storage drawers

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by belg, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. belg

    belg Member

    Hey guys I'm looking to build a storage cabinet with about ten to fifteen drawers each about 1 1/2 or two inches deep. I saw one
    on the web, it might have even been here on the gauge or maybe trainboard. Does anyone have a plan or built one of these? I really just dont want to spend a fortune on drawer glides and am looking for a cheaper alternative.
  2. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    What I saw

    While waiting for my wife to do her drug store shopping, I often look at a magazine called Shop Notes. In there last month was a chest of shop type drawers, all about the size you mentioned. They used 1/4" hard board for the drawer slides. They have a 1/4" groove cut in the drawer and a coresponding slot cut in the cabinet frame. The hard board is cut to 3/4" strips and is glued into the side of the drawer for the full length of the drawer. The slots in the drawers are cut 1/4" deep and then the cabinet are cut 5/16" deep to give the slides a little extra room to move. The drawers are made 1/2" narrower than the cabinet opening. The drawer sides were made of 1/2" plywood with 1/4" bottoms. The frame of the cabinet was made from 3/4" plywood and A piece of 1/4" plywood on the back of the cabinet to keep everything square. The slots where the drawers slide are sanded smooth.

    From this you should be able to design what you need.

  3. belg

    belg Member

    Trainclown that sounds like it could do the trick, and sound like it wouldn't be that hard to do either. My sincerest thanks for your response.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One of our dealers stores his stock in drawers that held draftsmen's drawings. These are at least 4 feet wide and deep enough to hold HO equipment in boxes. All you have to do is be in the right place at the right time... but a used office furniture store might have some.
  5. Blake

    Blake Member

    Several years ago I worked a deal with my old boss. I worked in a carbide saw shop that did work on cutting equipment for the furniture industry. I had one of our customers make this bench for me to my specs. This would have been very expensive but I spent 2 days making 2 special saws for them on my own time and made a trade. Trust me when I tell you, buy the drawer guides. They are well worth it.

    Attached Files:

  6. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Your most welcome Belg

    Those who can't make there own have to bye them. What do you suppose was done befor you could just go out and bye hardware. There is also a satisfaction in doing it yourself.

    If a drawer was going to be opened thousands of times then mabie it would be worth the investment in drawer slides, like in a kitchen. But for basic storage I don't see the drawback with the system I described, but I'm just passing on the idea. It must work or else they would not have published it.

    Let me know how it comes out.
    Good cuttings
  7. Blake

    Blake Member

    I guess they would work okay, however, my experience with slides like that is binding in humid weather. Also, hardboard has a tendency to come apart after a while. As much as I like my workbench, it is made of hardboard covered with Melamine. A few of the drawers have come apart and have been repaired. Gary Pfeil made a workbench modeled after mine. I think he used plywood for all of the components. The drawers in his bench bind a little but for the most part, work quite well. But, you are right, if you want to buy something as opposed to building it, the cabinet you described would probably be sufficient. By the way Trainclown, your avatar cracks me up and I like the fact that you "lay track funny". Do you know why cannibals don't eat clowns?
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    A coupla thots:

    I've done the all wood drawers without hardware sliders in my garage. With the extreme temperature and humidity extremes of Indiana, there is no binding. The reason being, the slot is sloppy. The drawback is that if you don't pull the drawer straight out, it can hit the sides. I would like to claim the genius of this design was brought on by a background in physics, careful planning, and a lot of calculations with a slide rule, but the fact is they are sloppy because I didn't care. I just wanted a drawer to toss some drill bits in and a few hand tools used with my drill press and lathe. So I made them the easiest, fast way, which was with loosely fitting parts :D :D :D

    I'm a big fan of tupperware type products. I'm a firm believer that plastic storage can solve most of the worlds problems. If you are going to spend money on sliders, why not just spend it on tupperware and use them as the drawers. That way you can pull them all the way out, walk across the room with it and use it there, or take it whereever you need it. You could make regular shelves, or make cubby holes that the plastic tubs fit into. Depends on useage, just a thot :rolleyes:
  9. Blake

    Blake Member

    Or, how about this. A pie safe. A pie safe is a box with shelves only a couple of inches apart used to store pies while cooling. If you built something along those lines but built it around Tupperware, you could do just what Jon is saying.
  10. billk

    billk Active Member

    Aw c'mon - again with a pie safe?!? At least now I know what it is!
  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    That's kinda what I had in mind, a corn safe.

    You could get some larger flatter containers and some that are compartmented (is that a word?).

    I get 3 packs of the big flat ones that are supposed to go under a bed. They hold a lot, stack well, you can see into them without opening them, and you can reach allllllll the way to the bottom to get to the goodies, even when they are full, cuz they're only 4" deep :)
  12. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    another sorce of good storage is old map cabinets got mine from city hall in town we were living they were doing a remodel job
  13. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    A good thread with a lot of good suggestions.
    Some of the alternatives might depend on what tools are available to the builder. Pretty hard to build some of the drawers mentioned without a table saw, plus either a dado blade or a router.....although a hundred and two hundred years ago, there were REALLY nice drawers built....but slowly, and with hand-cut dovetails, too:D

    I like the plastic container ideas too, really handy stuff.

    The blueprint and map bins of drawers are very nice, but they are extremely heavy, and hard to find at a good price any more.

    I usually make drawers out of MDF, with masonite bottoms, and the kind of slides that are metal angle with a single nylon roller. These are pretty low in cost, but you can't open them all the way out, like the 3-piece ones Norm Abram uses on New Yankee WS,
    for his "drahs"...[Bostonian for "drawers"]
    If wood is used, sand the slides as smooth as possible, and rub a bit of paste wax on the 'running' section.

    Blake...I have heard that cannibals think "clowns taste funny.":eek: [ no offense intended, Trainclown]
    regards / Mike
  14. jimmybeersa

    jimmybeersa Member

    Hey aint doing any scratch building, that bench of yours is far too tidy ,mines a mess when working on a project..........real nice bench though!!!!
  15. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    Here is another option. There is an very tempting store up here called Lee Valley (especially if you are in to wood working). They carry all kinds of unique products. In this case it is tool box drawers. They give simple instuctions on how to make a chest of drawers with some ply wood and a few saw cuts. The drawers come in 1" and 2" deep other dimensions are 10-3/8" wide (not counting flanges) and 12" long.

    Here is a link to the web page showing the drawers.,43326,43330

    if it doesn't work properly go to and search for

    Veritas Toolbox Trays


  16. Blake

    Blake Member

    That's what everybody says. My bench gets plenty messy when I'm working. I'll take a picture next time.
  17. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Belg,

    You'r right about the cost of the slides, I used a pair to slide my control panel under the table, but a whole set of drawers would get costly.
    I've been scratchin' my left brain (isn't that the design side?) and I think with a little ingenuity you could still use the hardboard and dado idea but come up with a simple telescoping wood slide which has an intermediate slider captured between the drawer and frame. This would let the drawer extend fully without sagging down and still bear the load. Just an idea.... I think I'll call Norm and offer it to him, too. :D :D :D
  18. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You might consider building a set of drawers with the cheap hardboard slides, and then replace them with better slides one drawer at a time until you have a full set of nice ones. That way, you get your storage cabinet "up and running" right now, then as money is available you can upgrade it one drawer a week.

Share This Page