Friday, April 22, 2016
As you can see in the above photograph, the office continues to be an office despite me fixing it up but with the drawers now completed and installed, almost all the dirty work is done. I still have to make and install the upper doors on the cabinets and that will involve pre-drilling pilot holes but with a vacuum cleaner in hand the debris should be minimal.
I have made my share of drawers over the years but always struggle with installing the fronts onto the drawer bodies. The process of holding it up to the drawer body, getting all the gaps looking good, clamping (if I am able to) and then drilling and screwing from the inside takes about six hands and I only have two. I thought this time I would just measure up from the drawer body to the opening and then just repeat those measurements on the floor but when you are desiring small but even gaps between drawers, there is and was a lot that could go wrong.
In the end, I went back to my old standby method which works but isn't elegant. I stick a few pieces of double sided tape onto the drawer body and then hold the drawer front up and eyeball it into place. Since my tape can't support the entire weight of the drawer front, I have to apply some pressure with one hand while I gently ease the drawer out enough that I can apply my longest throated lightest clamp. All my light clamps had short throats and can't reach deep enough to hold the drawer front in place to the body. All my clamps with deep throats are heavy and the weight of the clamp can pull the drawer front down out of position unless clamped tight enough to mark up the face of the cabinet. Also, because I am down to one hand at this point, I only have one hand to work the clamp. Sometimes it took me a few attempts but eventually I got the drawer front clamped in place and quickly screwed to the drawer body.
I made a jig for the drawer handles that registers off two sides of the drawers so the holes for the handles end up perfectly where I want them to be every time. It is one of those things where it takes 15 minutes of work to make the jig and another ten to drill all the holes versus 30 minutes to mark and drill them all by hand. The time savings isn't much the quality of the hole location makes up for it.
Another drawback I always have with drawers is that I have yet to buy any drawer handles that come with long enough screws to go through the drawer box and drawer front. They are designed to work with prefab stuff that is supper thin and which the drawer front is just laminate on the face of the drawer box. I made the trip down to the hardware store looking for replacements. Ideally, I needed 1-3/8" fasteners but could only find 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" in the size I needed. 1-1/2" would be too long and there weren't enough threads in the drawer handle to accommodate the extra length. 1-1/4" would only give me 1/8" of thread engagement, or so I thought. When I got home, the handle design had the threads about 1/8" inset from the face that seats against the drawer front meaning I had exactly 0" of thread engagement. So I ended up counterboring the holes 1/4" on the inside to give me the ideal amount of thread engagement and as a bonus, his the screw heads so they aren't visible inside the drawer.
So to cut this long boring math story short, the drawers are now done and functional. I can start moving things into them and start building the doors for the upper cabinets above the desk and the upper cabinet of the dresser/nightstand/closet combo to the left of the Murphy bed. Those should go fairly quickly and then it will be down to all the little details that come with every project.