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Thread: Building Drawers with Veritas Micro Drawer Slides/Sides

  1. #1
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    Building Drawers with Veritas Micro Drawer Slides/Sides

    Part 1 of 3:

    Lee Valley makes and sells an aluminum extrusion that functions as both the sides and slides for drawers. See:
    http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...50,43298,43315

    Recently I made a couple of drawer units where each unit holds six drawers and the drawers are made utilizing these sides/slides.
    One buys these sides/slides as 3 foot long sections of aluminum formed as shown below:

    K1's drawer unit -00 -Veritas Micro Drawer Side-Slide -small.JPG

    The drawer bottoms slide into grove on the left bottom of the picture and the protrusion on the right bottom slides along a groove that is cut into the case using a “regular” table or circular saw blade.

    Following is a picture essay covering drawer construction using these things.

    01) The aluminum is cut to the desired length for the drawer sides. In my case, this was 30 centimetres (a little less than a foot) and this allowed me to get three sides out of one piece with very little waste.

    K1's drawer unit -01 -Cutting the aluminum sides -small.JPG

    02) Four holes were drilled into each of the 24 drawer sides using a #4 (Imperial) non-ferrous metal countersink bit from Lee Valley (catalogue number: 66J40.04).

    K1's drawer unit -02 -Drilling holes into the aluminum sides.JPG

    03) Twenty four drawer fronts and backs, each 350 mm by 95 mm (a little less than 14 inches by 4 inches) were cut out of 12 mm (a little less than 1/2 inch) baltic birch. The stop on my new JessEm miter gauge came in very handy for this and, as shown in the photo below, it also made removing small triangles from each of the bottom corners a breeze.

    K1's drawer unit -03 -Cutting small corners off the drawer fronts and backs -small.JPG

    04) As shown in the picture to below, the fronts and backs were attached to the sides using #4 5/8 inch flat head screws with a #0 Robertson (non-power) screw driver. Before they were attached, the backs and fronts had been painted with two coats of flat black Tremclad paint.

    K1's drawer unit -04 -Screwing on a drawer side -small.JPG
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 03-27-2006 at 6:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    Part 2 of 3:

    05) Next, as shown in the first photo below, the drawer bottoms were screwed into the fronts and backs with #5 5/8 flat head screws (#1 Robertson). The drawer bottoms were made out of scrap 6 mm (a little less 1/4 inch) G1S fir plywood and pre-painted with the same paint as the fronts and backs. The second picture below shows the interior of an assembled drawer.

    K1's drawer unit -05 -Screwing on a drawer bottom -small.JPG K1's drawer unit -06 Drawer interior -small.JPG

    06) I tested the drawers in several of the slots in the two cabinets and they fit perfectly. The cabinets were made from 18 mm (a little less 1/4 inch) baltic birch and painted with the same flat black paint.

    K1's drawer unit -07 -Testing 2 drawer for fit in one of the cases -small.JPG

    07) False fronts will later be screwed onto the drawers. In the picture below, the front edges of the false fronts are being routed with a 45 degree chamfer bit. The false fronts were made from 12 mm baltic birch scraps and cut to 110 mm by 365 mm (a little more than 4 inches by 14 inches).

    K1's drawer unit -08 -Routing a 45 degree chamfer on the drawer false fronts -small.JPG

    08) The false fronts are being painted six of the seven colours of the rainbow. The photo below shows same of the handles drying. I screwed a long bolt into each handle fastened a clamp to each bolt. This made it easy to paint the handles without having to touch the wood with anything but a paint brush.

    K1's drawer unit -09 -Clamping the handles to facilitate painting and drying -small.JPG

  3. #3
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    Part 3 of 3:

    09) The photo below shows the orange false drawer front being attached to it’s drawer using the method that I learned from Danny Proulx (this method is illustrated in the thread: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=29405 ).

    K1's drawer unit -10 -Installing false front on orange drawer -small.JPG

    Notice that the red and yellow drawers already have chrome label holders attached. I bought these from Lee Valley (catalogue # 01W35.11).

    10) The picture below shows all the drawers finished and installed into their two cabinets. The cabinets are in the place that they will occupy among the bookcases in the playroom that I am building for my grandchildren Isla and Ethan in the basement at my daughter Kathleen's house. Two additional bookcase units are already at Kathleen’s. They will go on either side of the top bookcase.

    K1's drawer unit -11 -All the drawers have been finished -small.JPG


    By the way, the bookcases and drawer cabinets were made from the parts that I cut and routed in the thread: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=31900




    Addition on March 24th:


    (as per posts 10 through 15 in this thread,) Steve Clardy and well as my wife Margaret reminded me that the drawers did not have stops. Since they will be used by young children, this was an oversight on my part.

    I tried several of different ways to retrofit stops and, in the end, settled for the method shown in steps 11, 12, and 13 below.

    (11) Two small holes were drilled into the case backs in the middle of the positions occupied by each of the 12 drawers. #22 wire was looped through the holes and tied together inside the case.

    K1's drawer unit -12 -Attaching dorr stop wire through cabinet back -small.JPG

    (12) A small hole was drilled through the middle of each of the drawer backs. The wires from step 11 were fed through the holes then looped around a screw which was driven into the drawer back. This way, each drawer is halted when its back gets to within 8 centimetres (about 3 inches) if the front of the case.

    K1's drawer unit -13 -Attaching dorr stop wire through drawer back -small.JPG

    (13) Here are the set of rainbow drawers ready (and safe) for children's use.


