Convert sink base cabinet to functioning drawers - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-27-2015, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Convert sink base cabinet to functioning drawers

Previous owner installed sink base cabinets to use as a work table. There is no sink- just the countertop. Is there a way to convert the false front drawers into real drawers? There is nothing behind them. When the doors are open, it's a giant 35"w, 28"h gaping hole, but only 21"h is usable space because of the false drawers. No way to add shelves or drawers and not a good use of the space. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-27-2015, 04:04 PM
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Yes, it can be done relatively easy. I'm assuming you have face frame cabinets.

Get some drawer slides. You should get some rear mounting brackets that will allow you to attach the slides to the back of the cabinet. The front of the slide can attach to the face frame.

Then make some drawer boxes. The width of the hole in the face frame less the space required for the drawer slides (usually 1/2") is how wide to make the boxes. Make them about two inches less than the depth of the cabinet so they don't hit the brackets when closed.

Attach the drawer part of the slide to the sides of the box so that the front of the box is about flush with the face frame.

Attach the false front to your new drawer boxes with four screws. Attach handles/knobs with machine screws through the false front and the front of the drawer box.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-27-2015, 06:11 PM
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Probably the hardest part is removing the false front. Go inside the cabinet and look to see if it is nailed on or screwed. Most of the time they are nailed on and you can take a block of wood and a hammer and just knock the false front. If you had a helper to catch the false front it would help. Once you get the false front off clean up the opening and build a drawer box to fit and attach the false front to the box.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-27-2015, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
Yes, it can be done relatively easy. I'm assuming you have face frame cabinets.

Get some drawer slides. You should get some rear mounting brackets that will allow you to attach the slides to the back of the cabinet. The front of the slide can attach to the face frame.
Along with what Sanchez said, here are a couple of pictures of one of my drawer installations. Note that I used 1/2 inch plywood for the back, but decided to add additional 3/4 inch thick supports for the drawer slide rear mounting bracket to attach to.

Ha Ha, my sweetie did most of the inside work. My shoulders wouldn't fit through the opening.

Measure the inside of your cabinet. If it is about 24 inches deep, you will most likely need to use 22 inch drawer slides.

Hope this helps.
Mike
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=sanchez;936281]Yes, it can be done relatively easy. I'm assuming you have face frame cabinets.

Thank you all so much! Great help so far!

Actually, I have frameless- bottom of the line- cheap white MDF cabinets.

There are no false inserts- just the solid band across [what would be the front of the sink] with drawer fronts glued/screwed onto the band.

Thinking through the best use of space- Here's another thought- if I use a reciprocating saw and saw that band that spans the cabinet, and get new taller doors, could I just eliminate the concept of drawers all together? Would I need to do any re-enforcing to the part where I cut off? See my diagram below
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 02:14 PM
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Removing the "band that spans the cabinet" IMO could cause the cabinet to collapse due to lack of wall support. Consider designing/building another new work table, rather than trying to "convert a sink base cabinet", which may cost you more $ in the long run to rebuild. Be safe.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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This cabinet is part of a 3 cabinet run. They are all screwed together on the sides and have a countertop running the length as well.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 06:14 PM
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Your last reply regarding re-doing the sink cabinets (3 in a run with countertop) gives more "light", and may work to be a good solution. However, you still may have a problem finding ready-made doors that would fit without alteration. Keep us posted, and be safe.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-28-2015, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annieb View Post
Previous owner installed sink base cabinets to use as a work table. There is no sink- just the countertop. Is there a way to convert the false front drawers into real drawers? There is nothing behind them. When the doors are open, it's a giant 35"w, 28"h gaping hole, but only 21"h is usable space because of the false drawers. No way to add shelves or drawers and not a good use of the space. Any ideas?
I know this won't solve your original problem, but it might help you make use of the storage area in the cabinet.

Make a simple shelf and install it in the cabinet. Screw or nail the side pieces to the inside of the cabinet. Then cut the shelf piece just a smidgeon shorter than the width of the inside and slip it in place. You can use melamine shelving or even regular 1x12 pine boards available at your local big box store.

Measure the items you want to store on the bottom of the cabinet and cut the sides accordingly. You will only need about five feet of material for the two sides and shelf.

Hope you find this helpful.
Mike
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