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post #1 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Cabinet dilemma

So I'm finally getting around to building one of my cabinets full of drawers for the shop. It'll be roughly 46" wide. I'm split on whether to make 2 banks of drawers, 20 something inches wide each or 1 bank all the way across.. 44 inches? With 2 banks the drawer bottoms are a no brainer, 1/4 plywood, but the wider drawers..I'm leaning towards 1/2 plywood for the support. I like wider drawers, but I can go either way. They're only going to be around 18" deep. I have a bunch of 1/2" sitting around. I may need another sheet, but it's not that big a deal..
Just for the sake of argument I have a boat load of 3/4" ply sitting around from other jobs so I could make 20 drawers if I needed it..

Something completely unrelated..5/8" seems to be popping up all over on this thing. The top is 1 5/8 thick and 47 5/8 long and several measurements from floor to the top to match up with my bench are turning out to be 5/8" increments . Absolutely none of this was planned. I had to shave just a tad too much planing and trimming the top (I used what I had available) turned out a bit short as well. Just kind of odd. While I'm thinking about it I might as well make the drawers 44 5/8 or 43 5/8 or whatever just for symmetry sake..Why not?
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Last edited by allpurpose; 08-08-2020 at 09:52 AM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 10:14 AM
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Make the smaller drawers....
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 10:35 AM
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I have both styles in my work bench.

One side of the bench has wide drawers about 48" wide, 6 inch tall and 20 deep

The other side I did 2 banks with taller drawers.

It really depends on what you want to store. The wide side I use for power tools. Bits and hardware. The other side I use for taller tools like circular saws and sanders.

I find the wide drawers very usefull.

I used 3/4 bottoms for both types of drawers. I think thats especially critical on the wider drawers.

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post #4 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'm leaning towards the wider drawers as well, but I don't have that many heavy power tools to store other than my circular saw and routers . Mostly it's smaller items, but almost all of them are steel and do tend to add up after awhile. I'm thinking 1/2" will be more than sufficient and I can still add a small brace beneath them if needed, but I doubt I will.
I've sworn to never run out to buy another outrageous and heavy to store tool if I don't absolutely need it. Amen.

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post #5 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 11:54 AM
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By power tools in the wide drawers, I meant small ones, like battery drills and such.


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post #6 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 01:44 PM
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I bought chests of drawers meant as furniture. Bottoms of drawers soon sagged.
Cured by putting a length of suitable timber underneath.
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 02:03 PM
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You may want to consider doing the narrow drawers for the top row or top 2 rows and the wide drawers below those. Depending on what you plan to store in them this gives you some flexibility in the future.
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 02:33 PM
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If you've a lot of 3/4" plywood available why not just use it for the bottoms......fully captured and no worries. With wide drawers the concern is racking when they are open.
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-08-2020, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
If you've a lot of 3/4" plywood available why not just use it for the bottoms......fully captured and no worries. With wide drawers the concern is racking when they are open.
Is racking much of a problem with roller bearing slides? I plan to use them all around..I've spent a lifetime yanking out wood slide drawers although the old woman has an antique chest (a huge beast BEAUTIFULLY built with curved face drawers that has never racked in the least...but I don't have that measure of skills).. Some schmoe went and covered it with black paint and the old woman won't let me refinish the darn thing..Another story. Maybe if I outlive her she'll let me. Then I'll lie and say I made it..I mean I refinished it.. Lol

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-09-2020, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allpurpose View Post
Is racking much of a problem with roller bearing slides? I plan to use them all around..I've spent a lifetime yanking out wood slide drawers although the old woman has an antique chest (a huge beast BEAUTIFULLY built with curved face drawers that has never racked in the least...but I don't have that measure of skills).. Some schmoe went and covered it with black paint and the old woman won't let me refinish the darn thing..Another story. Maybe if I outlive her she'll let me. Then I'll lie and say I made it..I mean I refinished it.. Lol
When the drawers are fully open side to side racking can occur.....the wider the drawers the greater the racking potential. Side mount ball bearing slides will be able to move side to side. The sturdier the drawers and the stronger the slides the less potential side to side (racking) movement.
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-09-2020, 10:44 AM
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Is this cabinet a two sided one?

Will you have access to both sides or will one side be the back and therefore much more resistant to racking? ....... The question has an answer here.

Another way is to put one wide drawer across the top, then a center divider under for support and pairs different width draws underneath. Different width and heights makes it possible to fit most anything you want in one of those drawers. Identical widths and heights means it won't fit in any if it won't fit in one .... just sayin'


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-09-2020, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well whaddaya know? I'm actually making progress with this organizationizing thingamajig stuff..Still have drawers to make and get the slides, but at least I'll have somewhere to start putting all my crap sooner or later!
Maybe it's the heat, maybe I'm just overly anxious to get this done perhaps a bit too quickly and maybe a bit of both, but I do feel confident about this. I don't know for sure that I have quite enough 3/4" left for a lot of wide drawers and the shallower drawers on top perhaps can get by with 1/2". I definitely have enough 3/4" for all the sides of all the drawers so I'm thinking I can brace under 1/2" material if push comes to shove with some oak or cypress. In hind sight I did forget to cut a rebate for the back should the need arise and it likely will, but it's a shop cabinet. If I have to just nail it on with the ugly ends I can live with it. I have gotten by with worse things in my life.
I'm happy to have gotten this far with all the things delaying me added to my tendency to keep putting things off till another day / week /year /decade, etc. I did manage to salvage 4 nice, heavy duty wheels.
Something I'm thinking about is leaving out one short drawer at the top to add in a small face vise. The top is 1 5/8" laminated SYP. It doesn't have to be a huge vise. A small one off the shelf from a box store might do for small jobs.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.

