1/2" reveal between edge banding and first drawer face
1 1/2" middle rail
1 1/2" total reveal between first and second drawer
3 1/2" bottom rail
2" reveal between bottom drawer and quarter round - heavier reveal to help visually anchor to the floor

End stiles would be 2" on the wall contact end, 3" on the middle (between the filing cabinet and the PC box) and 1 1/2" on the knee side. 1/2" overlay all the way around. Something about these #'s doesn't s feel right.

Tell me what I'm missing, what I assumed you already knew and what I'm about to screw up and have to re-cut..then pat yourself on the back for reading all my ramblings without falling asleep. :)

-Al
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-04-2012, 12:45 AM
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I would make some of your rail sizes smaller. Your top is only going to come down over the faceframe 3/4" so with a 2" wide rail you will have 1 1/4 of faceframe showing. To make wide rails you are just throwing away drawer space. The center rail could also be made 2" wide. Unless the house is old with foundation problems I wouldn't bother allowing for 1/4" shims. You shouldn't have to level a desk like you would kitchen cabinets.

I'm having a little trouble with your specifications on the face frame. I'm working with a figure of 30 1/4" for the total height of the cabinet without the top. Subtract 3/4" for the drop edge of the top and you have 29 1/2". If you are using 3/4" quarter round this drops the space to 28 3/4". Subtract 2" for the space at the bottom and 3" space for the two 1 1/2" reveals and you have 23 3/4". Divide that by two and you have 11 7/8" for drawer fronts. This is a little tight for file drawers but doable. It leaves 10 7/8" for the drawer opening and a manila file folder is 9 1/2". The actual size of the top rail would be 2 3/4". The center rail would be 2 1/2". The bottom rail would be 3 1/4".
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-04-2012, 09:35 PM
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You are the one who has to be satisfied with the look. I am not going to scale out your plan and look at it and give an opinion. I am not being mean, I just don't want to go through all that work. You do. Go to Google Sketch up, down load it for free, look at the turtorials to get familiar, then click on the scale you want to use, in this case it will be cabinetmaking-in inches, and open a window, and start scaling out your idea.

My main comment on your measurements is that you are wasting a lot of space between the top and the drawers, between the drawers, and at the bottom. You could lower the top to 30" or even 29", which is a more comfortable working height unless you are 6'-8" tall. A small distance, like 1/2" is enough between the top and first drawer, and between the drawers. At the bottom give enough room for 1/2" and the molding at the floor. The sides could be whatever you like. Form and function go hand in hand, but don't sacrifice space unless you have plenty to spare.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-04-2012, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getndirty View Post
Tell me what I'm missing,

I use the free version of Google Sketchup
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNsawyergp View Post
You are the one who has to be satisfied with the look. I am not going to scale out your plan and look at it and give an opinion. I am not being mean, I just don't want to go through all that work. You do. Go to Google Sketch up, down load it for free, look at the turtorials to get familiar, then click on the scale you want to use, in this case it will be cabinetmaking-in inches, and open a window, and start scaling out your idea.

My main comment on your measurements is that you are wasting a lot of space between the top and the drawers, between the drawers, and at the bottom. You could lower the top to 30" or even 29", which is a more comfortable working height unless you are 6'-8" tall. A small distance, like 1/2" is enough between the top and first drawer, and between the drawers. At the bottom give enough room for 1/2" and the molding at the floor. The sides could be whatever you like. Form and function go hand in hand, but don't sacrifice space unless you have plenty to spare.
Thanks - I wasn't looking for you to go to that much trouble. I'm a complete idiot w/ Sketchup, so I just drag out pencil and paper - and I didn't take your comment as mean - just matter of fact.

Your second paragraph was really what I was looking for - guidance from someone w/ more exposure and experience to what I'm about to do. I'll also go re-measure everything, but we pulled that 31" height off a desk they're currently using with a keyboard tray underneath..it sounded a tiny bit tall to me as well.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Steve - thanks to you as well. Both of ya'll are indicating that my sizes are off..so I'll go back to the drawing board.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 11:05 PM
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Here is another tip. It sounds like amateur hour but is something that pro's often use. They will lay the entire section out on a piece of 1x2 wood, heights and everything. It's called a story pole. When you draw something out on paper and use a calculator it's real easy to hit the wrong button and come up with an incorrect figure. When you lay out every stile and rail full scale on a story pole it is a lot easier to see any mistakes you might make and correct them before any cutting is done.

I also thought 31" was too tall for a desk but I have had customers order them taller. In 2009 I built a kitchen for someone with the counter top height 40".
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