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Build and Install Drawers in Your Kitchen Cabinet

Step 3: Make the Drawers

Building Smarts

Each drawer box has five parts (Bottom, Back, two Sides, Box front, and Drawer front). All are 34" plywood, except the bottom, which is 14" plywood. The drawer front will be made later.

Once the sleds are built, turn your attention to the drawer boxes. I used 34" plywood, but melamine-covered particle board works equally well.

Screw through the front and back into the sides. The front screws will be covered by the drawer front.

Flip the drawer over and nail the bottom before the glue dries.

1 12" ring-shank nails hold the bottom while the glue dries. Make sure to get the drawer square!

Step 4: Attach the Drawer Slides

With the sleds and the drawer boxes both made, fasten the drawer slides with the screws provided. (Screws with larger heads can jam the slides.)

Screw the Slides to the Sleds

Screw the slide's cabinet piece to the sled, touching the sled bottom. The end of the slide goes in one of two places:

  • Flush to the front of a full-flush cabinet.

  • Flush to the face of a face frame cabinet. (Exactly 34" of slide must stick out in front of the sled.)

Screw the slide flush to the bottom of the drawer. This gives 14" clearance between the drawer and the sled.

Screw the Sled to the Cabinet

Position the sled flush to the front of the cabinet carcase, or body, (for face frame and full flush). Screw the sled to the cabinet bottom or shelf, and to the cabinet sides.

Screwing at an angle brings the sled down to the cabinet floor and makes a stronger joint (because more threads are in wood). The face frame goes on later.

Put It Together

With the preliminaries out of the way, engage the drawer slides. This may take a bit of fiddling, and my heavy-duty slides started out stiff.

Test the action on the slide. If it's too tight, adjust by removing some wood from the side of the drawer. If it's too tight, add a shim, such as a flat washer, under the slide.

When done, either replace the existing fronts, or buy or build new ones.

For more help with storage problems, see Build and Install Built-in Bookshelves.


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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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