Last edited by allpurpose; 08-09-2020 at 08:58 PM.
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-11-2020, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'm no longer worried about the 1/2" plywood bottoms. Drawer 1 is done and so far very sturdy and I used a few pieces from the leftover ends of the bottom panels as separators and glued and screwed them to the sides and bottom. Everything is nice and square, glued and screwed. The bottom panel sits in a 1/2" dado about 3/8" up.
The last thing I still want to do is to figure out some kind of drawer face that doesn't cost a butt load. Little bit of ever popular glue squeeze out on the bottom picture..It's just going to have to stay there..


I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.

Last edited by allpurpose; 08-11-2020 at 08:41 PM.
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-12-2020, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Strange..in an odd way most of my day yesterday making the drawer was spent doing blade changes, dados to finer blade and back and forth trying to get all my measurements down exactly where I wanted. Even though I premeasured the carcass and thought I knew what everything was supposed to be only one turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be. I think I have them all recorded, but deep down I have a hunch i missed a few. Nothing complicated about subtracting 1/4" from 3/4", but somehow making a 43 1/2" long drawer a 42 1/2" piece of plywood becomes complicated when it fits in a dado you never see when it all goes together. It's tiny details you really don't think about all day until it's time to find it.. Oh well. I did manage to get all my 90 cuts right where they needed to be despite the fact my miter gauge barely fit the very end of the back side of the table saw to cut the last cut for the bottom panels. I got really lucky that the first cut the gauge wasn't set quite to 90, but I'd cut the piece just a hair too lo long which gave me another bite at the 42 1/2" apple.. .I'm just hoping that the other drawers go together like this one did. I really don't want to have to go buy another sheet of 1/2" ply for one drawer. Pretty sure if that's the case it's gonna be 3/4".. So far all in all I'm satisfied.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-12-2020, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Nice place to record everything, huh? The bottom of the drawer.. I think I'm just gonna put all this on paper so I don't have to keep digging this drawer out for each subsequent drawer.

I have small pieces of wood all over the place with final measurements jotted on them. It seems every cleaning day I find all kinds of cryptic measurements I have no idea what they're for..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.

Last edited by allpurpose; 08-12-2020 at 05:39 AM.
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-12-2020, 10:00 AM
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I hope everything goes smoothly for you today.

Gary

Woodworking is like wetting myself....Only I know that warm feeling!
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-12-2020, 10:04 AM
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Stay organized!

Quote:
Originally Posted by allpurpose View Post
Nice place to record everything, huh? The bottom of the drawer.. I think I'm just gonna put all this on paper so I don't have to keep digging this drawer out for each subsequent drawer.

I have small pieces of wood all over the place with final measurements jotted on them. It seems every cleaning day I find all kinds of cryptic measurements I have no idea what they're for..

To stay organized you need to get organized. Get a spiral notebook to record the date and material list for your projects. Hang it on nail on the shop wall. Placing it on a horizontal surface will lead to getting it cover over. DAMHIKT.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-14-2020, 05:45 AM
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file drawers

I have discovered that file drawers make wonderful cabinet drawers, and are cheap in the thrift stores as everybody is moving away from paper files so they are plentiful. I have a bunch of 2 drawer - narrow and wide, as well as some 4 drawer tall file cabinets. The better quality files are way good for sliding and hold a lot of stuff, and are heavy enough to not tip when loaded down. I will be moving into a new basement shop soon, and will be using more thrift store file cabinets for much of my storage. They also make storing flamables safer.
I use Harbor Freight end cap cabintes for my multitude of hand tools.

I store my 110 volt hand tools on open shelves. I never coil my cords, as I learned long ago the cords don't like being bent. I have a big hook and drape the cords over the hook placed at eye level near the shelf. that allows the cords to be off the floor and just dangling in a bunch. It is easy to just lift the tool off the shelf and extract the cord from the hook. I have never had any problem with tangling, and when I'm done, I just hang the cord back on the hook. I have about 8 cords per hook, and love the ease of getting and replacing a tool with ease.


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post #19 of 24 Old 08-15-2020, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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I got the slides today and be honest this is my first go-around with them and I've discovered that 1 inch everyone seems to say it the right distance from wall to drawer.. I now wish I had made a slight error to make it more like 1 and a tiny bit wider. This is making me nervous. It's like dead on 1 inch all the way up and down. If I had to fit just a little spit in there I'd be out of luck. By the way, 'and a tiny bit wider' is a new technical term.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-15-2020, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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First drawer in MUCH easier than i thought it would be. I trashed the first slide because I had to make a cut out for the bricks at the bottom of the wall and didn't buy a shorter slide. I trimmed 2" off and it was not in the least bit pleased. Ball bearings went everywhere so..I finally realized I didn't have to do that. I just need a face surround around the drawers and that'll do what I have been sweating about for a week for no good reason whatsoever..Duh..
I dunno..it may have worked had I not tried to fit the drawer in the darkest possible spot in the entire shop down on the floor instead of up on horses where I can see what I'm doing and the fan is keeping me nice and comfortable.. Everything has to be a hard learning experience for me. Someday I might learn something the easy way, but I'm not holding my breath on it.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
Marty or Marty Farty if you feel mean.

Last edited by allpurpose; 08-15-2020 at 10:27 PM.
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