DIY: A place for your little things

By Greig Morgan

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The wardrobe's done, now it's time for the drawers, says Greig Morgan.

An overhang will let you open the drawers without the need for handles. Photo / Michael Craig
An overhang will let you open the drawers without the need for handles. Photo / Michael Craig

Last week we made a unit for a walk-in wardrobe. With these new skills, you should be able to design a set of units to suit your room's requirements and make a set of drawers to match the wardrobe: a place for everything and everything in its place.

Step 1 - Measure the height, width and depth of the wardrobe unit and then divide the height evenly by the number of drawers required. Or you could make the drawers different heights to suit your needs if you prefer. My unit height was 860mm, width 860mm and depth 400mm, so I made the bottom drawer 300mm and two drawers at 250mm with drawer fronts 20mm higher, and I made the drawer width 830mm, allowing for 15 mm clearance either side for the drawer runners, and made the drawer depth 350mm allowing for clearance at the back.

Step 2 - With the measurements worked out, and a sketch drawing of the components, measure and cut the components on the waste side of the pencil line with the aid of a straight edge clamped at either end as a saw guide for the skill saw.

Step 3 - With the sheet now cut in strips for the front, back and side pieces, cut the front and back pieces to length, allowing 18mm less for the outer rebated side pieces to be fitted. Then cut the side components.

Step 4 - Fit the 9mm straight router bit on your hand router (follow your router instructions) then using the edge guide to guide the router when setting the distance 16mm up, from the bottom when rebating for the bottom to fit, then adjust the depth for the bottom to fit into a 7mm rebate.

Step 5 - With the front, back and sides now rebated out to fit the bottom piece, fit the 20mm router bit and when it isn't possible to use edge guide when routing grooves in the side ends for the side pieces to fit flush, clamp a straight edge as a guide for the router to rebate in 16mm the thickness of the side piece by 7mm deep.

Step 6 - For the top sides of the drawer, iron on edging tape. This process was explained in last week's article and the same rules apply.

Step 7 - The drawer runners have an L and R marked on them for left and right and should come with instructions. Fit the front of the drawer runner flush with the appropriate outerdrawer side, (the wheel goes to the back), fixing to the underside of the drawer with 15mm screws in the hole provided.

Step 8 - Measure, mark and drill a 4mm hole 8mm in, and down 45mm, top and bottom on the drawer sides, using 30mm screws fix the side to the front and back, then with your bottom piece cut to fit slide the bottom into the rebate first before fixing the other side. Then drill evenly spaced holes on the dummy front for fixing the drawer fronts to the fronts with 30mm screws.

Step 9 - Measure and cut drawer fronts to fit flush at the bottom with the dummy fronts, and 20mm above and with a 5mm clearance either side of the unit, before edge tapping around all drawer edges. Instead of the overhang on the drawer sides, I made mine flush and used the gap to open the drawers instead of handles.

Step 10 - Measure in 18mm from the front of the unit for the front of the drawer runner guides then, starting at 20mm up from the unit bottom, measure and mark with the aid of a large square for the placement of drawer runner guides and fix 15mm screws in the provided screw holes before placing the next runner guide allowing 5mm higher than the drawer front.


• When routing, clamp your work to your bench to avoid loss of control.
• Measure diagonally across both ways to check the drawer is square and adjust by applying pressure and a tight screw.

• 2400x1200x16mm Melteca
• 2400x1200x9mm Melteca (drawer bottom)
• Edging tape
• Set of drawer runners
• 30mmx6 gauge screws
• 12mmx6 gauge screws

• Skill saw
• Hand router
• Router rebate bits 9 and 20mm
• Screw gun
• Large square
• 4mm drill bit
• Clamps
• Safety wear
• Tape measure and pencil
• Iron
• File
• 150g sandpaper

- Herald on Sunday

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