50 Feet of Drawers

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In terms of woodworking, I’m not as much about “measure twice, cut once” as I am about “eyeball twice, cut a few times, eyeball again, trim one last time, measure for peace of mind“. When I set out to build something, I often have tunnel vision toward how I want it to look, not so much the practical sizing.

I agree this is bad practice, but in this particular instance, I win! I finished building and installing the 12 drawers for the built-ins a couple weeks back and it turns out I (accidentally) have over 50 sqft of curvy drawer space! For some comparative perspective, that is basically 1/8th the footprint of my current 20×20 2-car garage.

50 Shades of Grayscale
My wardrobe is basically comprised of t-shirts from Threadless and concerts. I have a lot of them. But having lived without proper drawer space for the last few years, imagine my delight when I discovered that, not only can I fit all of my shirts in one giant drawer, I can sort them by color!

Please observe in the photo below how my shirts are sorted by RGB in the front row and the “50 shades of grayscale” (hee hee) at the back. Marvel in the OCD potential.

50 Shades of Grayscale

Trimming Fail
Because the drawer fronts are custom plywood, I needed to trim them so the edges weren’t exposed. I used, for the first time, the store-bought veneer so I could trace the curve of the fronts. I wasn’t super pleased with the results. They’re fragile and difficult to uniformly stick to the piece, especially for long and narrow pieces. :(

I much prefer cutting my own, thicker (like, 1/8″), veneers from stock. It’s a bit more work and not always practical, but I find it easier to work with and match the wood. Granted, this wouldn’t have been so easy for the curved edges.

Curvy Drawer Front
Curved Handle Glue-up

Drawer Construction
The drawers are made from 1/2″ Baltic Birch ply. There’s 12 of them, each 8.5″ tall and between 18″ and 24″ deep, depending on it’s position on the curve.

Unassembled Pieces for Drawers

Traditionally, you’re supposed to build the 5-sided drawer boxes and attach drawer fronts using some sort of flexible fastener to allow some give for seasonal movement…

Middle Drawers

…but I take comfort in the excuse that I don’t know any better. :)

Besides which, having curved fronts makes this less feasible. Plus I’m going on the assumption that the ply shouldn’t have much seasonal movement to worry about. I guess we’ll find out this winter.. :)

…Winter’s coming…

Varathaning Assembled Drawers

Drawer Installation
Since I ain’t never moving again, I thought I’d splurge a bit more than usual on the drawer slides. No more enamel kitchen slides from the Blum discount bin! :)

I ended up with some pretty decent GlideRite full-extension ball-bearing slides…and they are SMOOOOOOOTH! LIKE!

Installing Full Extension Slides

And to think, at one point, I was gonna make my own drawer slides.. HA HA HA!


Drawers Installed!

What’s Left?
There’s just a few things left to do:

  • Make/hang the cabinet doors
  • Add a rod to hang clothes from
  • Make a wooden vent where the heat register blows air from
  • Maybe a bit of edge moulding

…to conclude the. longest. “weekend”. project. EVER! :)

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