    K1's drawer unit -14 -The rainbow drawers are now safe for children -small.JPG
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 03-24-2006 at 8:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    Frank,
    More nice drawers!
    Thank you for bringing this drawer side material to a thread here. It had either escaped my notice, or I forgot about it, not sure which.
    There are, in my experience, very, very few surfaces as sensual to the touch as anodized aluminum. I expect that this extrusion is 6063 architectural grade aluminum, T-6 temper, or perhaps even 70xx series aircraft grade.
    Either way, do you also wish that it was available in the maximum lengths shippable by today’s quick carriers rather than the three foot lengths?
    Frank
    P.S. Note to any who wish to make a significant number of cuts on aluminum... use a negative rake blade on your tablesaw or compound mitre saw. Water soluble lubrication will help too.

  5. #5
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    Frank, you have done it again in providing an excellent tutorial. Thank you.

    Karl
    Creeker Visits. They're the best.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, Frank. This system seems nice for a number of situations and your tutorial is very useful in understanding it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Frank, thanks a heap for this outstanding tutorial. It couldn't have come at a better time for me, because I'm about to "shift gears" and start making painted children's furniture, and I was giving those Lee Valley drawer slides a hard look. I like how you cut the corners of the drawer fronts & backs instead of routing with a roundover bit--a nice time saver.

    You cut the aluminum sides with a carbide-tipped saw blade, right? Was it the same one you normally use on your table saw? Or did you buy a cheap blade to waste on the aluminum? Or did you buy an expensive blade just for cutting soft metal?

    Maybe I just didn't read carefully enough, but did you make the drawer pulls? They're cool.
    What this world needs is a good retreat.
    --Captain Beefheart

  8. #8
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    Nice job on the drawers. I hung a cabinet underneath the non-business end of my store bought router table for extra storage and used that same hardware for all the drawers. In addition to being quick and easy to put together a bunch of drawers, I also gained an extra drawer due to the slimmer profile on the bottom compared to std. dadoing into a ply box for the bottoms.
    Use the fence Luke

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevens
    Frank, thanks a heap for this outstanding tutorial. It couldn't have come at a better time for me, because I'm about to "shift gears" and start making painted children's furniture, and I was giving those Lee Valley drawer slides a hard look.
    You are very welcome John.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevens
    I like how you cut the corners of the drawer fronts & backs instead of routing with a roundover bit--a nice time saver.
    I tried a test piece with a router as advocated by Lee Valley. It was more difficult to do and the result in my opinion, was no better than the corner cut with the saw.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevens
    You cut the aluminum sides with a carbide-tipped saw blade, right? Was it the same one you normally use on your table saw? Or did you buy a cheap blade to waste on the aluminum? Or did you buy an expensive blade just for cutting soft metal?
    It was an old blade that I was given by a neighbour when he gave up his woodworking shop. Its the first time that I used the blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Stevens
    Maybe I just didn't read carefully enough, but did you make the drawer pulls? They're cool.
    You read carefully enough, I just did not describe things fully enough. I handles were also purchased from Lee Valley. The catalogue number is 02G13.12 and they cost $1.50 Canadian.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 06-04-2006 at 8:36 AM.

  10. #10
    Provision for drawer stops Frank?


  11. #11
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    No drawer stops -Help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clardy
    Provision for drawer stops Frank?
    Funny you should ask me that Steve, because this afternoon my wife looked at the drawers for the first time and asked if the drawers had stops. Her (valid) reasoning is if children are going to use them, there should be something there to stop them from pulling the drawer right out. I am ashamed to admit that I had not thought of it.

    I figured out what I can do for each of the six drawers at the top of the cabinets . That is to install small corner braces (see: http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/pa...50310&p=50310) near the front of the cabinet and these will catch the drawer back so prevent the drawer from being pulled out.

    I still have not come up with something far the six drawers at the bottom of the cases . Maybe something involving a bolt that slides in a groove that does not extend right to the front of the case (but I doubt that I can now cut such a grove since the cabinet it together. Any ideas anyone?

  12. #12
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    Drawer Stop

    I thought of a way of installing a drawer stop for the bottom drawers. That is to:
    a) drill a small hole in the back of bech drawer
    b) drill a matching hole in the back of the cabinet
    c) attach a thin, strong, and flexible cord/wire through the holes giving the drawer just enough room to get most of the way out.

    I would still like to hear from anyone with other ideas.

  13. #13
    That would work Frank.
    But how about a stop block screwed onto the top back of drawer?
    It would catch the upper opening.
    You would have to install it turned down, install drawer, then reach in and turn it up and screw it tight.
    Steve


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Clardy
    That would work Frank.
    But how about a stop block screwed onto the top back of drawer?
    It would catch the upper opening.
    You would have to install it turned down, install drawer, then reach in and turn it up and screw it tight.
    Steve
    Steve, I am sorry but I think that I don't fully understand.

    First of all are you talking about a solution for the problem that I have with the bottom drawers becuase those are the ones I am concerned about?

    If so, then the only thing that the stop block has to catch on is the lip sticking down from the drawer above it. In most cases that would work, but I put the drawers very close together and the lip is only about 3 milimetres -not really enough.

    But, your suggestion has given me another idea. I can rout a groove in the middle of the drawer bottoms of the top drawers that stops a little bit before the front of the drawers. Then, the stop block projecting up from the top of the back of the bottom drawers would catch on the end of the groves in the top drawers. If one pulled really hard, the top drawer would move and the bottom drawer would come out, but I doubt that it would happen very often. This evening, I will try a couple of these ideas and see how they work in practice.

    Now, off to do some "real" work (that is building construction).

  15. #15
    Lol. Yes on the bottom drawers.
    Not following you on your routing a groove solution. Have to give it some thought.


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