Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shop Made Runners, part 2

In my last post I shared how I went about making the runners, now comes the fun part -- installing them.  As luck would have it one of the drawers ended up being ever so slightly tweaked but a little bit of planing took care of that.  The drawers are pretty wide and shallow but should be fine once they get a load in them.  The technique I use to install a bank of drawers, whether they're metal slides or shop made like these is the same for both.  I know there are jigs available but I've found this method to be pretty fool proof and accurate.  It starts by using a piece of MDF or plywood that spans the interior of the case.  In this instance my first drawer was the bottom one because I have a shelf on top to reference from.  First I locate the drawer with the cabinet on it's side and locate the runner.

I then cut the plywood so that it will locate the top of the runner, drill the holes, and screw it on.  Flip the case over and use the plywood again to attach the runner on the opposite side. Using the plywood insures that the distance is the same.  In this picture I've already installed two, and am doing the third of five.  It's a simple matter of ripping the plywood to size.  The penny? that's what I use to determine the spacing between drawers.

Here's a better shot of the technique I use.  The reddish piece of wood is the inside of the drawer.  At the front, out of the picture, I have a penny between it and the next drawer and you can see the end of a try-square keeping the drawer in line.  That very light piece of wood by the tape measure is the drawer runner.  It's about 2  3/4" from the top so my next cut on the plywood will be that size.  Remove the drawer, place the plywood against the top, and screw down the runner.

It really is a good system and insures that the runners are at the same level from your reference point.

  I couldn't resist sharing a picture of the first mock up of the cabinet.  I've oiled the drawers and you can see the joinery I used.  The very top piece will hinge at the back but I still need to do the carving on the panel for it.  You may notice the hole at the upper left corner, that's for the brass pin I'm using to hinge the lid section.

So far I'm liking it a lot!

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