Replace Drawer Front With Scrap

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DRAWER BOTTOM. As for the drawer bottoms, I made them out of Yi" hardwood plywood. The only problem here is that hardwood plywood is almost never a full Vt" thick, it's almost always a little on the shy side. This means the groove for the drawer bottom has to be custom cut.

CUT GROOVE. I cut the gi'oove Oil a table saw, sneaking up on the width of the cut, until it matched the actual thickness of the plywood.

This usually takes two passes with a Vs'-thieksaw blade. (I usea Freud LM72M carbide-tipped rip blade to cut these grooves-. This blade has teeth that are ground with a flat top which produces a flat-bottomed groove.)

cut drawer bottom. After the grooves are cut, the drawer bottom itself can be cut to size. To get the final dimensions of the bottom, dry-clamp the drawer together and measure the inside width and depth. Then add the depth of the grooves to both dimensions.

I usually cut the drawer bottom so it has a good tight fit in the grooves. This way the bottom will help square up the drawer as the pieces are clamped together.


When the drawers are complete, the last step is to mount them in the cabinet. Of course you want to mount them so they operate smoothly as they're opened and closed. This means having a guide system. And once again, it means planning ahead.

The chest of drawers is designed to have web frames with extra-high front rails between the drawers. These frames not only hold the cabinet together, they also provide an anchoring point for the drawer guide system.

GUIDE SYSTEM. The system we chose for the chest and the night stand consists of a guide bar that's mounted to the web frame. Then riding on top of this guide is a runner that's attached to the bottom of the drawer.

mount the guide bar. Since both of these pieces are subject to a good deal of friction and wear, I made them out of maple. Maple is very hard, resists wear, and with time will become burnished to a very smooth, almost slippery surface (which is ideal for drawer guides).

To make the guide bar, rip a piece of maple to width so when it's turned on edge it sticks up enough so it's exactly level with the nylon glide at the ends of the front rail, see Fig. 8. However, this is another matter of planning ahead.

NYLON GLIDES. Before you can really cut the guide bar to final size, the nylon glides have to be mounted on the top edge of the web frame rail.

I used nylon glides to prevent wear and tear on the front rail of the web frame. However, because of their position, the holes for these glides are very difficult to drill after the cabinet is assembled. This means the holes for the glides have to be drilled before the cabinet is assembled. Which again, means planning ahead.

Option: If you don't want to use nylon glides, an option is to drill %" holes and use a %" dowel. Just cut the dowel so it sticks up Vm" above the rail.

cut guide bar. Now back to the guide bar. To make it, rip a piece of maple to width so when it's turned on edge it sticks up enough so it's exactly level with the top of the nylon glides.

Then cut a notch on the front end of the guide bar to fit over the notch in the web frame rail. The shoulder of this notch should fit snugly against the back side of the rail, and the back end should be snug against the back rail.

chamfer edges, To complete the guide bar I usually chamfer the edges. Ifthere's going to be a problem with the fit of the runner and the guide bar, it's going to be where the square edge of the guide bar meets the inside comer of the groove on the runner. To eliminate any problems in situations like this, 1 "knock'off' the edges so nothing can hang up.

mount the guide bah. Now the guide bar can be mounted to the web frame. Apply glue to the bottom edge of the bar, and place it on the web frame so it's centered in the notch in the rail, see Fig. 8.

Then clamp the guide bar in place with C-clamps on the front and back. As the clamps are tightened, make sure the guide bar is exactly square with the front rail.

Although this bar can be screwed to the web frame, I think gluing and damping is a better procedure. During the process of drilling pilot holes and driving in the screws, the bar is bound to slip out of square. So I think it's better to just apply glue and clamp it in place.

the runner. The other half of the guide system is the runner. In this case the run ner is simply a piece of maple with a groove down the center.

The limner should be about W wider than the guide bar to allow a W on each side of the groove. (Once again, this width was planned for when the notch was cut in the front runner,)

When the groove is cut in the runner, the width of the groove should allow for a smooth lit over the guide bar — just wide enough so it fits over the bar easily, but not sloppy.

The depth of the groove should be such that when the bottom of the groove is riding on the top of the guide bar, the sides of the drawer are riding on the glides.

mount the runner. After the groove is cut, the only problem is how to mount the runner to the bottom of the drawer. To do this, cut the i-unner to length so it has a very tight fit between the front and back of the drawer.

Then push it in place on the drawer bottom and mount the drawer in the cabinet. To position the runner, push the drawer all the way into the cabinet until the drawer fi-ont is in fui! contact with the rails, (This will ensure the drawer is not cocked out of position.) Also, adjust the drawer front from side to side until the clearance at both ends of the drawer front is the same.

Now, carefully pull the drawer out and mark the position of the runner. Apply glue and place a weight (a brick will work) on the runner to clamp it to the bottom.

draweh stop. That completes the guide system. There's only one last detail to complete the drawer. To stop the drawer from being pulled out too far (and falling out of the cabinet) mount a small turnbuckle catch on the inside face of the drawer back, see Fig. 8.

Then apply wax to the i-unner and the guide, and you've completed a very handsome, smooth drawer that's a joy to open and close.

figure s round over-— top edge with '/," corner round bit


use 'A" stock for sides and back figure s round over-— top edge with '/," corner round bit


use 'A" stock for sides and back

Night Stand

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Wood Working 101

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